On Pâte Inversée

Whenever I post about making laminated dough I invariably get a few questions about Pierre Hermé’s mythical pâte feuilletée inversée (“inverse” puff pastry). I’ve blogged about this before, but let me just go on record once again as saying that while I admire Pierre Hermé greatly, I think the whole inverse puff pastry thing is a bunch of hooey. Inverse pastry is nothing more than an exaggeration of the tip that I outlined in the below, dressed up with an unnecessary process twist and presented as if it were the pastry equivalent of the moon landing. Bunkum, I say — and I reject it. Use a conventional laminated dough recipe, apply flour liberally to your butter pat and you’ll produce a dough that is both flakier and better performing (though admittedly lacking the caché).

6 thoughts on “On Pâte Inversée”

  1. We made reverse puff pastry in culinary school and it is actually just as easy, if not easier than traditional puff. While it is an esoteric method it does produce some great pastry and is not as absurd as it sounds. You should give it a whirl.

    1. Would I criticize it without even trying it? 😉

      You’re right that it is very easy, but to me it isn’t significantly easier than a standard laminated dough. It also doesn’t rise as high as a standard dough, and it definitely isn’t as flaky. It all depends on what you’re using it for, but I’d just as soon stick with the standards.

      Thanks Ed!

  2. Hmmmm, I am sure you wouldn’t crticize anything before you had tried it…(was that the right answer?)

    I don’t think I noticed any difference in rising between standard and inverse but now I might need to make a batch of both and compare. It was a while ago and I am not sure we ever took notice of that. We were more concerned about how it tasted and whether it was tougher, more tender, or the same as standard puff dough. We also compared it to blitz, or rapid, or eazy puff dough.

  3. I’m quite curious about this comparison.
    Funny thing PH states that inversée is more “croustillante” (flakier and crispier?) and “fondante”.
    Plus he says it retracts less when cooked and has longer shelf life when freezed uncooked.

    As a side note I think most of the myth comes more from worshipping fans than Hermé himself (he just states what he prefers).

    1. Terms can be confusing for describing a food. In my experience the Hermé dough had more of a crunch but I didn’t think it had more of a flake, not at all. The individual layers seemed thicker to me. But I never thought about the shrinkage issue. I can’t remember if it shank up less or not. Maybe a true side-to-side comparison is called for here. Hmm.

      But I agree that he’s over-hyped. Probably more than even he would like. Thanks for the note, Marco!

      – Joe

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