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Puff pastry 101+Beef Bourguignon pie

Apologies for posting after almost a month. Been caught up with school and work.

Phew… it’s been really exhausting but glad to have found the time to write this post because it is officially the last winter recipe for the year.

Spring is hereeee. It makes me so happy because after experiencing an Aussie winter, I prefer summer to it any day.🙈

Even though winter may have almost come to an end, that doesn’t mean we stop eating pies right?

First questions first. What makes pies feel like magic in our mouths? Yesss, it’s got to be the pastry in these flavourful treats that makes it the hero.

Puff pastry can get quite intimidating. And when you can pick it up from the counter these days, you wonder why should I go through all that hassle. But trust me, once you start making your own puff pastry at home, you will never want to pick it up from the store again.

What exactly is puff pastry? It is countless layers of butter trapped in layers of dough that puffs up when put in the oven as the liquid from both the butter and dough evaporates, creating the flaky, crisp result.

While making puff pastry, the environment needed is quite similar to that of croissant dough. You need to work in cooler conditions otherwise your butter will melt into the dough even before you’ve finished your folds and the whole lamination is ruined.

Let me be honest, it is not easy but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it not as tedious. Plus, the results are so worth it!!

We first start off with a lean dough(flour+water) and then add in the butter sheet. I have tried to explain it as clearly as possible in the method section but do feel free to ask questions if you get stuck in the comments below. Finally, ending up with this rich, beautifully laminated dough.

Also, while making the lean dough, try not to overmix it as you don’t want to create much gluten at this stage. The dough must contain only around 60% gluten. Otherwise you won’t end up with nice layers.

The next most important ingredient in puff pastry is butter. It is what makes the pastry so flaky and delicious. A lot of care must be taken while handling butter. It must be cold yet pliable. So one great tip is to roll it out twice and then chill it before adding to the lean dough.

Once you’ve got your butter to the right texture, it’s time to start the turns. Basically a ‘turn’ is rolling out the dough and folding it. Be very careful to roll out in one direction and the seam is facing you, otherwise you won’t get nice, clean layers. Sometimes while rolling the butter may try to pop up, in that case sprinkle a little flour over, but try to avoid that from happening because more flour you keep adding, the less flaky your pastry becomes.

If the room is getting warm, chill the dough after every turn for atleast 20 minutes. The worst thing that can happen is working with melted buttter dough.

Also, I strongly recommend to make it the night before to ensure best results.

There’s so much you can do with puff pastry. We’ve made palmiers, vol au vents, tarts etc in school and they’ve come out so good.

It may seem like quite the task but pays off at the end! I’ve gone the French route and stuffed my little pastries with beef bourguignon which is a classic dish of Burgundy, where meat is braised in red wine and stock. I’ve added a bit of my own twist to it, using some Indian spices, taking the flavours to a whole different level.

Hope you guys enjoy this recipe and looking forward to some comments below 🙂


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Beef Bourguignon pie
Servings
Ingredients
For the puff pastry
Servings
Ingredients
For the puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Place the flour, salt and water in the mixer to form a smooth dough. Chill.
  2. Take out the butter and place between two sheets of baking paper. Condition it by rolling, folding and rolling it out again. It should be a little smaller than the size of the dough.
  3. Take out the dough ball and make a cross in the middle.
  4. Push out the 4 sides making it look like a square.
  5. Roll out the dough a little bigger than the butter sheet. Place the butter and close the sides.
  6. Roll out a bit longer, looking more like a rectangle.
  7. Take one side of the dough to the middle and close with the other side. If the dough is still warm, do another fold otherwise chill for 10 mins.
  8. Try doing 2 folds at a time, giving 20 mins rest between turns. You finish 6 folds in all. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 2 hrs or overnight.
  9. For the meat filling, in a large pan, add the onions. Once it starts getting brown, add the ginger garlic paste and fry well.
  10. Add the turmeric, coriander, garam masala, chilli powder and pepper. Fry the masala for atleast 5 mins. Add a bit more oil if it starts to stick to the pan.
  11. Add the mushrooms and continue to stir fry.
  12. In another pan, add some oil and sauté the meat till it gets a bit brown. Keep aside.
  13. Add the tomato purée to the mushrooms and cook out a little.
  14. Add the meat and let it absorb all the gravy.
  15. Add flour to thicken and continue to stir.
  16. Add the wine and stock. Cook for about 40 minutes until the meat is tender.
  17. Add salt and herbs. Let it cool.
  18. Take out the pastry and roll it out to about 4mm and cut circles with an 8 cm ring. Place one of the pastry into a foil or pie shell.
  19. Add the filling and cover the top with another pastry circle. Egg wash the edges so it seals properly. Egg wash the top and bake at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
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