This is my favourite pastry dough. It’s extremely versatile and can be used to make a variety of delicious ‘morning goods’, from apple turnovers to strawberry – and cream – filled pastries. It’s easy to shape in different ways too. As for croissant dough, well-chilled, good-quality butter is essential. Neatness when folding is also imperative. The rolling and folding technique is the same as the one used for croissants.
Makes 1.1 kg: about 25 pastries Prep 14 hours, including overnight chilling
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
80g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
2 medium eggs
90ml cool water
125ml tepid full-fat milk
250g chilled unsalted butter, preferably a good-quality Normandy butter
1. Put the flour into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the eggs, water and milk and mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes, then on a medium speed for 6 minutes.
2. Tip the flour out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Dust with flour, put into a clean plastic bag and chill in the fridge for an hour.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your chilled dough to a rectangle, about 50 x 20cm and about 1cm thick. Flatten the butter to a rectangle, about 33 x 19cm, by bashing it with a rolling pin. Lay the butter on the dough so that it covers the bottom two-thirds of it. Make sure that it is positioned neatly and comes almost to the edges.
4. Fold the exposed dough at the top down one-third of the butter. Now gently cut off the exposed bit of butter, without going through the dough, and put it on the top of the dough you have just folded down. Fold the bottom half of the dough up. You will now have a sandwich of two layers of butter and three of dough. Pinch the edges lightly to seal in the butter. Put the dough back in the plastic bag and chill for an hour to harden butter.
5. Take the dough out of the bag and put it on the lightly floured surface with the short end towards you. Now roll it out to a rectangle, about 50 x 20cm, as before. This time fold up one-third of the dough and then fold the top third down on top. This is called a single turn. Put the dough back in the plastic bag and chill for another hour. Repeat this stage twice more, putting the dough back into the fridge between turns.
6. Your dough now needs to be left in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight, to rest and rise slightly. It is then ready to use.
Taken from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake, published by Bloomsbury Photograph © Peter Cassidy