What is flaky, buttery and can be made ahead of time without too much effort? What can be rolled out and stuffed with your desired savory or sweet filling when you want to treat yourself to something special? What comes in handy when unexpected guests stop by for afternoon tea?
The answer is "Puff Pastry Dough" --something I always hold very close to my "taste buds". You can pull it out of the freezer, roll it out and stuff with beef to make a beef wellington, with apple pie filling to make a pastry anytime or wrap some mushroom and cheese to indulge in an appetizer craving you may have:)
1 pound flour (3 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound( 4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups ice water
a squeeze of lemon juice
How to make and freeze the pastry dough:
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl(I used the kitchenaid since I find it easier than using cold butter and my fingers). Mix together 6 tablespoons of butter. Bind to a fairly soft dough with as much ice water as you need, adding the lemon juice and kneading lightly. Roll into a 12 inch square.
Form the remaining butter into an oblong block. It should be soft but firm. Place on one half of the pastry square and fold the pastry over to close it, sealing the edges with a rolling pin. Rib by pressing the rolling pin across the top at intervals. (Mine resembled an empanada without the edges crimped. But the rolling pin helps spread the butter block out inside the pastry like a filling)
Turn the pastry so that the fold is to the right, and roll out into a strip three times as long as it is wide. Fold the bottom third upward and the top third downward evenly. Seal the edges and chill in a plastic bag for 30 minutes. (I chilled in the refridgerator)
Repeat this process five more times, always keeping the fold on the right side. Chill overnight or for at least 1 hour before the final rolling. The pastry is noe ready to use.
I made the time to roll my pastry and later packed it in wax paper and a ziplock bag. The versatility of the pastry adds flexibility for me. Now I can freeze it until I am ready to create my own hearty recipes and I will be back soon with more grub......