Thursday, May 20, 2010

Frozen Butter Pastry Dough (Page 795)

RECIPE #1163

  • Date: Friday, April 30, 2010 -- 8pm
  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Emilee, Brian, Sam, Scarecrow, Chris, and Josh G
  • Recipe Rating: B-

This recipe was a component for the dessert I made for my special gentleman's birthday. I forgot to take a picture of this dough alone, so the picture above is the finished product. To make the dough I started by freezing a couple sticks of butter. Once the butter was frozen, I sifted together cake flour and salt. I then grated the frozen butter into the flour mixture. It turns out that grating frozen butter is not fun. At some point my hand slipped (butter being slippery...) and I ended up grating off some skin. Ouch. I tossed the flour and butter together, then refrigerated for 20 minutes. I added ice water to the mixture until it held together properly, then I smeared the dough with the heel of my hand to incorporate the butter. I then chilled the dough for a couple hours. This recipe claimed that the combination of cake flour and super-cold butter would produce an extremely tender pastry. Indeed, this pastry was nice and tender. It was also flaky and not too hard to work with. But it had one major flaw: not enough salt! This recipe called for 2.25 cups of flour and 0.25 teaspoon of salt. By comparison, the Basic Pastry Dough recipe in The Book calls for 2.5 cups of flour and 0.5 teaspoon of salt. That's twice as much salt for a very similar quantity of flour. With more salt this Frozen Butter Pastry Dough might have been very tasty, but as it was I just kept thinking, "Man this dough is bland -- it really needs more salt!"

The recipe is here.

It has been a hectic few days in Northern California, but now we are packed up and ready to leave. Last night I went to see Wicked in San Francisco with Cornelia. It was an awesome show and a fun evening with which to end my time in the Bay Area. Today my special gentleman and I packed all of the stuff we brought with us to Berkeley into the car and drove it down to Palo Alto. We are sleeping at Emilee and Brian's place tonight, and in the morning Em will drive us to the airport for our flight to Japan.

For these last few months we have been renting places in Berkeley and in Indiana, as well as owning a home in Michigan. It has been a circus of rent/mortgage payments and utility bills. Plus, we had belongings in all three places, which meant that I was often looking for things with no idea if I was even in the right house/apartment to be able to find it! Today when we packed up our things in Berkeley I had a sense of relief. Now instead of living in three places, we are just living in two. And in another five weeks or so we will pack up and move out of the Indiana apartment as well. Then, my husband and I will live together in just one place, for the first time since we met!

But first, some more travel...

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