Baked Puff Pastry Layer

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    one

    10 × 15 inch 25 × 38 cm baked puff pastry layer

Appears in

Several of the recipes in this chapter call for a baked puff pastry layer to be cut and stacked with a sweet or savory filling. These are the general instructions for rolling and baking that layer.

Ingredients

  • ¼ batch of Instant Puff Pastry, or about 12 ounces (350 grams) of prepared all-butter puff pastry
  • Two 10 × 15- inch (25 × 38-cm) jelly-roll pans, lined with parchment

Method

  1. Lightly flour the work surface and place the dough on it. Flour the dough and use a rolling pin to press the dough in even strokes, close together and in the same direction (not back and forth). Turn the piece of dough 90 degrees and repeat.
  2. While you are rolling out the dough, move it often and make sure there is always a light coating of flour on the work surface. Continue adding pinches of flour as needed under and on top of the dough.
  3. Roll the dough starting from the edge closest to you, and roll away to the far end, without rolling over the edge. Roll back toward the beginning the same way. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat.
  4. While you are rolling, keep the corners straight and even and keep the sides of the dough straight as well. Continue rolling and turning the dough until it is a little larger than 10 × 15 inches (25 × 38 cm..
  5. Fold the dough in thirds and transfer it to one of the prepared pans, (“over the dough loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  6. When you are ready to bake the layer, set a rack on the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Use a fork to pierce all the way through the entire rectangle of dough at 1- inch intervals. Cover the dough with the piece of parchment paper from the other pan and place the other pan, right side up, on top of the paper.
  8. Bake the layer for 15 minutes. Then, using oven mitts, grasp the stack of pans firmly and turn the entire stack upside down and return it to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Turn the stack of pans right side up again and check the color of the layer. If it is an even deep golden color, remove and cool on a rack, leaving the layer between the pans to prevent it from warping as it cools. If it is not done, continue baking, checking the layer every 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  10. Use the layer for a finished pastry on the same day it is baked.

Storage

Keep the baked puff pastry layer between the 2 pans until you are ready to use it.

variation

If you need 2 layers, use twice the amount of dough. Use 4 pans and bake them in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. At the point where you turn the layers over, switch the bottom pan to the upper rack and vice versa. If you only have 3 pans, bake as below, and the second layer can remain refrigerated until the first one is baked. Remember to let the pans cool completely before using them again.

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