Cookies, Dessert

French Palmiers with Homemade Puff Pastry

Nicoletta June 29, 2020

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French Palmiers with Homemade Puff Pastry. I cannot imagine anything more scrumptious than a tray filled with buttery, delicious palmiers to accompany your tea time, dessert time, or -why not- sweeten up your breakfast. Pretty easy to make, you need puff pastry and granulated sugar. These ones, I made with homemade puff pastry and they literally melt in your mouth!

Song of the day: C’est si bon – Thomas Dutronc, Iggy Pop, Diana Krall

French palmiers with homemade puff pastry-horizontal-pan

French palmiers. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Even though these cookies look pretty elegant, they are not hard to make. Let me tell you, once you’ve made puff pastry from scratch, nothing can scare you. Homemade puff pastry makes sweet crunchy cookies that simply melt in your mouth. If you feel like it, I have included pictures and a “how to make puff pastry”. Don’t want to sweat over homemade puff pastry (for now)? Store bought puff pastry works just fine, but make sure you get one made entirely  from butter. 

 

 

Homemade puff pastry

Before this pandemic locked us all down in our places, I was lucky to have a class in Rome, booked months earlier, on how to make puff pastry. I had always wanted to learn the secrets of this buttery dough that you can use to make both sweet and savory deliciousness. It’s true, it is not the easiest and fastest pastry to make at home, but the result is so rewarding that in the end it might look like a walk in the park.

The following pictures are from the class, where we all had a station, our own ingredients, and worked individually at making our own puff pastry dough.

Two doughs combined in one

When you make puff pastry from scratch, you start by making two different doughs: one is called “pastello” and it’s the dough made with a ‘strong’ flour (bread flour), water, and salt. This dough will envelope the other one, called “panetto“, that is your fat content, made with butter and a ‘weak’ flour (type 00 or cake flour). You just place the “panetto” inside the “pastello” and wrap it well like a bundle or a present. Next, you roll it paying attention to not let the “fat content” escape from the sides. 

A note on butter: you need a  European-style butter, with a high fat content. You will see that it has a yellow color and a rich texture. It is more expensve than regular butter but it is worth every penny.

Dough Lamination

You always roll your puff pastry in one direction, since you want to obtain a long rectangle. You put your weight on the rolling pin and try rolling at the same tickness, avoiding to reach the edges and make them too thin.

  1. Roll out the first dough, place the second dough (your fat content) in the center.
  2. Close everything like a bundle.
  3. On a floured work surface, roll it to a rectangular shape 1/4-inch thick, paying attention not to let the fat content out.
  4. Bring the two ends towards the center and then overlap each other, folding it like a book. That’s it, you made the first fold to the puff pastry.
  5. Cover the pastry with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 60 minutes.
  6. After the resting time, repeat the operation three more times, being careful to always roll in the opposite direction of the previous one (turn the dough 90 degrees).
  7. After each fold, the pastry needs to be wrapped back in plastic and go back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. In total you have to give four folds (only the mille feuille needs to have five folds). The stretch/fold time is short, about 3-4 minutes each, then is all waiting time.
  8. After the fourth fold, the dough is ready to use, but it still requires 15-20 minutes in the fridge.
  9. You can do the folds within two days, no more. Once you’ve done your puff pastry, it can stay in the fridge for 3-4 days, or you can cut in half and freeze well wrapped in plastic.

Folding and shaping the Palmiers

That’s how it goes:

  1. sprinkle abundant granulated sugar on your board, place the piece of puff pastry on the sugar and sprinkle more sugar on top;
  2. next, roll the dough into a thin rectangle. Be mindful that the length will determine the number of your palmiers while the width how big they are going to be. I decided to make a long rectangle and bake small “ventaglietti” (palmiers);
  3. fold 1, 2, 3 times on one side, press gently, then fold 1, 2, 3 times on the other side, press, making sure there is a small space in between when they meet in the middle;
  4. fold the left side over the right side, like closing a book;
  5. with a sharp knife cut individual cookies, about 1/1.5 cm;
  6. place them cut-side up on a baking tray lined with parchment paper -or a non-stick one, leaving some space in between.

The fridge, then the oven

  • Let the baking tray with the palmiers rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 215-220° C (420-425°F).
  • Then, bake in the hot oven for about 10 minutes or until you see a lovely caramelization on the edges. A couple of minutes before, I carefully open the oven and with a spatula turn them, so they get a nice color also on the other side. It’s okay if you don’t, they will be lighter on one side, darker on the other, but still crunchy and delicious.

French palmiers with homemade puff pastry-pan 

Let the palmiers cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. They will become crispier as they cool.

French palmiers

I have always loved palmiers, or “ventaglietti” as we call them in Italian, since my childhood. You just cannot beat the sweet crunchy flaky buttery combination. I made them for my parents in Italy and they were blown away by the texture and flavor. No store-bought palmiers can compare. So, in the end, all that work was very worth it. The look on your loved ones as they bite into your creations and seeing them go back for seconds, or thirds, is what makes me want to bake in the first place.

Enjoy!

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French palmiers with homemade puff pastry-horizontal-pan

French Palmiers with Homemade Puff Pastry

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 26 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert, cookies
  • Method: Baking

Description

French Palmiers with Homemade Puff Pastry. I cannot imagine anything more scrumptious than a tray filled with buttery, delicious palmiers to accompany your tea time, dessert time, or -why not- sweeten up your breakfast. Pretty easy to make, you need puff pastry and granulated sugar. These ones, I made with homemade puff pastry and they literally melt in your mouth!


Ingredients

For the Homemade Puff Pastry

1st dough (pastello):

  • 350 g bread flour
  • 180200 g water
  • 7 g salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

2nd dough (panetto):

  • 500 g butter, cold
  • 150 g flour type 00

For the French Palmiers (ventaglietti)

  • about 240 g puff pastry
  • granulated sugar

Instructions

For the Homemade Puff Pastry

1st dough (pastello):

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a bowl by hand) add the flour and salt. Gradually add water and knead until it comes together. Remove from the bowl, place on a work surface and knead by hand a couple of minutes until smooth. Then, form into a ball, wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 2 hours in the fridge or overnight.

2nd dough (panetto):

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer quickly work the butter and flour, place it onto a piece of parchment and shape into a rectangle. Then, set in the fridge to rest. The longer it stays, the better. It has to be very cold.

Making the puff pastry

  1. Roll out the first dough, place the second dough in the center.
  2. Close everything like a bundle.
  3. On a floured work surface, roll it to a rectangular shape 1/4-inch thick, paying attention not to let the fat content out.
  4. Bring the two ends towards the center and then overlap each other, folding it like a book. That’s it, you made the first fold to the puff pastry.
  5. Cover the pastry with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 60 minutes.
  6. After the resting time, repeat the operation three more times, being careful to always roll in the opposite direction of the previous one (turn the dough 90 degrees).
  7. After each fold, the pastry needs to be wrapped back in plastic and go back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. In total you have to give four folds of four (only the mille feuille needs to have five folds). The stretch/fold time is short, about 3-4 minutes each, then is all waiting time.
  8. After the 4th fold, the dough is ready to use, but it still requires 15-20 minutes in the fridge.
  9. You can do the folds within two days, no more. Once you’ve done your puff pastry, it can stay in the fridge for 3-4 days, or you can cut in half and freeze well wrapped in plastic.

Making the palmiers

  1. Sprinkle abundant granulated sugar on your board, place the piece of puff pastry on the sugar and sprinkle more sugar on top.
  2. Next, roll the dough into a thin rectangle. Be mindful that the length will determine the number of your palmiers while the width how big they are going to be. I decided to make a long rectangle and bake small “ventaglietti” (palmiers);
  3. Fold 1, 2, 3 times on one side, press gently, then fold 1, 2, 3 times on the other side, press, making sure there is a small space in between when the two sides meet in the middle.
  4. Fold the left side over the right side, like closing a book.
  5. With a sharp knife cut individual cookies, about 1/1.5 cm, place them cut-side up on a baking tray lined with parchment paper -or a non-stick one, leaving some space in between.
  6. Let the baking tray with the palmiers rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 215-220° C (420-425°F).
  7. Bake in the hot oven for about 10 minutes or until you see a lovely caramelization on the edges. A couple of minutes before, I carefully open the oven and with a spatula turn them, so they get a nice color also on the other side. It’s okay if you don’t, they will be lighter on one side, darker on the other, but still crunchy and delicious.

Notes

Palmiers are best the day they are made. You can store them in an airtight container, but they will gradually lose their crispiness over time.

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2 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Alexandra June 30, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    The perfect sweet treat to enjoy with a great cup of coffee!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 7, 2020 at 9:52 am

      I agree, Alexandra, there is almost nothing better than crispy palmiers and a cup of coffee 🙂

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