Puff pastry

It is a crispy pastry made with maida (flour) and butter and stuffed with some vegetables or any meat and then it is baked. This is a snack which we usually use to have in the evening between 4pm to 6pm. We use to have it with tea. From school days to college days, we use to have it. We get vegetable puff or chicken or mince meat or egg puffs.

As I was missing these puffs very much, one day I planned to make these puffs as here in the UK we do not get puffs as we get in India.

Ingredients

  • Plain flour (maida) - 250 gms
  • Butter (lightly melted) - 50 gms
  • Butter - 200 gms
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Cold water - 125 ml to 130 ml/li>

Method

You can mix it manually or in a food processor. I have used food processor. If you do it with hand, just make it like a dough like how you make it for chapathis but the dough should be a little softer.

Manual

  • Sift the flour and salt in a wide bowl. Add 50 gms of butter. Use your hand to mix the butter into the flour.
  • When it starts to look and feel like crumbs, add cold water slowly in regular intervals.
  • When the mixture comes together to form a dough, put onto a clean floured surface and knead the dough briefly to get to a soft dough. Spread it well, with your hand and make marks on your dough horizontally and vertically. This is to make air to circulate and will make it flakier. Wrap it into a cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Food processor

  • Sift the flour and salt in a bowl. Put this in a food processor, add 50 gms of melted butter (but lightly) and start and let it run until you get to the crumbs. Then slowly add water in intervals, first add little by little for the first 100ml, then add 25ml to 30ml again, keep running the food processor until you get a dough like ball. If you get the soft dough at 100ml water itself, you can stop it.
  • Spread the dough nicely with your hand, on a cold surface (put flour on the surface). This will make your dough flakier. Make marks horizontally and vertically, which will give you square shapes (like shapes on a tortoise shell).
  • Wrap it in a cling film or any plastic cover. Keep it in the fridge for more than 1 hour.

Making the puff pastry

  • Take out the dough from the fridge and roll it out into a rectangle with the long sides running horizontally.
  • Now keep the whole butter, which is flattened with your hand or with a rolling pin (it should be in normal or room temperature and not in a melted form), in between the rectangular dough and fold it. First fold from two sides and then the other two sides. It will be like a square or rectangle.
  • Sprinkle some flour again, roll the dough again into a rectangle with the long sides running horizontally.
  • Fold the top third of the rectangle down over the dough. Then fold the bottom third of the rectangle up over the dough, so the edges of the folded dough touch.
  • Now fold the left edge of the dough over to meet the right edge and press it lightly.
  • Wrap it in cling film and keep it in the fridge for 1/2 hour so that the butter is set again.
  • You have to repeat this process 8 to 10 times. In between you have to wrap it and keep it in the fridge as the butter can melt.
  • Do the process once or twice and keep it in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. If the dough is not set, keep for more than 1/2 hour. Now your puff pastry is ready to use.
  • Roll the dough as long as you can but not too thin. It should be little thick and cut it with knife to whatever shapes you want - rectangle, circle, triangle. Then stuff it with any vegetables and bake it. Have a look at this Vegetable puffs recipe.
  • You should try this recipe. The puffs came out so well for me that it was much better than what you get in the shops - buttery taste, melting in my mouth. All my friends liked it very much. Hard work paid off - the end result was just fantastic.

Notes

  • You can keep the slices of pastry into freezer bags and keep it in the freezer and can use whenever you want. You can keep this for more than 20 days.
  • If you are making dough with your hand and not in a food processor, then knead the dough nicely with your hand. Do the same process as done with the food processor.
  • You should not knead the dough for a long time as the butter will melt. So keep it in the fridge for intervals to keep the butter set.
  • This puff pastry gives you 17 to 18 medium size puffs.
  • You can use any stuffing, any dry masala like chana masala, egg masala, mince meat masala, vegetable masala or any sweet.
  • Pre-heat the oven nicely for 10 to 15 minutes, then at 240 degree celcius (high temperature), cook it for 20 minutes in the oven. No need to turn.
  • When the puff is ready, keep it on the mesh or grill, so that the bottom does not become soft and wet (the hot steam becomes water and makes it soggy) and to make it stay crispy all through.

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