Thursday, October 22, 2015

How To Make A Super Flaky Pastry (for puffs and pies)

 
I used this pastry to make curry puffs and chicken pot pie.  This is one hell of a super flaky pastry.  Looking at the flakes will just leave you all excited and go bananas for a while.  Frankly, as a newbie to baking and not a trained cook/baker, I am not sure whether this is a puff pastry or not.  Whatever it is,..........I know that this IS a PASTRY,......... that makes a commendably great recipe. 

Before you scroll down any further, I wish to caution you that the explanation in this post is rather lengthy involving lots of steps.  I can't seem to find ways to simplify it any further.  If this is your first time making a puff pastry or something similar, be sure that you read everything very carefully.  I do recommend that you read the steps a few times to get the whole process digested and visualized before getting your hands dirty. 

I have also used color codes on the words to ease readability and understanding:
  1. Red indicates you need to let the dough rest for 20 minutes. By knowing this, it helps you plan your work more easily.
  2. Blue indicates the ingredients used. 

INDGREDIENTS:

600g plain flour
1 egg (beaten)
250ml warm water (not hot)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yellow colouring (I used turmeric powder to get the yellow hue)
200g pastry margarine


STEPS:

Basically, making the pastry involves 3 steps : 
 
A) Making the dough
  • Combine warm water, salt and colouring in a bowl and mix until salt dissolves.
  • Combine flour, egg and water in another bowl and mix just until the mixture forms a dough. Do not overmix. Don't worry if  there are still specks of flour in the dough as they will 'disappear' after the rolling and folding process. 
  •  Cover dough with plastic and leave it to rest for at least 20 minutes.  

B) Preparing the pastry margarine
  • While the dough is resting, place the pastry margarine on a plastic.
  • Place another piece of plastic on the margarine. 
  • Roll out the margarine evenly into a rectangle. Leave aside.

C) Rolling and folding the dough
  1. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1cm thick, as evenly as possible. Then place the rolled-out pastry margarine on one side of the dough. (Pic 1)
  2. Fold dough into 2, just like you would close a book. (Pic 2)
  3. Press the edges to seal.  Cover dough with plastic & leave to rest for at least 20 minutes. (Pic 3)
  4. Turn dough at 90 deg. Then roll dough into a rectangle.
  5. Divide the rectangle vertically into thirds,  marking the dough lightly with the edge of your hand. Fold  the first third of the dough, overlapping the second third (Pic 4)
  6. Then fold over the last third of the dough overlapping both the 1st and 2nd thirds, brushing away the excess flour from the inside as you fold.  You should be getting a long vertical rectangle facing you. (Pic 5)
  7. Next, divide the dough into thirds again, this time from top to bottom.  Take the 1st third (right on top) and fold, overlapping the 2nd third.  (Pic 6)
  8. Now, take the last third and fold, overlapping the 1st and 2nd thirds to form a square. (Pic 7)  Cover dough with plastic and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.
  9. Roll out the dough into a rectangle again. Repeat Step 5 & 6.
  10. Now, divide the dough into thirds again, from top to bottom. Then, cut the dough. (This step is just like step 7 except that this time the thirds are cut.) 
  11. Place the bottom third onto the middle third & followed by the top third. You'll end up with a tall squarish dough. (Pic 8) Cover dough with plastic & leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.
  12. Using a knife & a ruler, divide the dough into small squares and make markings on the dough. (I divided it into 16 squares.  Then carefully cut the small squares. (Pic 9)  At this stage, you can divide and cut into any sizes as you like, depending on what you are using it for.
  13. Refrigerate for a while and here you go..........the dough is ready for use!

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