To properly use puff pastry one must first know what it is and how it works. Puff pastry has four main ingredients: flour, butter, salt, and water. It has no leavener. Then what makes it rise up and airy? The way these ingredients are combined is the secret to this reaction.
So how is puff pastry dough made? The dough starts like pie crust as cold butter is added to the flour to a cornmeal consistency. When it comes together is when things get interesting. The dough is rolled around a wide chunk of butter. By a repeated procedure of folding, rolling, and turning, the butter is spread throughout the pastry making very many thin layers of dough with a thin film of butter between them. It is these butter layers that causes the dough to rise. Once the puff pastry is heated, the butter begins to melt and boil, making steam which lifts the many layers higher. Simultaneously the heat is baking the flour, hardening it around those tiny air pockets, making the puff.
Typical puff pastry expands 6 to 8 times once baked. Now let’s take a look at a few puff pastry recipes. First, we will look at a sample of puff pastry appetizers, then a main course recipe, and finally a sample of puff pastry desserts.
Puff Pastry Appetizers – Puffy Cheese Twists Recipe
If you are looking for a snack that your kids will love, this recipe will do the trick!
Puff pastry dough
A toppings like pesto, tomato sauce or chutney
Some grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp of all-purpose flour
First, place the puff pastry dough on a work surface to defrost. Preheat your oven to 350°. Now line a baking tray with some parchment paper. Spread the puff pastry with butter, your toppings of choice and then sprinkle with cheese. Fold the bottom edge of the puff pastry over to cover the ingredients, sprinkle some flour, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough back to original size. With a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, slice the dough into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Working with 1 strip at a time, hold an end in each hand and twist the strips at least two times in opposite directions to make a long spiral. Place it back on the sheet and repeat with other strips. Now bake the twists until they are puffed and golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
Main Meal – Puffy Bacon Cheeseburger Recipe
This recipe is ridiculously easy to make. Try varying it by using sausage instead of ground beef. Make thinner slices when making appetizer party snacks.
1 pound of ground beef
6 slices of chopped bacon
1 cup of diced sweet onion
1/2 cup of diced sweet red bell pepper
4 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 tsp of crushed dried oregano
1/2 tsp of dried basil
2 thinly sliced green onions with tops included
1/2 cup of ketchup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sheets of thawed puff pastry
2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese or any other cheese
1 lightly beaten egg white
First, preheat oven to 400 F. Now line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
Put the ground beef, bacon, and sweet onion in a deep skillet and sauté everything until bacon has melted its fat and onions slightly caramelized. Mix well. Begin to add the red bell pepper and garlic to the ground beef. Sauté for around 2 minutes. Now turn off the heat and stir in basil, oregano, green onions, and ketchup. Use salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Now place one sheet of puff pastry in between two sheets of plastic wrap. Roll out to a rectangle around 12 by 10 inches. Once done, remove the upper plastic wrap. Carefully spread half of the cooked ground beef mixture on puff pastry, leaving 1 inch borders on each of the four sides. Also sprinkle with half of the Cheddar cheese prepared. Using the bottom plastic wrap, roll the puff pastry and filling lengthwise into a tube. Make use of the lightly beaten egg white to seal the roll, gently pressing both ends to close. Holding by the plastic wrap, bring the roll onto the prepared jellyroll pan and position it seam-side down to avoid bursting once it expands. Duplicate the process with the other sheet of puff pastry.
Finally, brush the tops of the bacon cheeseburger rolls with the egg white. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they turn to a golden brown. Allow to rest for 10 minutes once you take them out, then slice each roll diagonally into 4 pieces to serve. Delicious!
Puff Pastry Desserts – Puff Pastry Lemon Mini Pies Recipe
Using puff pastry shells, some lemon pudding mix, and whipped cream, create this easy individual dessert pie recipe.
6 frozen Puff Pastry Shells
1 four-serving-size package of lemon pudding and pie filling
1 tsp of grated lemon zest
1 cup of sweetened whipped cream
For this recipe, prepare puff pastry shells and allow to bring to room temperature.
Next, put together pudding mix according to the directions on the packages as a pie filling. Mix in lemon zest and allow to bring to room temperature.
Now take off tops and any soft insides from the puff pastry shells. With a spoon, place about 1/3 cup lemon pudding into each puff pastry shell. Top each one with some whipped cream. Serve this immediately. If you pre-prepared this in advance, cover and refrigerate until serving time comes. You will not be disappointed with this puff pastry recipe!
Enjoy these puff pastry recipes, and learn more from other puff pastry cookbooks or by surfing the internet. You will definitely find the perfect recipe somewhere. That crusty, buttery, puff goodness is just a bite away!