Wow – what can’t you do with this stuff? Today in class we made a variety of treats – sweet and savory – with puff pastry dough. Everything was very delicious. But how can you go wrong with a dough made from equal parts butter and flour? I gathered from my earlier culinary classes that the French are masters of finding ways to incorporate butter into anything and everything. This tops it all. Somehow they figured out how to fold a large two pound cube of butter into a two pound mass of dough. Then they figured out how to roll and fold it in such a way to create over 700 layers of flour and butter in the final dough. Pastry chefs love this stuff. They have created a large variety of treats from puff pastry dough. Many decorative treats on display bakeries I have seen here in NY are made from this dough.
We attempted about nine different ones today. We cut shapes out of the dough and sprinkled them with cinnamin sugar before baking. We made long twists of dough with parmesan cheese and and herbs sprinkled on. We cut circles and layered them on top of each other with sweet filling in between. We braiding long cuts of dough to create the treat pictured below. The most elaborate, and delicious creation was the apple pastry pictured above and below.
My pet peeve about this stuff is the amount of time it takes to make. It took an entire class, four hours, last week to make the dough. Seems to me like a lot of work. The big pay-off was today. I would not recommend anyone attempt to make this dough at home without demonstration or full assistance from a professional. It is tricky and easy to botch if you do not know what you are doing. Even if you do, like my class, many doughs break, tear, or become misshapen beyond use. Very frustrating after hours of work. If I ever use puff pastry in the future – it will most likely be from the freezer section of my grocery store.
Nutrition Facts 1 oz of puff pastry
- Calories: 154
- Total Fat: 11 grams
- Total Carbs: 13 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
The Good: Tasty and has many uses. It provides a small amount of B vitamins from the enriched flour. Butter provides vitamin A, E, D and K (all of the fat soluble vitamins) – but you have to consume a large amount of butter (and therefore many many calories) to get these vitamins in a significant quantity.
The Bad: Very high in fat and calories. If homemade – it is saturated fat from butter with cholesterol. If it is store-bought, it maybe a margarine and therefore lower in cholesterol and saturated fat, but still high in total fat. It provides very little nutrition and can easily contribute to weight gain and cholesterol.
Recommendations: This is a true indulgence. Not meant for regular consumption, or in large quantities. Enjoy it on special occasions in moderation. The frozen dough is the most convenient. Fresh homemade dough tastes better, so try ordering your treats from a good bakery to experience puff pastry in all of its glory.