First let me say it’s good to back. Second let me say I have great sympathy for all of you who wrote in this week to protest that home-made laminated dough is too hard to make. So as my third thing let me say this: it’s time you manned up and went for it.
Homemade pastry-making isn’t a terribly difficult process to begin with, and it’s made significantly easier if you employ the critical tip of adding flour to your butter pat before you start to roll. That’s a step that even some of the best pastry books miss. And it’s an omission that I believe is responsible for the majority of laminated pastry failures. What does the added flour do? Quite simply it helps keep the butter more plastic while at the same time inhibiting melting. The result is a more forgiving dough that the novice pastry roller can take a bit more time with.
Trust me friends, for those of you out there who are looking for ways to significantly improve the quality of your pastry, there’s nothing like homemade laminated dough. You can start small, with just half a recipe or so. Make it a low-pressure thing. Tell yourself you’re only going to use it for an Alsatian onion tart, or something else that doesn’t need to puff terribly much, if that will take the edge off the anxiety. Tackle it on some lazy weekend afternoon. Keep a game on in the background and have a cold bottle of suds available at all times. Whatever you need to keep yourself chipper and relaxed. Because trust me, once you’ve done it right once you’ll want to do it all the time, both to amaze your friends and terrify your enemies.
Get a good pin, some even better butter and try! Now who’s with me?