Baking & Beer | Puff the Magic Pastry
Updated: Aug 4
Ok guys. I was really hoping to post the recipe for a Galette des Rois on Baking & Beer today (It's our special January cake!), but let me tell you something: I have no photos of completed cakes to show you. As much as I would like to say that this is because my galettes are so delicious that they are gobbled up the moment they are released from the oven, the real reason is that I keep making these cakes to bring to friends' houses, and by the time the cake is done baking I'm running super late and have to go before I can take a photo. Sometimes the cake isn't even done baking when I realize I am going to be late and take it out of the oven anyway. Here's the crazy thing - the cake is totally prepared the night before (one of the great things about galettes is that you can let the unbaked cake sit in the fridge overnight, then simply bake it right before dinner), and I still can't get out of my damn house on time. The moral here is always tell Queer Martha to meet you 15 minutes before you actually want to see her. Don't worry. She'll be late.
Everything is ok, though, because this just means that I get to make more galettes.
Don't be afraid, though. Baking & Beer is still happening. We are splitting the galette des rois into a two-week special because there are two parts to a galette des rois and I have photos of the first part! The most important part of the cake is the frangipane - the creamy almond filling. Today we are going to be looking at the puff pastry that envelops the frangipane. You can buy puff pastry at the grocery store, of course, but here are three reasons why you should think about branching out a little and trying puff pastry at home:
1.) It's really not that hard! It takes a fair amount of time, but you often have to wait for store-bought puff pastry to thaw, so in the end it's basically the same amount of time you will never get back.
2.) The thing that makes puff pastry amazing is the butter. When you get store-bought puff pastry you don't get to choose the butter that goes in it. Get some fancy pants butter for your puff pastry and taste the difference.
3.) Every time you tell someone you made the puff pastry at home they will be impressed.
Bonus reason: all that rolling out of the dough totally pumps up your triceps.
Are you ready to GET PUFFED UP?
I'm serious that this is super easy. First get your flour. Dump in 500 grams (2 rounded cups) into the mixer bowl.
Now plop in 10 grams of salt (1 3/4 teaspoons):
And finally pour in 250 grams (a cup) or room temperature water.
Using your hook attachment - or your hands, I'm not going to stop you - mix the flour, salt, and water until all the flour is mixed in and it clumps together.
Take the dough out of the bowl and onto your work space. Form a ball with the dough (it is going to feel pretty compact), then slice an X in the top of the ball and open the ball up like a beautiful four-petaled flower. Put that shit in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, make a tower out of the 375 grams (1 2/3 cup) of butter that you are going to need. Remember, buy good butter for this recipe. It matters. I got Amish stuff from the Reading Terminal Market.
After you admired your tower, flatten the butter into a rectangle. To get an idea of size - you are going to put your butterectangle inside the dough. A 6-inch square is great.
Ok, I totally forgot to take a photo of this part, so I stole this photo from Amour de Cuisine. I also forgot to take any photos of my beer, so this is really more of a "Baking" post and not a "Baking & Beer" post, but you made it this far, so I guess you don't mind.
Roll out the petals of your dough ball so they form a cross. The petals should be wide and long enough to fold over the butter. Make sure to leave the center of the cross thicker than the petals. The butter needs some cusion. Once you have done this, place the butterectangle in the center and fold the petals over it.
Now you are home free. Roll out your butter burrito into a long rectangle...
...then fold the edges of the rectangle into thirds.
Then roll it out again!
Then fold it again!
Now put your folded dough in the fridge. Leave it there for 30 minutes. Go do something fun. Read a book. Talk to your spouse. Pet your cat. When 30 minutes have passed, do the same thing all over again!
Now put it back in the fridge for 30 minutes! Ok, you have to do that one more time. True puff pastry is folded over itself at least 6 times. It's worth it! That's what makes the dough so flakey and buttery.
After you folded it 6 times, stick it in the fridge, where it can live for a few days. You can make so many things out of this magic dough - croissants, palmiers, baklava... just go crazy. Or hang on a week and we'll make a galette des rois together!