Tips to roll out puff pastry
During these months I wrote several posts about puff pastry, analising the types of leavening and giving suggestions to make both the dough and its folds.
Today I will tell you about tricks and tips to make the most of your dough after making it, i.e. how to roll it out before cutting and shaping.
Refrigerate your puff pastry until the very last minute before use
Leaving the dough on your worktop until it is time to use it is a no-go: you cannot work it because fat becomes too soft.
If you use frozen puff pastry remember to defrost it in the refrigerator the evening before using it so that you have perfect temperature and consistency the next morning.
Roll out the dough little by little
As you very well know, puff pastry has layered folds formed by the détrempe and the butter block, which must be preserved intact as long as possible.
Forcing the puff pastry down to work quicker only creates dents that make the lamination uneven.
Puff pastry must be rolled out little by little in several steps, no matter if you work it by hand or use a dough sheeter.
Use small amounts of dusting flour
Dusting the dough with dusting flour is done only to prevent the dough from sticking to the worktop, the rolling pin or the rollers of a dough sheeter.
If you use too much dusting flour you will have to brush it away from the worktop before placing the dough on the baking trays, or, which is worse, flour will gather in mounds inside your preparations.
Roll out the dough in all directions
When you need to cut out pastry disks or other shapes that require precision remember to roll out the dough in all directions:
If you follow this tip your dough will keep its shape without shrinking (i.e. your pastry disks won’t become oval).
Resting the dough after rolling it out
This is a crucial step both after rolling out the dough and before baking it.
Once your dough is as thin as required you must wait a few minutes before cutting it with rolling or adjustable pastry cutters or rings; this allows the dough to settle and firm up, preventing shrinkage and misshape of cut items.
Let the dough rest after shaping it
Once your baking trays are ready and lined with your cut items you must wait a few hours before baking:
this allows the puff pastry to stabilize thus improving its shape and ensuring regular flaking.
Cover your items with nylon wrap to prevent drying.
Large industries that process tons of puff pastry use temperature-controlled chambers to facilitate this step.
This rule does not apply to preparations that contain very wet fillings such as strudel, quiche Lorraine, etc. Indeed, they must be put in the oven at once to prevent leaking.
Dock your puff pastry
Docking puff pastry ensures even baking:
You can buy a dough docker, which is quite handy for large quantities of puff pastry, but for home use a simple fork or paring knife are just fine.
Have a nice dessert …. with puff pastry!
If you want to learn more about puff pastry I recommend this article: