I love baking (I thought I’d put it out there, just in case you missed it!). But there are still large gaps in my baking repertoire and there are projects which I’ve put off because of the fear that I won’t be able to produce the (baked) goods, so to speak. My closet perfectionist comes out and becomes more critical than a certain Paul Hollywood could be. I am always worried that what I bake isn’t good enough.
One of my stumbling blocks is puff pastry and rough puff pastry. I’ve always relied on store-bought pastry for the pastry because I’ve tried to make rough puff and puff pastry but they never really “puff” up. So instead of disappointing myself, I usually just go and buy puff pastry and use that instead in all the baking projects involving puff pastry. It’s the coward’s way out, but I’m less disappointed in myself. I usually say to myself that even Mary Berry and Jamie Oliver suggest using store bought pastry!
But last weekend, I was, very strangely, prepared to try again. I was surprised to find myself only too willing to face my fears and try to make puff pastry again. I knew that I had to at least try again because my short crust pastry was already good. I needed to at least try to learn to make acceptable puff pastry! It took me several weeks to work up the courage to make pastry. In the end, I found a relatively straightforward recipe from the Pieminster cookbook (see Page 10 of the book).
So I bought the ingredients, determined to make lovely, flaky cheese straws and bacon twists!
After reading and rereading the recipe, with a lot trepidation, I set out to follow the recipe properly. Et voila! I managed to make (really pretty, if I do say so myself) pastry that looked the part!
There is something to be said about facing your fears…and doing a lot of research to prepare! Thank you Pieminster for your glorious book and the recipes within it!