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Puff pastry

From the 1881 Household Cyclopedia

Sift a pound of flour. Divide 1 pound of butter into four parts, cut one part of the butter into the flour with a knife; make it into dough with water, roll it, and flake it with part of the butter. Do this again and again till it is all in. This will make enough crust for at least ten puffs. Bake with a quick heat, for ten or fifteen minutes.

Another method.--Take a quarter of peck of flour, and rub it into a pound of better very fine. Make it up into a light paste with cold water just stiff enough to work it up. Then lay it out about as thick as a silver dollar; put a layer of butter all over, then sprinkle on a little flour, double it up, and roll it out again. Double and roll it with layers of butter three times, and it will be fit for use.

see Wikipedia Cookbook


Modernisation: Flaky Puff Pastry

Ingredients:

  • 460 g butter, divided into four equal portions
  • 460 g plain (non - self raising) flour

Method:

  1. Sift flour into a bowl
  2. Cut one portion of butter into the flour till becomes crumbly.
  3. Add cold water, as needed, to make a dough.
  4. Lightly dust kneeding board and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough till it is approximately half a centimetre thick.
  5. Cut (smear) another portion of butter into the pastry. Fold pastry into quarters. Roll pastry back to a half a centimetre thickness. Repeat this step till there is no butter left.
  6. Draw a sheet of plastic food wrap large enough to cover one side of the flattend pastry. Invert the kneeding board.
  7. Cover the other side with another sheet of plastic food wrap. Gently roll the pastry into a cylindrical shape.
  8. Store in refrigerator until needed for use. Keeps well for a maximum of two days.

Modernisation: Another method Filo Puff Pastry

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/3 Cups plain (non - self raising) flour
  • Additional flour for dusting
  • 450 g butter, diced
  • 550 g butter
  • chilled water

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix the first measure of flour and diced butter, until it becomes a fine crumb.
  2. Add to the crumb, a little at a time, ice cold water until it becomes a very stiff dough.
  3. Lightly dust the kneeding board and rolling pin with flour.
  4. Roll the pastry dough to the thickness of parchment paper, or thinner if possible.
  5. Coat all of the visible dough with smears of butter. Sprinkle the pastry with a light dusting of flour, then fold in half.
  • While coating the dough in butter, keep the rolling pin as cool as possible. Either place a tea towel over the rolling pin, then a cold pack on top, or place the rolling pin in the freezer if near by.
  1. Repeat steps #4. and #5. at least another two more times. At most, repeat another six times. Work as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  2. Draw a sheet of plastic food wrap large enough to cover one side of the flattend pastry. Invert the kneeding board.
  3. Cover the other side with another sheet of plastic food wrap. Gently roll the pastry into a cylindrical shape.
  4. Store in refrigerator until needed for use. Keeps well for a maximum of one day.



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