Puff pastry is a light, flaky, leavened pastry containing several layers of fat which is in solid state at 20 °C (68 °F). In raw form, puff pastry is dough which is spread with solid fat and repeatedly folded and rolled out (never mashed, as this will destroy layering) and used to produce the aforementioned pastries. It is sometimes called a “water dough” or détrempe.
The gap that forms between the layers are a result of the puff pastry rising as the water evaporates into steam during the baking process. Piercing the dough will prevent excessive puffing, and crimping along the sides will prevent the layers from flaking all of the way to the edges.
I love puff pastry, but not only when is in the form of a palmier or a Danish or a croissant, turnovers not even when it is a savory one. It’s the magic combination that from a solid bloc once rolled and shaped in the oven will rise and became all flaky. I love the sound of the word PUFF don’t know for which reason but I found it very comforting and when you look inside the oven while cooking and see how it rise, oh man is so relaxing. Definitely I am going mental.
One thing for sure, I never ever attempted to make my own one…I do buy already made from the shop; I do my own short crust, but never the puff.
So yesterday I had this puff pastry in my fridge since a while and I didn’t want to waste so, I thought that maybe instead of a savory pastry I could prepare a more rewarding especially in the morning with my coffee, palmiers, that little caramelized and sugary biscuits, if we want to call them biscuits, that are so old fashion in my opinion but still very nice.
I remember when I was in Rome and still a student, my Saturdays afternoon with my best friend Veronica, strolling in Via del Corso and all the little side road, until we stopped in front of “our favorite” bar/patisserie where we used to buy this palmiers or shortbread and then keep walking and walking normally we were walking home to make amend for that little sweet sin we committed. Anyway, yesterday to relax, because I was tired, and yes when I am tired or nervous I relaxed cooking, I’ve decide to bake some palmiers. Nothing major or extremely difficult, what I think I did wrong instead, is have been using the cinnamon with the sugar to give more flavor. I have put just a little bit in the sugar….but I ended up after finish to bake the last batch, feeling very dizzy…and stoned, I never ever ever imagined could happen with the “cinnamon”…and I am still feeling funny!
So what do you need for these easy peasy baking sessions are:
- 3/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
- Puff Pastry
- Prepare the Puff Pastry – meaning defrost your jus-roll one
- Sprinkle work surface with the sugar. Place the puff pastry on top and roll continually sprinkling with additional sugar to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Working quickly but gently, rolls each long end to the center of the pastry, making sure to roll tightly and evenly. Freeze rolled log for 20 minutes, until very firm but not frozen. Slice crosswise into 3/8-inch slices. Roll over each palmier with a rolling pin to lightly flatten, and sprinkle the center of each with more sugar. Place palmiers 2 inches apart on water-sprayed baking sheets. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 218/233° gas mark 7/8, I know seems to hot, but as Martha Stewart used to say “hot oven cold pastry”. Bake palmiers 4 to 6 minutes, until golden on the underside. Flip with a spatula, pressing down to flatten if palmiers seem to be unrolling. Bake 2 to 4 minutes more, watching carefully, until golden and crisp. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely
Enjoy your palmiers with a cup of coffee or a nice cup of tea. Have a nice weekend!