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Puff pastry help! It's all gone wrong

(10 Posts)
Jux Thu 30-Aug-12 15:48:51

The last time I made it was years ago and I can only remember the way we did it then, so I looked it up, found a Mary Berry recipe and now I have a mess of flour/water paste with a load of butter oozing out everywhere !!! I was a bit frustrated with it and scrunched it up into a ball.

DD has gone down the road to get more butter......

Is there anything I can do with the mess I have?

Sleepysand Fri 31-Aug-12 09:11:18

I doubt it - pastry doesn't like handling. if you can flour it enough to roll it, try baking it and see what happens - you can always make cream slices and dip the tops in chocolate...

Honestly, unless you have dietary needs that you are trying to avoid aggravating, I wouldn't bother with making puff pastry - it is so difficult. Bought stuff is really nice.

bakingaddict Fri 31-Aug-12 09:20:50

It could be that your kitchen is too warm, pastry doesn't like hot kitchens. If I want to make pastry I get up especially early 6-7.00am

Try and make shortbread biscuits, I dont have an exact recipe off the top of my head but i'm sure if you just put some more flour into the mixture to minimise the water content and then put it to rest in the fridge you should get something resembling shortbread dough

sieglinde Fri 31-Aug-12 09:44:58

Hi, do you mean the mess thing includes both the butter (beurrage) and the detrempe, the original dough? If so flatten it roughly, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes, and then take it out and fold it in thirds. Don't add more butter. Roll, fold again, and put back in freezer. Keep doing this at 30 minute intervals till you have made 6 turns. it won't be feather-light, but it should puff.

if you haven't added the beurrage, stick in freezer as above, flattened, but then take out and dot with small pieces of butter, not a slab, over 2/3 of surface. Fold in 3, and roll. Redot and refold. Back in freezer as above. Message me if this is unclear.

Mary Berry sucks donkey butt as a patissier, btw. You want Sherry Yard or Sarabeth Levine. Or even Mastering the Art of French Cooking. American baking books are much more detailed and you want that detail to avoid harm..

Jux Fri 31-Aug-12 18:42:32

Thank you all! Yes it was the mess of d'trempe and butter, as all the butter leaked out during the second roll. This was because I had not made the detrempe properly because the book said to use far too little butter in the initial mix (I was converting quantities, but checked it time and time again). The kitchen was cold as I'd opened the windows specially!

Anyway, I made more which was perfect. DH is eulogising about it still!

I made tarte tatin. It was delicious. I am very proud of myself as I have nothing which goes on the hob and in the oven.

The Mess is still in the fridge, so I shall freeze it, try to roll it (don't hold out much hope, tbh) and see what happens.

Thanks for suggestions of decent books, too. Will check them out.

Jux Fri 31-Aug-12 18:45:08

When I say the butter 'leaked' OUt, mean it splodged out. It wasn't remotely melting, barely soft. sad

Anyway, I really enjoyed doing it (especially as I had some Jus Rol in the freezer anyway!).

sieglinde Sat 01-Sep-12 08:37:45

So the beurrage broke through the detrempe? Sometimes that means the detrempe and/or the beurrage are TOO cold. Was the beurrage stiff when it broke out, or squishy? If the latter, which you imply, the detrempe is the most likely problem, not moist enough or flexible enough - nb. I always use strong flour 2:1 in puff, as it makes a stronger and more flexible detrempe. But you can still make it into layers as suggested above.

Bin the Berry book!

On the recipe, often if quantities are awry it's a sign that the book is crappity crap. as said, try the US books and Mastering the Art of, where the recipes have been triple tested!

Really glad you got something on the table - good luck with the rerolling.

Jux Sat 01-Sep-12 12:47:53

Yes, sieglinde, you are exactly right. I was a bit doubtful about the detrempe, as it was sooooo crumbly and not really stretchy at all, but foolishly pushed ahead anyway. Partly because the method was so different from the method I remembered (not using all the butter in one lump, but adding a few lumps in each folding and rolling, gradually building up the amount of butter. Mum and Gran were both fabulous cooks, and this is what they did.).

The book is indeed crap. It has wrong page numbers too. That alone should have warned me!

tb Sat 22-Sep-12 13:41:41

I found a recipe on the internet that worked really well.

One of the things it said to do was to cut a cross in the ball of dough (detrempe?) and then roll out the flaps formed to make a 4-pointed star, that had a bump in the middle. Then when you put the butter on top, and folded the flaps in to cover it, this would also have a thicker bit in the middle.

This is the only way I've found to make puff pastry that 'puffs', as all other methods have resulted in flaky pastry. Nice, but not what I was trying to achieve.

Jux Sat 22-Sep-12 16:38:19

I've seen recipes which do that! I'll try it next time. (So exciting learning a new thing - even if it's only pastry making!)

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