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October 17, 2005



Puff pastry is really not as difficult as people want you to think it is. There is some disagreement about methods, but Julia Child and I both think that the rapide method produces results as good as the much fussier classique method. The advantage of rapide is that you don't have to fuss with encasing the butter in the dough because you mix it all up to start with. That also means that you can do more turns between refrigerations, but if you haven't made it before, you'll want to refrigerate frequently more to rest your nerves than to rest your dough.

The ingredients that Julia used were 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup cake flour, 6.5 sticks of butter, 1 cup ice water. If you're using unsalted butter, you'll probably want to add some salt, as well. The butter has to be very cold, and it should be cut into pieces no smaller than tablespoons. You put the flour and the butter in the bowl of your Kitchenaid, and you mix with the paddle attachment briefly so that the butter gets coated with the flour but doesn't get cut up too small. Then, with the mixer going, you pour in the ice water, and when it clumps into a ball, you turn it off. Then you put it on your pastry marble with enough flour to keep it from sticking and turn, turn, turn. I really should do a blog post on it sometime. It's a lot of fun to make.


I've never made puff pastry, but when I have on occasion considered doing so, I've thought that I should really ask Bakerina, because a bakerina - as if there could be more than one! - knows these things. She may even have written a post on it.

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