A few weeks back I decided to make puff pastry from scratch. It went well and tasted great, but I couldn't help but think to myself this one thought: "This is really good, but how does it compare to frozen puff pastry?" After all, if it tasted only 'as good' or 'mildly better,' then why spend the 8 hours it takes to make your own puff pastry?
So two weeks ago my parents were in town and I decided to make Palimers using frozen puff pastry sheets. The recipe I used came from one of my mom's cooking magazines and was as follows:
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 sheet puff pastry
2 tbsp melted butter
Okay, so really, 4 ingredients, can't be that difficult... right?
I pulled the puff pastry out of the freezer and set it on the counter to thaw. About 5 minutes laster it was ready. I floured the surface and started to roll out the dough. One word for you: STICKY! Yea, it was super sticky; not at all what my home made puff pastry was like. As I start rolling out the dough I realize that it is so much harder to work with than mine was. I suppose this was because when you are making the puff pastry you are constantly working it in your hands. The frozen stuff hadn't been worked at all.
I finally got my dough rolled out to about 12" x 18"
Painted with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar
And rolled up like a scroll
And cut into tiny 1/4" pieces
They seemed a bit small to me, but having just done some puff pastry work, I was sure they would puff up to a nice size. So I stuck them in the oven at 375 deg. for 15 minutes.
When I pulled them out, I was a little shocked. They were so tiny!
I thought for a little while and decided it must have been because I rolled them too tightly. After all, they had no where to "puff." So out came another package of puff pastry and again I repeated the above process. Only this time, I didn't roll them so tightly.
Again I waited my 15 minutes and pulled them out. They were a little better, but still tiny! What the hell. As you can see below, they got to only about 1.5x the size of the other ones.
Well, at this point in the story I'm sure you are all expecting me to tell you some grand revelation that I had to making these things puff up to the size of an elephant. Well I'm sorry to tell you, I didn't have that revelation. I still have no idea why they didn't puff up. I can guess that it had something to do with the amount of butter being spread onto the dough, but I think that is only half the story. I am planning on trying again some day with my own from-scratch puff pastry, but for now I will just have to be satisfied with this fact: they may not have looked right, but you can't beat the taste of cinnamon, sugar, and butter!