Every year, I make a resolution to master, or at least become proficient in, a culinary process, ie, candy-making, bread-baking, that sort of thing. Well, 2010 was the year for puff pastry, and on Saturday, I began the process. I have not mastered the process nor would I consider myself proficient, but the puff pastry did achieve puff, and it was mighty tasty. I made cheese palmiers, even though I just made a batch 2 weeks ago; however, that initial batch was made with store-bought puff pastry, and this batch was made with my made-from-scratch batch. The difference is measurable, let me tell you, incredibly flaky, so buttery, and just wholesome; I impressed myself, actually.
It’s not a difficult process, but it is a time-consuming process. I used the entire batch, but plan to make another batch within the next week or so and freeze it for later use. As I said, I made palmiers again, but I also made Kouign Amann or Kouing Aman (kween ah-maan) a delicious pastry from Brittany. I had never heard of Kouign Amann until I saw this episode on The Best Thing I Ever Ate; the bakery is Les Madeleines in Salt Lake City, and as I’ve no plans to travel there anytime soon, I knew I had to make it myself. Along with the rolling and folding process of puff pastry, sugar is incorporated in the layers, creating a delicious caramelized pastry. While the flavor was exquisite, I wasn’t overly pleased with the texture, as I’m assuming that the texture should be more flaky, but this was more bread-like. Delicious, however, just not the texture I wanted, or at least, think I should have created. I’ve since found David Lebovitz’s recipe, and I plan to try it out, too.
I used Florian Bellanger’s recipe, which can be found here, the difference is that prior to incorporating the sugar, I halved the dough and only added sugar to one half, using the other half to make the palmiers. When I added the sugar, I halved that as well, and I made 8 pastries, rather than 15. I made 36 palmiers with the other half of the dough, and I used the same recipe that I posted here