Puff pastry

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Don't bother making it!

Jus Roll puff pastry
Dorset puff pastry

Save your time for something better: buy it ready rolled, or if you want a little more work, buy it in a block and roll it yourself.

I'm sure there are others but I've found Jus-Rol to be fine.

This is one of those really neat time saving tips!

Pre Rolled pastry sizes

The Jus-Rol pre rolled pasty and it's supermarket own brand clones are 300g (11 oz) and are 24 cm by 30 cm ( 9.5" by 11.8" )

Additives

I am not aware that Jus-Rol is one of the guilty parties referred to, but see the bottom of the packet of Dorset puff pastry. It is a little small to read, so I have reproduced it here:

  • The processing aid commonly used in commercial pastry production, E920 (the derivative of animal hair and feathers) which legally need not be disclosed, are not present in this product.

Flaky pastry/ Rough puff pastry

Flaky pastry is similar to puff pastry, the difference being that large lumps of shortening 2.5 cm (1") across, as opposed to a large rectangle of shortening, are mixed into the dough, which is then rolled and folded in a similar manner.

It uses large chunks of fat because when they melt in the oven, they give off steam and create layers, which make it flaky.

Flaky pastry is sometimes called quick puff pastry or blitz puff pastry or rough puff pastry.

Use ready rolled puff pastry as a substitute for any of the pastry types listed here.

For a quick and unusual pizza, try our Prawn puff pastry pizza

Rolling out

A pastry mat is a useful aid for this.

Puff pastry shrinkage

Don't trim close to the edge or your pastry will shrink, badly!

When trimming puff pastry to cover a pie leave an overlap of about 2.5cm (1") all the way around the pie dish. This will hang over and stop the pastry sinking into the pie filling; it will also prevent shrinkage. See example.

Puff pastry cooking times and temperatures

I'm always frustrated that pre-rolled and packaged puff pastry never has the cooking times and temperatures, they all blithely say "refer to your recipe", if you are like me, you often do not use a recipe!

From browsing through my cookbooks, my recipes and studying puff pastry manufacturers websites I've come up with a setting that should work for most recipes.

Normal oven (Convection oven)

Set the oven to 200° C (400° F - gas 6) and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes to 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes as it's easy to burn the edges from cooking for too long.

Fan oven (Fan assisted oven)

Set the oven to 180° C and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 to minutes to 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes as it's easy to burn the edges from cooking for too long.

Exceptions to this rule

Where the filling of the pastry is very moist or is cool and likely to lower the pastry cooking temperature inside the pie, the oven temperature should be the same, but you may need an extended cooking time of up to 40 minutes to ensure the pastry puffs up properly. Check regularly to ensure it does not burn. You can lay a sheet of tinfoil on over any areas that look as though they may get over cooked. This will prevent them from burning.


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