This week on the Great British Bake Off saw me making some paper-thin puff pastry biscuits the night before a long weekend away with work and maybe it was the stress of packing – or the excitement of buying my first (half) of a beautiful house, but I didn’t have much focus on these. I think it also made it harder not having a recipe – I had to make a puff pastry from memory and guess the rest because Paul Hollywood’s recipe wasn’t online yet! But here are the results anyway…
The recipe is now posted finally, and here it is.
As I said, I didn’t have the benefit of this recipe when I was making these so my thoughts are on it are:
- I was never going to get this right because my butter layer was just butter, it had no flour in it at all (as per most puff pastry recipes I thought??)
- I made normal puff pastry – not this reversible one where you put the dough in the butter. Not sure how much of a difference it can make but clearly there’s a reason people do it. I wonder if my pastry puffed up more because I didn’t use a reversible puff pastry recipe?? Even when I rolled it out as thin as humanly possible, the puff meant I didn’t have very thin biscuits.
- The final ‘book turn’ to incorporate the cinnamon sugar seems important, because I just left mine lying on the top of the pastry and then when you roll up the pastry, all the sugar falls out the end. So don’t be afraid of squishing the sugar in at the end there I think.
For the dough
For the butter layer
For the filling
Put the flours, salt, butter and 50ml/2fl oz cold water in a bowl and gently mix to form a dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Shape the dough into a square, wrap in cling film and chill for an hour (or freeze for 20-30 minutes).
For the butter layer, cream the butter and flours together using an electric mixer. Sandwich the mixture between two sheets of cling film and roll out to a rectangle the same width as the square of dough, but twice as long. Chill in the fridge for 25 minutes.
Unwrap the chilled dough and butter layer. Place the chilled butter layer, short end facing towards you on a lightly floured surface and place the square of dough in the centre of the butter sheet. Make sure it is positioned neatly and covers almost to the edges. Lift the exposed butter sheet at the top and fold it down over the dough, then fold the exposed butter sheet at the bottom up over the top, so the dough is completely enclosed in the butter sheet.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, short end towards you. Roll out to a rectangle, keeping the edges as even as possible. Fold the top quarter down and the bottom quarter up so they meet neatly in the centre. Then fold the dough in half along the centre line. This is called a book turn. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 25 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and make another book turn. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 25 minutes.
For the filling, mix the granulated sugar and the cinnamon together in a bowl. On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry to a rectangle as before and sprinkle over the sugar.
Make another book turn to incorporate the sugar, then roll out the pastry 1cm/½in thick, to a rectangle 12x20cm/4½x8in. Roll up the pastry from the short end like a Swiss roll. Wrap in cling film and chill for 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Line 2 baking trays lines with silicon sheets or non-stick baking paper.
Trim the ends of the roll and cut into 8 x 1cm/½in thick slices. Dust the work surface heavily with icing sugar and roll each piece of dough out very thinly, turning to coat in the sugar and to prevent sticking. Place the biscuits on the prepared trays and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully turn the biscuits and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
I really will have to try making these again using the actual recipe. Am really never going to try the technical bake off challenge again without even the semblance of a recipe that they get on the show. This was too hard! Didn’t really even know where to start – and all the recipes online just said ‘buy puff pastry..’
Some more slightly awful pictures…
I think they look a bit like ears…
But they looked so promising when I first started them! You could see the layers and the butter…
Oh well. Butter luck next time (oh god I’m sorry, I typed that by mistake at first then just couldn’t resist the pun..)