Of course, every baker could whip up a perfect batch of puff pastry on a cool day by working flour, salt, water, and butter into a glorious dough, but sometimes (SHHH!), in a pinch, it is faster and easier to begin with packaged, frozen puff pastry sheets and transform them into magical culinary creations packed with WOW power.
Today we will explore the tips and tricks of using store-bought puff pastry sheets. Often found in the freezer section of your local grocery store, these puff pastry sheets can be thawed and transformed into savory and sweet treats that guarantee big smiles.
Are you ready to WOW with puff pastry? Try these tricks and tips.
Puff pastry is incredibly versatile and can be shaped into bowls, crusts, twists, rolls, and so much more. Try these five preparation tips and techniques to get your imagination started, then bake as directed by your chosen recipe. Topping raw puff pastry with egg wash will create a beautiful golden color in the finished piece.
- Twisted strips. Unroll pastry sheets onto clean work surface. Cut into one-inch strips. Sprinkle liberally with the seasonings of your choice. Try cinnamon and sugar mixture or a fresh blend of seasonal minced herbs, garlic, and grated hard cheese. Twist each strip. Arrange on baking sheet spaced two inches apart.
- Using a flat pastry sheet, cover with desired filling, leaving a 1 1/2-inch buffer at the edges. Roll pastry sheet tightly. Slice roll in one-inch sections and lay each section on baking pan spaced two inches apart, pinching end slightly. This technique is perfect for preserves, cinnamon sugar and nut mix, mushroom duxelles, or fresh herbs and cheese.
- Lay one pastry sheet on baking pan. Cut second pastry sheet into four long strips. Twist each long strip and arrange on first pastry sheet as a connected, decorative border. Pinch corners together. Baste with egg wash and bake. Try layering a whipped, sweetened cream cheese base with fresh fruit and mint leaves. Or fill center with savory ingredients and a light sauce, then bake until golden and puffy.
- Using a large round cutter, create circles in the pastry sheet. Arrange on baking pan. Cut a second circle, then within that circle, use a smaller round cutter to create a smaller circle opening. Place cutout circle on top of first dough round. After baking, fill cups with warm savory stew, curries, or a thick vegetable dish such as ratatouille.
- Square twists. Cut squares in the puff pastry sheets. Grasping opposing corners, twist pastry and position on baking pan.
Because of pastry thickness variations, watch baking time closely until baked goods are golden brown and flaky. Cool for several minutes on rack.Baker’s Bits: To create an egg wash, simply crack an egg into a small bowl, add 1 Tablespoon of water and mix well. Brush egg wash over raw pastry before baking. Stay tuned to our blog in the coming months for the recipe to create your own puff pastry from scratch.