Well needless to say, the Great British Bake off has gotten us bakers glued to the TV once again. I find myself no different. For my next venture with baking I thought of giving a shot to any one of Paul Hollywood’s own recipes and something that was tried on the series itself. As I browsed through recipes on the website, I finalized on Paul’s Rough Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls, but to give it my own twist I have made these into Mini Mince Puffs. This makes it my first attempt at making pastry at home and also my very first savoury dish for the blog.
Pastry making had not bothered me until I watched the earlier episodes of The Great British Bake Off and there was a comment that goes “Pastry making is one of the toughest baking techniques”. Finding this challenging I began looking up for recipes and tips that would help ease the process.
Recipes online probably dont mention this but for those who would like to attempt making pastry at home, here at my tips to keep in mind based on my experience :
1. Always stick to precise measurment of ingredients.
2. “Heat is the enemy of pastry”. One of the contestants on the series mentioned this during the pastry making round and it really is.
Firstly, always keep the butter chilled and cubed for use. While some baking recipes prefer room temperature butter, pastry on the other hand requires only chilled butter. This eases the crumbing step. Also remember to not over work the dough as this causes heat. Also if working on smaller pies or puffs that will require time in forming, ensure the pastry is always cool. Work on smaller portions of dough and keep the rest refigerated if needed.
3. Pastry dough can stay until the next day if cling wrapped and refigerated.
4. During the egg wash stage of the recipe, do not apply excess beaten egg on the pastry specially sides. This would prevent it from rising well.
5. My mom always says confidence is essentially required by a baker, and I agree. Hopefully, simple tips like these will really help in making your pastry experience better. Heres the recipe of Paul Hollywood that I followed for my Mini mince puffs.
225 gms plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
200 gms butter chilled and cut in cubes
180 ml chilled water
1/2 lemon, juice only
1. In a large bowl, sift together plain flour and salt. Add butter cubes to this. Using hands, crumble together the flour and butter.
2. Mix water and lemon juice together in a cup and gradually add to the flour and butter mixture. Pour water until dough comes together.
3. Tip dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into a rectangle roughly about 30cmX20cm. With the pastry on surface, fold the bottom third portion of the dough onto the middle or the second third. Then fold the upper third in the same way onto the centre. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for ten minutes.
4. Remove pastry from fridge and roll once again into same proportions and fold in the same way as mentioned earlier.This helps in making the pastry layers. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes. Repeat the same step once again and after the last folding stage, cling wrap pastry and refrigerate for two hours.
5. After the pastry is set, roll it out flat and cut into circles. Stuff with savoury filling of your choice. I made my mini puffs using a pre prepared beef mince mixture.
6. Fold pastry puffs and close the edges properly.
7. Line puffs on a baking tray keeping enough space between each to bake.
8. Prepare egg wash by beating an egg in a separate bowl. Using a brush, apply egg wash to the top portions of the puffs on the baking tray.
9. In a pre heated oven at 180° C, bake puffs until golden brown and crisp.
10. Serve warm and enjoy. 🙂
Until my next baking venture, happy baking and have a lovely weekend 🙂