Admit it, you’ve joined the baking club recently, and you’re very much into puff pastry. But it doesn’t work out so well all the time. There are some puff pastry mistakes you might be making, so here is how you can improve.
Puff pastry mistakes can ruin your delicious baked goods. And it’s quite a shame because frozen puff pastry should be a pleasure for you and an easy way to put food and dessert on the table. From thawing and letting it rest, from not overworking and molding it when it has the right consistency to baking it properly and making sure that the butter is not too melted, there are plenty of details to pay attention to.
And no matter how well we cook, there’s always room for improvement. Here’s how you can improve on puffy, crunchy, golden pastries!
7 puff pastry mistakes to avoid
1. Trying to make it from scratch when you don’t have time
It’s very time consuming and an arduous task. And I know that usually, it’s better to work with homemade items because they’re healthier and filled with much more love. But when it comes to puff pastry, it’s much simpler to go for the frozen store-bought one.
2. Not picking the right puff pastry
If things are going wrong with your baked goods, it might be because there’s not enough butter in your puff pastry. There are plenty of varieties out there with vegetable shortening or ones where the butter is cut with vegetable oil. And butter is needed and necessary for a perfect look and excellent flavor. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions, go for full-on butter madness puff pastry. It’s so worth it!
3. You’re not thawing it correctly
Don’t let it sit at room temperature for too long. You should thaw your puff pastry by taking it out of the freezer and letting it in the fridge overnight until it’s nice to work with. Also, whatever you do, don’t put it back in the freezer if you haven’t had time to cook with it.
If you leave it at room temperature for too long, the pastry will lose its texture and will be almost impossible to work with. If and when it gets too soft, put it back in the fridge for half an hour. It will regain its pliability.
4. You don’t work with it immediately
After thawed, you should make your pastry as soon as possible. And not doing it is one of the most common puff pastry mistakes. The best window is a 24-hour one. During which you should keep the puff pastry in your refrigerator. After that, the pastry loses its freshness and nice taste.
5. You don’t freeze it a little before baking
Seems a bit weird, but it works! After you’re done shaping or filling your pastries, place them in a freezer for a few minutes. Thanks to the cold, the butter will melt slower. This means that you have better odds that your pastries retain the shape you intended.
6. You’re not using egg wash when needed
Some baked goods need a “seal” before going into the oven. This happens when you stick together the different parts of the puff pastry, like for any kind of stuffed goodies. Egg wash is that amazing seal, made by whisking an egg or two and maybe mixing it with a little water or milk. Experiment freely! But the egg wash brushed on the pastries is also the key to the golden color of the finished product.
7. You don’t vent the dough
When you’re making a pastry with a large filling, you need to help the steam escape when baking. So before popping in the oven, prick the unbaked puff pastry all over with a fork. This will also get you a thin and crispy pastry. And it will help you eliminate some of the puff. It is a problem of personal preference though.