Cheese Straws with Homemade Puff Pastry
At my final French Pastry Class at Cook Street this weekend, I learned how to make cream puffs, eclairs and all kinds of wonderful things with homemade puff pastry. We made Palmiers, Pesto Palmiers and Cheese Straws. I took pictures while we made the cheese straws so I could share the experience with you.
After learning how to make my own puff pastry I have decided it is important to always have some in my freezer. That way when I know guests are coming over I can thaw it and make lovely Palmiers or Cheese Straws in about 45 minutes. What could be better?
12 oz. puff pastry (store-bought or homemade, see recipe below)
about 3/4 c. shredded cheese
1 to 2 t. herbs or other seasonings
egg wash (one egg beaten with a pinch of salt)
Roll out the puff pastry to about an 1/8 inch thick. Brush the egg wash over the surface. Sprinkle cheese and various herbs or spices over the top half of the dough. I added carraway seeds and smoky sea salt. Fold the bottom half of the dough over the top half and gently roll the cheese into the dough. Slice into long strips with a pizza cutter.
Twist each strip and lay on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper Lightly top with more egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Puff Pastry – will make about 2 lbs. of puff pastry
12 oz. all-purpose flour
4 oz. cake flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 lb. cold unsalted butter
8 to 10 oz. water
1 T. lemon juice (prevents graying of dough)
Add the lemon juice to the water. Place the flours and salt in a bowl and rub in 2 oz. of the butter into the flour, create a well in the center of the flour and add about half of the water. Mix together with your hands and slowly add more water until the dough is moist enough to come together. Once you are able to create a nice (not too wet) ball of dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Cut the remaining cold butter into 3 or 4 chunks and rub in flour dusted on the counter top. Beat the butter with a rolling-pin until about 1/2 inch think and flat. Lay the rested dough on the floured counter top and roll into a square about an inch thick. Roll each corner out into a flap about 1/2 inch thick leaving the center of the dough thick. Place the pounded butter in the thicker center of the dough and fold up the thinner flaps over the butter to create a smaller square. Make sure all the butter is covered with dough.
A good demonstration of this step is here. It’s about 5 minutes in.
Roll this dough out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Fold the dough into a book by folding each shorter end in to meet in the center and then fold the dough in half creating a book with a spine. Turn the spine of the book to your left if not already and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick again. Fold into a book again and chill for at least one hour. Roll the dough out three more times in the same manner. If during the rolling the butter starts to ooze out it is too warm and needs to get in the refrigerator to chill some more before rolling. Fold one last time after the final fourth roll and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 4 days (or can be frozen at this point for several months).
April 7, 2013
This entry was posted in appetizers, baking, brunch and tagged cheese, cheese straws, Cook Street, egg wash, puff pastry.
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