Savory Braided Puff-Pastry
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
Be as creative as possible when making this braided pastry. For a vegetarian version, use vegetables of your choice, grilled or blanched, if necessary.
• 1 sheet puff-pastry (usually, 2 sheets in 450 g / 1 lb box ) – Trader Joe’s brand or any, preferably made with real butter
• 120 g/ 4 oz deli cuts – turkey, ham, sausages
• 120 g/ 4 oz deli cheese – Havarti, Mozzarella, Provolone, Swiss (avoid cheese which melts too easily)
• ~ handful of fresh herbs – basil, mint, tarragon, cilantro
or…. any fillings your heart desireth! (chicken, bacon, eggs, spinach, sun dried tomato, zucchini, pesto…)
For egg wash
• 1 egg, beaten well, with 2 tsp water -or- 1 egg-yolk beaten well with 1 tsp milk (I remove chalazae & vitelline membrane from the egg yolk)
◊ If puff-pastries come frozen in rolls, defrost in refrigerator overnight, or per box’s instructions. Make sure it is ready to be unrolled. After defrosting, flatten the rolled puff-pastry. If any tears need repairing, push your fingers across tears and return to freezer in a flat form (on a tray, well-wrapped) for it to completely harden again. Use store-bought, frozen puff-pastry sheet as is and do not stretch it with rolling-pin.
◊ Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not wax paper).
◊ Also, line a cutting board (which fits in the freezer) with parchment paper, if the frozen pastry does not come with one already.
◊ Have all fillings ready before preheating oven. Place rack on middle oven shelf and preheat to 200°C/400°F.
◊ Store bought puff pastry tends to become difficult to work with as it warms up. It is important to keep it chilled and work quickly with it. Remove ‘flat’ puff-pastry from freezer one at a time if using both sheets. From this point, work quickly, to keep puff-pastry from getting warm/soft (not only is it difficult to cut or braid, but also, it will not produce desired baked finish).
◊ Place flat frozen puff-pastry on parchment paper on cutting board. In less than 10 minutes, it is ready for cuts.
◊ Make the cuts (see video below), line up filling as shown in the photo and quickly braid. This process should not take more than 2~3 minutes.
◊ Lift pastry and place on parchment-lined, baking sheet.
When making 2 Danishes
◊ Put previously braided Danish in freezer. Then take out 2nd frozen pastry sheet to assemble.
◊ When one or both pastries are ready, brush it/them with egg-wash all over (for it to brown with shine).
◊ Put egg-washed pastry(s) on baking sheet into preheated oven as soon as possible.
◊ Bake for 28 ~ 32 minutes or until golden-brown on top (see photo).
◊ Take baking sheet out of oven. Slide Danish onto cooling rack for it/them to cool completely before serving. Serve at room temperature.
~ Bon Appétit! ~
How to braid puff pastry:
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?