Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Vols au Vent

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
caramelized apples



The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

2 comments:

Amanda said...

So impressed with everyone and their puff pastry skillz this month! I really need to get back on the Daring Baker horse. : /

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I bow down before you. I love puff pastry-- especially the frozen kind that I find at Trader Joe's during the holidays. Making it seems like so much work. You just confirmed it. Kudos to you for even doing it!
Debby
PS: Thanks for stopping by my blog!