27 September 2009

Daring Bakers get Puffy!

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.

Ingredients :

2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp. salt
300 ml ice water
454 g very cold unsalted butter

Method :

01. Measure out flour.

02. Add in salt.

03. Put in a food processor.

04. Add water slowly while processing.

05. Continue until a dough is formed (with a sort of play dough feel to it).

06. On a clean, damp tea towel, form the dough into a ball.

07. Cross hatch the top of the dough.

08. Wrap the dough in the tea towel and leave in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

09. Place the butter between two pieces of cling film.

10. Flatten the butter to about 1 inches in height.

12. Put the butter back in the fridge to chill.

13. Remove dough from fridge, and on a lightly flour dusted counter, roll into a 10 inch square.

14. Rolling from the middle out, make "flaps" on each side of the square.

15. Remove the butter from the fridge and place in the centre of the dough square.

16. Wrap the flaps to completely enclose the butter.

17. Return to the fridge for a further 10 to 15 minutes.

18. Remove from fridge and place again on a lightly flour dusted counter.

19. Roll into a 24 inch rectangle.

20. Fold the top 8 inches towards the centre.

21. Fold the bottom 8 inches into the centre.

22. Turn the dough 90 degrees.

23. Repeat steps 19 to 22 to get at least 6 turns, putting the dough in the fridge between each two turns for 15 to 20 minutes.

24. Using 1/3 of the dough, roll to about 1/8 inch thick.

25. Cut out rounds and edges with cookie cutters.

24. Using an egg wash, wash the base, and prick with a fork.

25. Add an edge, then egg wash the top of it only.

26. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

27. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

28. Place the vols au vent in the oven with a piece of parchment across the top to keep them rising evenly. I managed to forget this part, and ended up with sideways ones!

29. After 10 to 15 minutes, or when they've started to brown, remove the parchment and turn the oven down to 170 degrees Celsius.

30. After 15 to 20 minutes, or when they look browned and done, remove from oven and allow to cool.

31. If you've found that you're middle has risen (like mine did), simply use a sharp knife to remove the risen part, to give a well in the centre.

32. Add whipped cream.

33. Add sliced strawberries, and hey presto, some lovely dessert vol au vent!

I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge, despite it taking the best part of two days to complete. And I intend on using the rest of the dough to make more vols au vent and perhaps they will rise properly next time!

20 September 2009

Back to the grind...

Well it's been a long summer, but I'm back.

Things to look forward to in the next month or so...

- The latest Daring Bakers challenge
- Previous Daring Bakers challenges, including Dobos Torte, Bakewell Tart, Strudel, Mallows and Milan Cookies
- New weight watcher friendly recipes

See you on the 27th!