Baking - General, Education/Classes, Recipe

Blitz Puff Pastry

Anyone who has ever tried to make an authentic laminated dough knows that it is a lot of work, requiring time, muscles and patience. It’s not something you want to do everyday, but for special occasions it is a treat to have those croissants or danishes, so light and crispy (light in weight, not calories!) But we don’t always have the time or energy to devote to the whole process for laminated doughs.

A few weeks ago I took a class at King Arthur Flour on blitz puff pastry, a short-cut when you need a laminated dough in a hurry. It’s not quite as effective as a true laminate dough, or as pleasing to the mouth in my opinion, but it’s a reasonable subsitute. Instead of making the dough and folding the fat in, the butter is simply cut into the dough like a pie dough, except the butter is left in bigger chunks. As the pastry bakes those chunks of butter melt and create steam, which helps the dough to rise and creates the effect of puffy, crispy pastry.

The dough has 1 1/2 c. flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 c. cold unsalted butter (cubed) and 1/2 c. sour cream. Continue reading “Blitz Puff Pastry”

Baking - General, Education/Classes

King Arthur Flour Indulgences

I have the great fortune this year of living just down the road from a renowned American baking supply store, King Arthur Flour. They sell baking utensils, equipment and ingredients, as well as running a cafe and classes. I recently attended a demo and hands-on class called Indulgences taught by guest instructor Sarah Copeland of the Food Network. The recipes she covered are from her new cookbook, The Newlywed Cookbook. At the demo class we got to see and sample four of her recipes: Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Smoked Sea Salt, Olive Oil Cake with Tangerine Marmalade, Thousand Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Black and White Cookies. The next day we got to make and take home the Thousand Layer and Black and White cookies she had demonstrated, as well as a Lazy Chef’s Fruit Torte. Everything was very straightforward, made from basic, but delicious ingredients, and usually with a little something unexpected to surprise your tastebuds. Continue reading “King Arthur Flour Indulgences”