Puff pastry can be difficult to understand sometimes, but most of the time it’s actually a really fun dough. Because of the way it puffs up you can make some of the lightest. flakiest desserts or snacks or pies ever ! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll fall in love with it.
One thing that always confuses folks is whether they should blind bake their puff pastry ? Especially fi you’re using it as a shell or something similar. This is what we’ll be exploring today, so you always know what to do with puff pastry.
Do you blind bake puff pastry ?
In many cases yes, you should blind bake puff pastry to avoid a soggy bottom. Docking is recommended but not mandatory, because whatever filling you add will flatten the top layer anyway.
This is especially useful in pastries that are used as pie, or have several layers combined. The moisture of a filling will almost always prevent the dough from rising, and you will get a soft, uneven bake.
If you’re wondering why this never happens with croissants, it’s because their dough is a little different and also contains yeast. Yeast forces dough to rise, even if it has a filling. This allows the bottom to cook through as well.
Should you use weights for puff pastry ?
We don’t recommend using weights for a blind bake when it comes to puff pastry. This is because it needs to rise and puff up, so all the layers can get a bit of air.
If you use weights you’re preventing the dough from rising, essentially making a blind bake pointless. What you can do is lightly dock the bottom, to get some rise but not enough to make it unusable.
Read also: Is There Egg In Bread ?
How long do you blind bake puff pastry ?
How long to blind bake depends on a lot of things. How hot your oven is, how hot it can go, how much dough you have, etc. So we cannot give you an estimate.
But there are a few signs you can sue as a guideline. Blind bake until you see the pastry puffing at the bottom as well. Don’t panic, you can still fill it with whatever filling you like. The top layers will crumble and sit on the already puffed bottom layers.
And once you put the filled pastry back in the oven, the bottom won’t burn easily because you’ve got all that filling to keep it at a lower temperature.
What you should be careful with is the top sides. They may need some foil tent on top to prevent them from completely burning before the pie is done.
What happens if you don’t blind bake a puff pastry ?
Puff pastries are meant to puff up, get big, and have a lot of air between all those layers. If you don’t blind bake and fill the pastry when it’s still raw, the bottom will not rise. It won’t be fully cooked through, because it needs that air to circulate between the layers to dry it out while it cooks.
What happens when you’ve bought a pre-made puff pastry, already filled, and you want to bake it ? It’s definitely not blind baked, because the dough is always raw.
Well, you can try adding another layer under the bottom. Something like a wire rack that has a bit of lift but also enough wires to keep the dough from falling through. So something made out of wire mesh might work. This way you get air circulating under the dough.
But the problem will always be there. The center where the dough is will always be soggy and almost raw. You can try and mitigate this by baking low and slow. The filling is always moist, so it will create steam that will always make the layers closest to it soft.
You can try docking the top, down to the filling, Maybe this way steam will escape and you may be a more even bake. Line the top with aluminum foil (loosely) to avoid burning while the rest is still cooking.
But what about home-made pies that just need a lattice ? Well, you can blind-bake the lattice and then add it on top, or simply accept it as it is. The thing about puff pastry is that it’s very finicky when it comes to having it rise evenly. The slightest bit of moisture will mess with it big time.
Do you put egg wash on puff pastry ?
Not, it’s not necessary to put an egg wash on puff pastry. It won’t interfere with the pastry, but it’s not really useful, unless you want something to stick to the dough like sesame seeds or grated cheese.
Read Also:Why Are Croissants Crescent Shaped ?
Can you use puff pastry instead of pie crust ?
You can use puff pastry instead of pie crust if you bling bake, but the results will bring you back to this article right here. Moisture is a problem, and a pie always has a moist filling, that’s the whole point.
What you can do is make pies without a top layer, but then they’d be more of a tart or a quiche. Whatever you decide to make, always remember to dock the entire bottom and sides of your puff pastry if you’re using as a pie base.