Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homemade PUFF PASTRY...challenging but delicious

The dough started out as a sticky, shaggy mess

Patience, and a good amount of flour, allowed me to pat it out into a rough rectangle

Measured carefully, it was folded over itself and rolled out flat again, several times

It was helpful to use a silicone mat underneath to support the delicate dough while folding

At last, time to chill the dough before being cut into thirds. Only one third is used to make 12 pastries.

There was an issue with the cheese filling. The amount suggested by the recipe was a little too
much for each pastry.  As a result it was hard to totally seal the dough around the filling.

In the end, when the pastries had a chance to rise before baking, most of the open 
areas sealed.  The finished Cheese Pockets had glazed almonds on top,

Cheese Pockets, which we always called "Cheese Danish" were a Sunday staple. Together with a cup of coffee, it was breakfast. This recipe made a dozen, which were quickly given away to our Friday "taste testers". As usual, I neglected to accurately anticipate when the pastries would emerge but our die-hard group waited patiently. They were well rewarded with the results of this bake. We all thought they were wonderful. I'm sold on homemade puff pastry...it was so tender, delicious and perfect at hugging a filling.

The next morning I took the extra cheese filling and amplified it with some room temperature cream cheese. In less than an hour I had defrosted a sheet of puff pastry, filled them and left them to rise. This time I was more careful about enclosing all of the filling and used sliced almonds as a topping instead of the bulky almond halves used for the first batch. As soon as the Saturday morning dozen came out of the oven, I snuggled them in a basket and fed hungry gallery owners in The Village of the Arts. It was a Random Act of YUM. Crisp on top with toasted almonds, and a not-too-sweet soft cheese center, they were devoured in a flash!

There is still one remaining sheet of puff pastry left. This time I'm going to make the Cheese Pockets using farmer's cheese, which should closely replicate the taste I remember from my childhood Brooklyn bakery. There's only 12 in a batch, and I need to keep 4. If you're interested in ordering any of the remaining 8 let me know. They'll be $1.75 each, but Sharon Carlson gets first dibs because she missed out last time.
This week's bake:  Norm's Onion Rolls

This single recipe triggered the demand for a book of the old Jewish bakery recipes. Due to the positive feedback from bakers trying this recipe, co-author Norm Berg was asked to provide more and more of his old  bakery recipes. Ultimately, it led to the publication in October of "Inside The Jewish Bakery", followed by the challenge of baking all of the recipes in the book...which is what Anna, I and this blog are part of.

Many people fondly remember these Onion Rolls...soft inside, thin crusted & covered in baked onions on top. Similar to the Kaiser roll. Great for a sandwich. Some of my blog followers don't want to wait to try these, they know what they've been missing. I already have orders for Onion Rolls to be picked up this Friday. Anna & I will be baking a double batch to accommodate those orders. If you'd like to order some also, let me know. They'll be .75 each, but availability is limited.

Onion Roll Tasting Friday Jan 20th  2-4 pm

at the TreeHouse -- down the driveway at 932 12th St W, Bradenton

Taste bread samples with homemade jam 
& maybe my Curried Chicken Salad too.

Hugs from the kitchen,

Always available at (941) 746-6647    or   bonnibakes@gmail.com

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