So this month's recipe was Vols au Vent. This is pretty much a puff pastry cup for assorted fillings. The real thing for this challenge was the puff pastry.
The way puff pastry works is you have a dough with thin layers of butter in between. The dough needs to stay cool so that the butter stays solid. You start with a layer of dough surrounding a thick layer of butter. Then you roll it out and fold it over so the layers of dough/butter get progressively thinner. Each time you fold it into 3rds. With 6 turns, you get 3^6 or 729 layers of butter. Then when you bake it, the moisture in the butter (butter is about 20% water) evaporates and forms steam, which causes the dough to puff.
I was a little worried how it would come out when I made the dough. I guess I added way too much water so the dough was really sticky. As in almost batter type sticky. So then I had to add flour.
Then the recipe said very cold butter so I took the butter from the freezer. That was a bad idea. When I went to roll it out, the dough was soft and the butter was hard so then the butter tore right through the dough. So I let it warm up a bit to let the butter soften and tried to fold the dough around it.
I managed to get it together but between the wet dough and the over kneading, the dough ended up getting overworked. My puff pastry actually had some chewiness to it. I am not sure how I feel about this. The flavor was decent.
I am not convinced it was worth the effort and all the cleaning of flour off every surface of my kitchen. Oh well. Maybe I will make it again just to say I can do it right.
These were the toppings I chose:
Caramelized Mushrooms and Onions
Smoked salmon cream cheese