Laminated Doughs

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

laminated doughs are made of layers of dough and fat, usually butter. Pâte feuilletée, or “puff pastry,” is considered the king of laminated doughs. Croissant and Danish doughs belong to the same family, and all follow a similar construction. See croissant and pastry, puff. No matter what form the laminated dough takes, its magical transformation in the oven depends on two elements: a flour-based dough and a fat. The pastry maker folds dough over the fat to enclose it, then rolls the dough out, and folds it over itself again and again, until it has dozens or even hundreds of very thin, alternating layers of dough and butter. As the pastry bakes, the steam from the fat releases and raises each individual layer of dough, creating a flaky mille-feuille (thousand leaves) effect. Proper puff pastry has many discernible layers of super-thin leaves of crisp, buttery dough.