Monday, March 25, 2013

how to make puff pastry cinnamon twists

1. invite a friend and her gorgeous new boy over for a playdate, so you can finally finish off leftovers of that epic and massive rainbow cake you made for your child's birthday.

2. start talking about food. Your friend is Italian after all and you used to be a foodie - before you had children and stopped having time to keep up with the food blogs you used to read, or do crazy things like go to restaurants or go out for drinks after work. Your friend mentions she will be making an utterly delicious and easy to make chicken pie for dinner. 

3. go online and find the recipe. Bookmark it if you're fancy like that. Or just leave the browser window open, much to the annoyance of the husband, if you don't know how to bookmark sites. 

4. book a courier to collect some items you bought online and want to return.

5. at the weekend, visit Horsham in West Sussex, so you can check out the town and decide if it would be a nice place to live. While you're there, find a supermarket to do some quick and essential grocery shopping, since you have no food in your house. You know all the ingredients you will need for that chicken pie you plan on making Monday but of course you forget to buy ready-made puff pastry because your brain is a sieve? because it's Sunday? 

5. realise on Monday that the courier has given you a 48-hour timeslot (what the?) and since even doing the really necessary school run might make you miss said courier, decide you can't risk going grocery shopping just for puff pastry, so just off-handedly decide to make puff pastry yourself. You've never done it before but how hard can it be? 

6. make puff pastry, using a combination of a few different recipes from the bbc website and what you vaguely remember seeing on The Great British Bake-off. Realise it's easy peasy and not even all that much work, you just have to be home all afternoon and give the dough a couple of turns every half hour.

7. prepare your chicken pie filling and cover it with your homemade puff pastry. Then decorate with puff pastry butterflies from the offcuts, since you have girl children who are suckers for that kind of thing. Put leftover puff pastry in fridge.

8. bake and eat chicken pie, which is delicious. Realise the courier hasn't shown up, so you'll have to stay home the next day too. 

9. keep your fingers crossed during the Tuesday morning school run the courier won't show up when you're out (plot spoiler: he doesn't). Back home, decide to do something sweet with your leftover puff pastry. Something easy the two and a half year old can help you with. You're thinking cinnamon twists.  Again have a quick internet search and combine some recipes. Make cinnamon twists. They are yummy. Feel rather smug about the whole 'oh, of course I made the puff pastry myself' thing. Hand parcel to courier who finally shows up. Pick up the four year old from school. Burn some fish fingers and feel a whole lot less smug. Eat some more cinnamon twists.

puff pastry 

250g plain flour 
210 + 40g butter 
150ml ice cold water 

cube 40g butter and rub into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs
add water to make dough, don't overwork 
wrap in clingfilm and rest in fridge for 30 minutes 

roll out 210g butter in between two sheets of baking paper to a rectangle 
roll out dough to rectangle double the size of butter, put butter on top at one end and fold the other end over 
put back in fridge and leave to rest for 30 minutes 

roll out dough into long rectangle and fold in three 
turn 90˚ and fold in three again 

put back in fridge and leave to rest for 30 minutes 
repeat at least twice more 
make sure your work surface is floured 

cinnamon twists 

mix caster sugar with cinnamon

roll out (leftover) dough into long rectangle 
brush with melted butter, then sprinkle cinnamon sugar all over 
cut into narrow strips (I used a pizza cutter, worked like a charm) 
twist and bake at about 180˚C until ready, about 15 minutes 

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