Home LifeStyle How to use puff pastry: tips, recipes and more

How to use puff pastry: tips, recipes and more

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The good news is that frozen puff pastry offers all the beauty of puff pastry without all the hours of work. This type of puff pastry can be dressed in countless sweet and savory ways to create appetizers, artisanal cakes, main courses and quick and easy desserts. And it’s absolutely no shame to use frozen puff pastry: many chefs always keep a package handy to make puff pastry with cheese, pies, pizza and tarts. Frozen puff pastry is also great for home, as most recipes can be assembled beforehand and baked just before the party starts. If you are a beginner in frozen puff pastry or are looking for creative ways to cook and bake with it, read on for shopping and preparation tips.

Prepare the dough

Most frozen puff pastry comes in folded sheets. Allow the dough to thaw completely, either overnight in the refrigerator or for 45 minutes at room temperature before using. Roll out the dough lightly and, if you see cracks or holes, use your fingers – and a little water if necessary – to gently bring the dough back together.

To prevent sticking, roll the puff pastry over a lightly rolled surface using a lightly rolled dough. After that, gently wipe off the excess flour. If you make a sweet recipe, you can use sugar or cinnamon sugar instead of flour, and for recipes made with cheese, you can use finely grated cheese.

Be careful not to roll the puff pastry dough too thin, especially if you are making any kind of pizza or tart – the dough must be strong enough to support the toppings and remain crispy.

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Keep cool

Puff pastry is the easiest to make when it’s cold, so store leftovers you don’t use in the fridge, and if the dough gets too soft as you roll or cut it, simply put it in the fridge or freezer for to strengthen it. If you try to create a certain shape, keep the dough as cold as possible and it will be easier for you to make precise cuts. Use a sharp knife, a pizza wheel, a pastry cutter, or simple cake shapes, and if you’re looking for really straight lines, pull out a ruler, or use a straight-edged baking sheet as a guide.

Customize the foliage

If you are baking a pie or a tart crust and you want to prevent the inside from rising as much as the edges, use a fork to prick the surface of the dough (as you would a regular pie crust). The dough will still be light and airy – it just won’t have as many layers. If you need straight, even sheets, bake the puff pastry between two baking sheets so that it bakes into completely flat pieces.

Choose your fillings carefully

The puff pastry is delicate, so be careful not to overburden it with excessive toppings or ingredients that could release a lot of liquid and soften the dough. Be especially careful with sticky or spilly fillings that may spill and tangle the baking sheets. And no matter what you bake, line the baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat to prevent sticking.

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Make it shine

Just before baking, spread the puff pastry with an egg icing (a large beaten egg with about 1 teaspoon of water) to give it an attractive luster. Egg glaze can also be used as an edible glue to seal the edges; just apply a thin layer along the edges and press lightly.

Bake now or later

The puff pastry dough is best fresh out of the oven, so if possible, bake it in small quantities and serve immediately. If you like to have fun, keep in mind that most recipes can be assembled and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours and then baked just before the party. Some recipes may even be prepared, but not baked, well packaged, and frozen for a week or two. If you want to avoid last minute preparation and don’t mind sacrificing some of the puff pastry’s characteristic air, bake the puff pastry dough, then cool it completely and keep it in an airtight container at room temperature for a few hours. And if your dough gets too wet, simply put it in the oven for a short time to bring it back to life.

Save the leftovers

If you have pieces of puff pastry left over, combine them and spread them out to make palms or cheese trigons. Pastry leftovers will not swell as much and may be a little uneven, but this is less important for smaller shapes.

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