As you know we had our fourth progressive dinner on our street and you already know that I made this amazing Guinness Stew but what I didn’t tell you is that I had a major meltdown about four hours before the dinner was to begin. The stew was going perfectly smoothly, the aromas as it finished cooking on the day of filled the house, it was heavenly; the meat was fork tender, the vegetables still had a touch of bite to them and the cauliflower celeriac mash was creamy and wonderful. But I still needed to make the puff pastry topping.
I had fully intended on learning to make this wonderful laminated dough a few days before but as luck would have it, things got busy (I’m assisting more and more these days, but I’ll tell you about that later) so the day before I pulled out the emergency puff pastry dough from the freezer. I had a few errands to do that day and I finally got back to the house around 2pm which would have given me plenty of time to roll out the dough, cut and bake it ready for assembly for the dinner. But things would not go that smoothly.
As I pulled the dough out of the fridge, I found it looked a little odd, and then when I opened the package, it had gone off. I was stunned. When I checked the expiry date I realized my error, it was expired!!!! Well, that was that. Or was it? I tossed the package and quickly went to work; several weeks before I had read about a ‘quick’ laminated pastry dough that Liz (from That Skinny Chick Can Bake) made. So out came the iPad and I went to work! The ‘quick’ laminated pastry dough still required more hours than I had to allow the dough to rest in between foldings, but I was determined! I reduced the resting times significantly and I turned Liz’s sweet pastry dough into a savoury one, the results were exceptional. I didn’t use the entire batch so I stored the leftovers in the freezer, resting and I’ll get back to it in the near future, but this quirky version of ‘quick’ laminated dough exceeded my expectations and best of all, it was a hit at the dinner table. Thank you Liz, you saved the day!
Butter Biscuits — a ‘quick’ laminated pastry dough
I made 10 biscuits and put the remainder of the dough in the freezer for another time. Please check here for the original recipe.
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp bread maker quick dissolve yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 cm or 1/4″ thick slices
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp merlot sea salt (I received the merlot sea salt as a gift from my friend Kristy at Our Family Food Adventures when we met up )
- Add the warm water to a bowl and gently mix in the yeast and sugar. Allow to stand until frothy and then add the milk, egg and salt; set aside.
- Add the flour to a food processor with metal blades. Drop cut butter and the finely chopped rosemary into the flour, pulsing 8 to 10 times, so that the butter is cut into 1 cm or 1/2 inch pieces.
- Combine the flour mixture with the yeast mixture and gently fold the two with a rubber spatula, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Don’t be too energetic, the butter must remain in pieces so that you will produce a flaky pastry, not a bread dough or cookie.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto it; dust very lightly with flour.
- Gently roll out the dough to 41 cm or 16 inches along one side and fold it into thirds similar to how one would fold a letter.
- Turn dough clockwise 1/4 turn. Roll out again into a narrow rectangle and fold into thirds again.
- Roll dough one more time into a 51 cm or 20 inch square and fold into thirds again to make a narrow rectangle, then fold up the ends to make a square. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the freezer for another 30 minutes. Note, it is very important to keep the dough cold so the butter doesn’t begin melting, if you find it’s warming up, put back into the freezer for a few minutes to cool down.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Roll the dough out to a 1 cm or 1/2 inch thickness and using a desired cookie cutter (mine was a triangle that was about 20 cm or 4 inches wide).
- Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle merlot sea salt on top.
- Place triangles onto a cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden.