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Pasta Sfoglia/ Puff Pastry Dough (using butter; flavored with brandy)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Recipe taken from "The Italian Cook Book" by Maria Gentile; historical notes from Italian Wikipedia

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Half a pound of flour
A piece of butter as big as a walnut
Some warm, but not hot water
Enough salt
A teaspoonful of good brandy
1/2 lb. of butter that has been kept previously on ice or, better, in a bowl of ice-water


"The Pasta sfoglia is not too difficult to make and if the following instructions are carefully followed, this fine and light paste can easily be prepared. It is well to have a marble slab to roll it on but this is not absolutely necessary. A warm, damp day is not favorable for the making of the Pasta sfoglia, which succeeds better when the weather is cold and dry.

Mix half a pound of flour of the very best quality with a piece of butter as big as a walnut, some warm, but not hot water, enough salt and a teaspoonful of good brandy. When the paste is formed knead it well for about half an hour,

first with the hands, then throwing it repeatedly with force against the bread board. Make a cake of a rectangular form, wrap it in cloth and let it rest for a while. Meanwhile work with the hand 1/2 lb. of butter that has been kept previously on ice or, better, in a bowl of ice water, until it becomes smooth and flexible, then make of it a little cake like that of the paste and throw it in a bowl of cold water. When the dough has rested take the butter from the water, wipe it with a cloth and dip it in flour. Roll the paste only as long as it is necessary

to enclose within the cake of butter. This is placed in the middle and the edges of the sheet of paste are drawn over it, closing well with fingers moistened in a little water so that no air remains inside. Then begin to flatten, first with the hands, then with the rolling pin, making the sheet as thin as possible, but taking care that the butter does not come out. If this happens throw at once a little flour where the butter appears and always have the marble slab (or bread board) and the rolling pin sprinkled with flour. Fold it over, making three even layers of paste, and again roll the folded strip, repeating the operation six times and letting the paste rest from time to time for a few minutes. At the last time, fold it in two and reduce it to the necessary thickness that is, about one third of an inch. After each folding press the edges gently with the rolling pin to shut in the air, and turn the paste so as to

roll in a different direction. When the paste has had six turns cut it into the desired forms and put on ice, or in a cold place for twenty to thirty minutes before putting it on the oven, which must be very hot, with the greatest heat at the bottom. The puff pasta is used for pate shells and vol-au-vent cake and for light pastries of all kinds."


This recipe was taken from "The Italian Cook Book: the Art of Eating Well, Practical Recipes of the Italian Cuisine" by Mrs. Maria Gentile. It was published in the U.S. in 1919. For the entire copyright-free cookbook see ww.archive.org.... Puff pastry From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The pastry is a preparation kitchen and pastry made ​​with flour , water and butter.Taste enhancers is commonly used for sweet and savory preparations. Among the most famous include the preparations savory vol-au-vent , the sofa , the pretzels, various quiches and savory crust in many preparations. Among the desserts the diplomats , the fans, the different yarrow , and many preparations of petite pastries such as cannoli stuffed with custard.The pastry has its roots in ancient times, as evidenced by recipes such as the baklava . However, the puff pastry in the classic European cuisine , a project conceived by Marie-Antoine Car?me in the second half of the eighteenth century. Car?me was, said the chef of kings and king of chefs, who established the method to 5 laps which is still in use. Features The preparation of puff pastry provides a precise series of steps, called rounds of dough or pastry . Knead 3/4 of the flour with water to obtain an elastic dough without lumps, called "mad dough" or "pastel". The rest of the flour is mixed with butter or margarine (taking the name of cake) and you do it to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Take a rolling pin and paves the mad dough into a sheet a few inches in height. Take the dough and place it in the center of the mad dough. Closes the mad dough bringing the flap left over the dough, then the right corner then the upper side towards the center, then the lower side. It is recommended to turn the whole. It then proceeds to the flattening with a rolling pin to obtain a rectangular strip that has greater width than height. It unfolds in three or four (eg, 4 folds: the left side toward the center, the right side toward the center, the two layers of the left side over the right side), made the folds are rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise (around ). This operation is repeated six times in puff pastry ordinary is considered sufficient to repeat the process 3 times in the classic puff pastry or the end you get to the canons 6 laps passed on the recipe of Car?me. Between one turn and the other storing the dough in the refrigerator (30 minutes ), to maintain the preparation compact and ensure a good exfoliation. Once preparation is complete it is time to roll out the dough for the preparation of choice, which will be cooked in the oven at a temperature of 180 ? C for pies stuffed with 200 ? C for puff pastry or cooking in white. The peeling is determined by the combined action of heat, steam and waterproofing determined by the fat used. For action of heat, in fact, the water contained in the dough evaporates and cause to be disconnected from each other the layers that were formed for each lap. These layers do not exit the steam because of the high concentration of fat makes them impervious to vapor itself. The heat then distributed to cook thin strips, which also remain very cold and detached raised between them. To date, the preparation of the dough is almost exclusively attributable to the pastry chefs and restaurateurs and is performed with the help of a special machine, called sheeter. Often, however, is bought already prepared in blocks or sheets already stretched. Usually the use of butter is rarely found and is preferred margarine, much cheaper. ...... Original Italian Wikipedia text. La pasta sfoglia ? una preparazione di cucina e di pasticceria a base di farina, acqua e burro. Di gusto neutro viene usata comunemente per preparazioni salate e dolci. Tra le preparazioni salate pi? note ricordiamo i vol-au-vent, i canap?, i salatini, svariate quiches salate e numerose preparazioni in crosta. Tra i dolci i diplomatici, i ventagli, le diverse millefoglie, e numerose preparazioni di pasticceria minuta come i cannoli ripieni di crema pasticcera. La pasta sfoglia affonda le sue radici in epoche antiche, come testimoniano ricette come quella della baklava. Tuttavia la pasta sfoglia classica nella cucina europea, nasce ad opera di Marie-Antoine Car?me nella seconda met? del Settecento. Fu Car?me, detto il cuoco dei re e il re dei cuochi, che stabil? il metodo a 5 giri che ? tutt'oggi in uso. Caratteristiche La preparazione della pasta sfoglia prevede una serie precisa di passaggi, detti giri di pasta o di sfoglia. Si impasta 3/4 della farina con l'acqua per ottenere un panetto elastico e senza grumi, detto "pasta matta" o "pastello". La restante farina si amalgama con il burro o margarina (prendendo il nome di panetto) e lo si fa riposare per 30 minuti in frigorifero. Si prende un matterello e si spiana la pasta matta in una sfoglia di qualche centimetro di altezza. Si prende il panetto e lo si pone in centro alla pasta matta. Si chiude la pasta matta portando il lembo sinistro sopra il panetto, poi il lembo destro quindi il lato superiore verso il centro poi il lato inferiore. ? consigliato capovolgere il tutto. Si procede quindi alla spianatura con il matterello per ottenere una striscia rettangolare che abbia larghezza maggiore rispetto all'altezza. Si ripiega in tre o in quattro (es. 4 pieghe: lato sinistro verso il centro, lato destro verso il centro, i due strati del lato sinistro sopra il lato destro), fatte le pieghe si ruota di 90 gradi in senso antiorario (giro). Questa operazione viene ripetuta per sei volte: nella pasta sfoglia ordinaria si ritiene sufficiente ripetere l'operazione 3 volte, nella pasta sfoglia classica o fine si arriva ai canonici 6 giri tramandati della ricetta di Car?me. Tra un giro e l'altro si ripone il panetto in frigo (30 minuti), per mantenere la preparazione compatta e garantire una buona sfogliatura. Una volta terminata la preparazione si procede a stendere la sfoglia per la preparazione scelta, che verr? cotta in forno a una temperatura dai 180 ?C per torte salate con ripieno ai 200 ?C per sfogliatine o cottura in bianco. La sfogliatura ? determinata dall'azione combinata di calore, vapore e impermeabilizzazione determinata dalla materia grassa usata. Per azione del calore, infatti, l'acqua contenuta nell'impasto evapora e provvede a far staccare l'una dall'altra gli strati che si sono formati per ciascun giro. Questi strati non fanno uscire il vapore perch? l'alta concentrazione di materia grassa li rende impermeabili al vapore stesso. Il calore provvede poi a cuocere le sottili lamelle, che anche da fredde resteranno ben staccate e sollevate tra loro. Ad oggi la preparazione della pasta sfoglia ? di quasi esclusiva pertinenza dei pasticceri e gastronomi e viene eseguita con l'aiuto di un macchinario apposito, detto sfogliatrice. Spesso, tuttavia, viene comprata gi? pronta in panetti o sfoglie gi? stese. Solitamente l'uso del burro ? raro a trovarsi e gli viene preferita la margarina, molto pi? economica. Photo: Mary Melfi.

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