Baking will always be a challenge for me.
Some might look easy for me and some are not.
It was a dream to make perfect bread. I battled with the yeast beast many times and I finally won.
Taking my dream to a higher level, puff pastry dough came into the scene. I love love croissants, especially the ones with almond and chocolate. Whenever I eat them, I always wish that I could make them someday. I thought that I should learn how to make puff pastry dough first, but I was scared not to get it right. I haven’t pulled my big girl pants yet… until FF #100 came.
Fiesta Friday #100 came more of a challenge to me because I wanted to bring one of my best efforts and one of my best experiences.
My cousin patiently listened to some of the delicious stuffs I wanted to bring and we ended up with vol au vents. Why vol au vents, you ask? This was inspired by one of the challenges in GBBO during the pastry week. (Hi, Elaine! Thanks for telling me about it.)
Vol au Vents
- 1 ¼ cups (177 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp (71 g) cake flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 150 ml ice cold water
- 8 oz unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
- plus extra flour for dusting work surface
Before proceeding, please check if your food processor is able to hold the quantity of the ingredients. I halved mine and the bowl of the food processor I used can hold 1.2 liters. If you will make the full recipe (you can find it from the source or just double the one I have here), then make the dough in two batches and combine them later on.
- Fitted with the metal blade, place all-purpose flour, cake flour and salt in the bowl of your food processor and pulse to mix. While pulsing, add the ice cold water and keep pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very soft and it feels like a Play-Doh.
- Remove the dough from your food processor and from into a ball. Using a sharp small knife, slash the top of the dough in a tic-tac-toe pattern. The slash will help relax the gluten in the dough. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and keep in the fridge for about 5 minutes.
- While the dough is in fridge, get your very cold butter and place between 2 sheets of parchment paper and beat in a rolling pin until it flattens to about 1 inch thick. If the butter becomes soft, chill it first before proceeding.
It’s time now to incorporate the butter:
- Take out the dough from the towel and place it on your work surface dusted with all-purpose flour. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to a 10 inch square, making sure to lightly flour the dough when needed to avoid sticking.
- Place the flattened cold butter in the middle of the dough. Starting from the four corners of the dough where the pointed corners of the butter is, fold the dough to wrap the butter.
It is crucial to make sure that the dough-butter is cold at all times. If you see the butter starts to ooze out for whatever reason, wrap the dough with a cling film and continue when the dough is properly chilled.
Making the Turns:
Since I halved the recipe, I had to adjust with the measurements of the source recipe. Whatever mentioned 12 inches below, make it 24 inches if you are making the full recipe (double the ingredients above).
- Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom of the square, making sure that both sides are floured to avoid sticking. Roll the dough to a 12 inch rectangle. (You can see from my photo above that the butter is visible during my first roll. I kept moving until I reached a 12 inch rectangle. Do not worry about the width – you just have to get 12 in rectangle).
- Using a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough. Make an indention dividing the rectangle into three (do not cut, just make an indention). From the top, fold your dough until the indention at the bottom. From the bottom, fold your dough going to the top. Brush off the excess flour. This is your first turn.
- Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left. Repeat rolling again to a 12 inch rectangle and repeat the folding process. This is your second turn.
- Wrap the dough using a cling film and chill your dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Repeat the rolling and folding process until you finish six turns, making sure to let the dough rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour in between 2 turns. But if anytime the dough will be too soft or butter is oozing out, keep the dough inside the fridge until chilled again.
You can make four turns and do the last two the next day (time of making your vol au vents). Using your fingertips, you can make an indention marking on how many turns you have finished so you will not forget it.
After finishing the 6 turns, make sure to chill the dough first before cutting them.
To cut the dough,
- Roll out your dough to ¼ to 1/8 thin on a lightly floured surface.
- Using cookie cutters, cut your dough: you will cut full rounds (disc shaped) and rounds with hole in the middle. Place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take the full round dough and prick using a fork being careful not to prick all the way through the bottom. Now, get the round with hole and brush the bottom with egg wash and carefully ‘glue’ it to the full round dough. Lightly brush the top again with egg wash to brown when baked. Be careful not to drip too much egg wash on the sides with lamination as it will inhibit the rise. Do the same with the others. I used 77 & 78 mm cookie cutters and I got 4 big cases.
- When done cutting, place them inside the fridge while you preheat the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Get another sheet of parchment paper and place them on top of the cut/shaped dough and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the parchment paper on top and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
- Let cool to room temperature if you are using sweet filling or keep warm if using savoury filling.
Source recipe: Vols au Vent by The Daring Kitchen
Chicken a la King
- 125g chicken breast, boneless & skinless, cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup white mushrooms, sliced
- 30ml heavy cream
- ¼ cup green peas
- 2 tbsp red bellpepper, chopped
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped finely
- 2 tbsb butter
- 125ml chicken broth or 1 beef cube dissolved in 125ml water
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- In a pan, melt 1 tbsp butter.
- Add mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
- In another small sauce pan, melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter.
- Add flour and stir until the mixture forms.
- Add chicken broth. Stir until the butter-flour mixture is dissolved. Let boil and turn off the heat.
- Transfer the liquid to the pan where your chicken is cooking.
- Add heavy cream, bellpeppers, parsley and green peas. Let boil until the sauce thickens.
- Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Transfer the chicken broth mixture to the pan where the chicken is cooking.
- Arrange the vol au vents on a serving plate. Fill with chicken a la king and garnish with parsley.
Source recipe: Chicken a la King by Panlasang Pinoy
The vol au vents came out very flaky and delicious. I could just eat them like that or dunk them in chocolate sauce. I also love the chicken a la king filling because the filling was not too runny and it complimented the puff pastry cases. This might take a long time to do, but it’s worth every second. I am definitely working with puff pastry dough again. 😉
I am proud and more than happy to share this with my friends and family here at Fiesta Friday #100 hosted by the amazing Angie with the help of our four lovely co-hosts, Aunt Juju, Ginger, Mollie and Suzanne. I can’t say thank you enough to Angie who has always been so welcoming and who made this amazing weekly party possible.
Looking forward to another year of droolicious foods and amazing friendship!