Daring Bakers - Challenge FIFTEEN!

The September 09 Challenge is ... Vols-au-Vents!

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

NB: I haven't quite finished yet, but I thought I'd post up a courtesy post so you guys have something to read before I finish processing my pics and put them up. Don't run away! ALSO, my photo quality is quite good, so do click on the photos and see them in big glorious sizes.

The main portion of this month's challenge was the making of puff pastry, or pâte feuilletée. I've made laminated dough before, but not with so many turns (a total of 6 turns! 724 layers!!) and so I was very excited to do this challenge.

The first part of making pâte feuilletée is to make the détrempe...

...which is simply water and flour cut together.

Roll out the dough 3 times as wide as tall...

...and place the beurrage (butter-block) in the middle.

Completely encase the beurrage and let it chill.

I rolled out my second ball of dough...

...and inserted my GANACHE BEURRAGE!!!

Sacrilege I know! Haha! I thought I'd be a little bit more daring this month, and shake things up a bit. I made a ganache beurrage of half chocolate and half butter. Maybe changing ancient recipes will work out for the better. Well, we'll find out won't we...

And encase it like before.

This is the first block rolled out for the first time, gently so as to not squeeze out the butter, rolled out 3 times as long as it is tall, so we can fold it into itself like a letter.

Everytime we fold it over itself, we make more layers, more and more, so that we when bake it, the steam creates air pressure that puffs up the layers, to get that beautiful flaky texture! Absolutely ingenious!

Fold the right side in, brushing off excess flour...

...the excess flour stops the layers sticking well...

...then fold the other side in. This process is called 'turning'.

This completes one turn.

This is after the second turn, indicated by my markings.

Always roll out the dough lengthwise.

This is after three.

And finally six.

Do not attempt this after coming back from an arm intensive work-out at the gym (like a back workout which I did omfg) you will just die like I died multiple times from cramps and pain. ARGH!! I do not know how people have the stamina to do this everyday!

Here you can see the choc beurrage slowly spreading!

Here's my alternate dough after three turns...

...and after six. It became quite evenly brown!

Cut out all your vol-au-vent shapes (I borrowed my mum's awesome ceramic knife since I lost my one *sob*) and assemble them...

...but save your cut-offs! PRECIOUS!!

Dock the bottoms...

...so they don't fly away!

So beautifully organised. This makes life so enjoyable.

Egg-washed and ready to go!

See you in Part 2 when I finish editing everything!
It should be up withing 2 hours...


Junglefrog 27 September 2009 at 8:47 pm  

I can't stand the suspense... :) I love your addition of the chocolate butter! Can't wait to see what the end result is gonna be!

Karen @ Citrus and Candy 27 September 2009 at 9:14 pm  

Can't wait to see the chocolate puff pastry!

Wic 27 September 2009 at 9:17 pm  

WoW is all I can say to this pictures. They look so ....perfect. it’s almost depressing.

Ramya Kiran 28 September 2009 at 12:02 am  

Waiting to see your puff pastry..

Anonymous 29 September 2009 at 4:07 am  

Oooh I can't wait for the results - way to be daring!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking 29 September 2009 at 12:58 pm  

Lovely photos, and I'm anxious to see the results as well!!!