My aim each week is to bake something new, or attempt a new baking technique and while I've made rough puff pastry before now, this was my first "proper" puff pastry, with the correct number of turns and folds rather than my usual more haphazard approach. The bakers made a reverse puff pastry (with the butter wrapping the dough, rather than dough wrapping butter) but I stuck with a traditional puff for this recipe.
The online photos that I researched showed the arlettes paper thin, and palm sized. They were to be baked with a second weighted sheet over them to stop any puffing up creating a biscuit perfect to be served alongside a delicate dessert or dark coffee. Watching GBBO though, Paul Hollywood created much larger ones, allowed to puff during baking. To me these suited a savoury arlette more, similar to a cheese straw, and used as a large cracker or loaded with a dip of some sort. Hence my flavour combination of rosemary and parmesan -
To make Puff Pastry
250g strong flour
Pinch of salt
150ml cold water
225g cold butter (I started with a 250g pack and cut away 25g leaving a single block)
Add the salt to the sifted flour and mix using a metal spoon.
Gradually add the water 50 ml at a time and "cut" into the flour using a butter knife.
Once all the water is added, quickly bring together using your fingers, rather than palm, wrap the ball of dough in clingfilm and leave to chill for 20 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, put the butter between two layers of parchment paper and hit it with a rolling pin to soften and flatten it. Cut the butter in half, place one on top of the other and repeat until the butter is pliable but still cold. Shape it to roughly the size of a postcard and chill for 10 minutes.
Dust your work surface with flour and roll your dough into a 25cm circle. Put your butter pat into the centre of the pastry and fold over the right & left sides so that they overlap in the middle. Gently roll your dough so that it is about 40cm long. Fold the bottom third up, and the top third down to overlap. Seal the top and bottom edge with your rolling pin to stop butter leaking out. Turn the dough a quarter turn.
Once again roll the dough out to a long rectangle, about 15cm x 40cm, keeping it as square and straight as possible. Once again fold the rectangle into thirds, seal the top & bottom edges and give a quarter turn. Repeat one more time, cover in clingfilm and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Repeat the rolling and turning process twice more, but chill in between and follow with at least one hours chilling time before you use it. It total you will roll out and fold your dough into thirds, five times.
One batch of puff pastry (or one pack of ready made)
4 x 5cm sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped into a powder
50g grated parmesan cheese
ground black pepper to taste
Roll your pastry out to a 1cm thick rectangle and sprinkle your flavourings over the dough. Starting on the shorter side roll up into a swiss roll shape. Chill for 30 minutes before cutting 1cm thick discs.
Preheat your oven to 190C
Roll each disc as thin as possible (I rolled onto a sheet of greaseproof paper dusted with flour to stop them sticking). Stack them on a plate between layers of greaseproof paper and keep chilled in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.
Place two arlettes onto each lined baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, before turning the arlette over to continue baking until golden and crispy. Keep checking thoughout the bake as they will change colour quickly.
Linking up with