Puff pastry is one of the most popular and most enjoyed of the pastries within the UK. The puff pastry is very similar to filo pastry, and it originates from the Middle East, where it is still used extensively. The true history of this pastry is blurred as the Middle East, Spain and France all claim to hold the original recipe. A French painter and cook Claude Gelee from the 1600s produced a sticky bread made from puff pastry intended for his sick father to enjoy. Puff pastry is light and flaky; it concerns many layers of fat which from 20 degrees is a solid state. A raw pastry is a dough which is spread with fat and then repeatedly folded and rolled out. The pastry is typically used for both sweet and savoury products throughout the entire World. Different countries tend to sway towards either using the pastry for sweet or savoury foods. Puff pastry is popular with many people as it can be bought in a dough form from many supermarkets, the dough is normally frozen and can then be defrosted and used whenever the person likes.
The ingredients required for this pastry are 225g of plain flour, a pinch of salt, 30g of lard, 150ml of cold water and 150g of butter. To begin sift the flour and salt and rub in the lard, add water until the dough is soft and then wrap in cling film and chill for twenty minutes. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, cover in butter, and bring the corners of the rectangle together and make an envelope shape, chill for ten minutes. After it has chilled, roll out the rectangle dough making it three times longer than it is wide. Fold one third into the middle and the other third on the top. Seal the edges with a rolling pin so that no air can enter. Chill the dough for thirty minutes. Repeat the folding and rolling twice more and chill the pastry twice more. After this, the pastry is ready to use, roll out and use as is required. The chilling of this pastry is the most important part, as failure to do this will make it greasy and tough.
Foods which are made and enjoyed with puff pastry include turnovers, pies, sausage rolls, wellingtons, strudels and miguelitos. The pie and beef wellington are traditional English meals which is why the puff pastry is so popular within the UK. Sweet products such as apple strudels and apple turnovers are also very popular as they are available to buy premade from many supermarkets and cafes. In other countries, such as France, the pastry is used to make the traditional croissant. These are often enjoyed with a coffee or hot chocolate, being consumed usually at breakfast time or as a brunch. A croissant makes up part of a traditional continental breakfast.