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This is posted by request, if anyone ever makes it please let me know how you make it work and how long it took you and were your hands amputated because of frostbite??!!
- Ok, you get the whole story!
- "Before beginning the adventure with puff paste there is one thing to be explained that will make its compositions comparatively easy.
- (Ha Ha!) The butter used must be washed.
- The purpose of washing it is to make it elastic.
- It should be soft through being kneaded, but in no sense soft through being melted- quite the contrary, it must be soft and cold at the same time.
- In winter turn on the cold water faucet.
- Manipulate the butter with the hands under the stream of cold water until it is creamy and waxy.
- At other seasons, do this in a quart of ice water placed in a bowl of ice.
- The butter may be kneaded with a spoon if preferred.
- The final kneading of the butter is done on a board or it is patted briskly in the hands until no water flies.
- This is the recipe of a professional cook.
- As it calls for egg yolks it differs from the orthodox rule for puff paste.
- However, her results are remarkable and her method is simple, so I am giving it in preference to the usual rather complicated recipes.
- (Ha Ha again, it is complicated!) She stresses 2 points: Keep the hands, the bowl, the board and the rolling pin as cold as possible.
- (Ha Ha, your hands will be frostbitten!) A cold windy day is best for making puff paste.
- "Work with hands,as in the first paragraph, under water, 1 cup of butter.
- Place 1/4 cup butter in a cold bowl.
- Form the remainder into a square and place it where it will keep cold.
- Add to the butter in the bowl, the flour and salt, work these ingredients with a pastry blender, 2 knives or the finger tips.
- Beat and add 1/4 cup ice water and 2 egg yolks, (the yolks may be omitted, in that case use in all, 6 tablespoons of water).
- Work these ingredients well with the hands.
- If necessary add, to loosen the dough from the bowl, a pinch of flour.
- Place the dough were it will be cold but will not freeze, preferably in the open air.
- If it is not possible to do this, fold the dough in a clean cloth and place it in a dripping pan that has been placed between 2 dripping pans filled with ice.
- After 15 minutes, roll the dough into a square on a floured board.
- Roll it one way only, not back and forth.
- A good way is out from the centre.
- Put the square of butter in the centre of the dough and fold the 4 corners to the centre completely covering the butter.
- Permit the dough to stand on a cloth or piece of waxed paper in a cold place for 1/2 hour.
- Turn it once to keep it from becoming dry.
- Roll out the dough again into a square and fold the corners to the centre.
- Permit it to stand again for 1/2 hour.
- Repeat this process.
- The dough must be chilled and rolled at least 4 times in all.
- Chill the dough until you are ready to use it.
- Wrapped in waxed paper it may be kept in the refrigerator for several days.
- Roll it, cut it into shapes.
- Chill it again and bake it.
- One of the secrets of success of puff paste is to have it ice cold when placed in a hot oven.
- The matter of baking puff paste is a moot point.
- In all rules the very cold paste is put into a very hot oven- 500°F.
- In some it is baked at this temperature throughout.
- In this case the pastry is covered with waxed paper after 10 minutes baking.
- In other rules the heat is reduced 50 degrees every 5 minutes until the temperature is 350°F for final baking.
- GOOD LUCK!
IMHO this recipe might be more aptly named "April Fools Day Puff Pasty" :)
Well, our hands remain unharmed and fully functional. My daughter and I tried this pastry to accompany Mrs. Beeton's (1860) Baked Almond Pudding, as her recipe for "puffed paste" was impossible to comprehend! It took us from 3:00 to 6:30 to prepare, and then we baked it for approximately 40 minutes. It was fun to try something so totally new, having no idea what to expect, but we hadn't a clue how long to bake the pastry before adding the custard-like filling. So we baked it alone and will serve it under the dessert. It was literally floating in butter when we removed it from the oven, having baked it at 500 for the first 5 minutes, then lowering in increments to 360 for the final 35. I put it on a cookie rack to drain and dry and it tastes scrumptious, but a little more chewy than I'd hoped. There are definitely nice layers throughout! We will try it again, now having practiced once, but I'd like to know how long to bake the pastry with and without a filling.
I have not yet made this, but since I've found it, the challenge is on. I will let you know how it turns out!