Thursday, March 25, 2010

Forgive Me For I Have Sinned

I belong to this group called "Baked from Scratch" and every once in a while we are permitted to fall off the wagon so to speak.  So with that said forgive me fellow bakers but I needed something in a hurry for a breakfast this morning and yes I waited until the last minute. But that seems to be the story of my life this week.  My rationalization is that at least I didn't run off to the grocery store and pick up a pre-packaged something or other-like 10 day old cinnamon rolls.  I did use quality ingredients for my cheating Palmiers.  Since I didn't have the time to make my own puff pastry dough I defrosted some "just in case of emergency" puff pastry dough I had in the freezer.  It's Dufour Pastry Kitchens Classic Puff Pastry. And according to the packaging it's made with the finest churned sweet butter-something else I didn't have the time to do. What you don't churn your own butter ?   The New York Times quote on the cover is " One of the best sources for top quality puff pastry." and Details Magazine states : "The most buttery and flaky pastry you will ever find."  It also has a gold seal on the cover showing it was a Winner at the International Fancy Food Show !  So as you can see I at least tried to use the best pre made puff pastry !  See how good I am at rationalization ?
And if that wasn't enough reason for me to rationalize I found that one of my baking idols Dorie Greenspan had a recent recipe using pre made puff pastry dough.  She has two recipes on her web site , a sweet version and a savory version.  Ok, I'm off the hook,if Dorie can do it then so can I !

I rolled the pastry out to 18inches length on a cinnamon sugared surface.  Once I had the width I was looking for -about 4-6inches, I sprinkled more cinnamon sugar over the dough and folded it using a four fold (check out the video below to see how to do that).  I placed this in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.  After it's little pastry nap I took it out and sliced off even rounds for the baking sheets.  I cut them about 3/4" wide-I wanted small dainty little Palmiers.  I placed them about 2 inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkled them with another light dusting of the cinnamon sugar.

Note to myself, don't mess with the basic Palmier shape !

Bake in a 375F oven on the center shelf.
Baking time is approximately 20-30 minutes.

About halfway thru the baking-after about 12 minutes-I took the pan out and carefully flipped the Palmiers and sprinkled more sugar on them. You don't have to flip them-if you don't, you end up with one side shiney from the carmelized sugar and once side with more of a matte finish.  I like the matte finish and I like the little crunchy trim that forms from the carmelized sugar when I flip them.  If you do flip them-do so carefully-carmelized sugar is very very hot !
You want to watch them carefully until they turn that lovely French Pastry shade of golden brown. Not white with brown highlites,not dark brown but that lovely just took them out of the oven in time French Pastry Golden Brown.

Note to you: Bake them through to the centers-otherwise you will have a dough pastry and really if its doughy you shouldn't even label it pastry but compost .
And you will be tempted to bite into one immediately-not a good idea unless you plan on not eating for a few days due to serious carmelized sugar burns on your tongue-and besides it's not a pretty site when you greet your loved ones !

And for all of you baking purists-come on I know you are out there-here is my recipe for Blitz Puff Dough-which is what I would have used if I had the time !

Blitz Puff Dough

1/2 lb bread flour
1/2 lb pastry flour
1 lb unsalted butter-cold & chilled
1/4 oz salt
8 oz cold water
Add the salt to the water and set aside.
Mix the flours together.
Cut in the cold butter-leaving large 1 inch lumps.
Add in the salted water and mix with the dough hook until absorbed.  You will still have chunks of butter in the dough and that is a very good thing.

Let the dough rest for 15 minutes covered.
Roll the dough into a rectangle 24"x15"
Give the dough three 4 folds,one after another,no resting.
For the Palmiers:
Roll to about 2 1/2mm thickness into a rectangular shape.
Dust the table with your cinnamon sugar,place the dough on top of that and sprinkle the top of the dough with more sugar. Using a rolling pin roll the dough out ensuring at least one side is 18" in length.  Trim with a french knife and fold into a four-fold. Freeze for 1/2 hour before cutting the Palmiers 3/4" in width.

I found a great instructional video for using pre made puff pastry -if you haven't made Palmiers before check this out-it's very well done !

How To Make Palmiers

1 comment:

bellini valli said...

Palmiers are definitely a treat. I love the ones I find at the Italian grocers even if they are storebought!