Welcome back to #RomBakeOff and my adventures in GF baking as inspired by the Great British Bake Off, (GBBO). I have to admit I didn’t exactly follow the schedule for the past two weeks. Week 7 was supposed to be Mini Pear Pies, poached pears wrapped in puff pastry as seen here and Week 8 was supposed to be Egg Custard Tarts. I had a bad experience with cooked pears in college once and I really haven’t eaten them since then so last week I decided I would attempt a different bake but one that still involved puff pastry. The one which caught my eye Kouign amann. I thought they looked absolutely beautiful during the GBBO episode and I also thought if I was able to pull these off in a GF version I should be able to make GF Croissants (my ultimate goal).
The first time I attempted to make a laminated dough (layers of dough and butter) I failed so badly after my first taste everything was dumped into the bin. [spoiler]I have learned over the past year or so that some GF bakes, specifically ones with yeast tend to need more protein to hold their structure so I thought I would add an additional flour to the recipe. I also remembered that baking powder is used to provide some lift assistance because the liquids and fats absorb at different rates then they do with wheat flour. I also knew I would need some xantham gum for structure but I had to be careful because too much would make my pastry rubbery instead of flaky.[/spoiler] I used Paul Hollywood’s basic recipe, substituted a 4:1 ratio of GF flour and sorghum flour, added baking powder, xantham gum, and then went to work. I decided to split the sugar in thirds because the recipe called for sprinkling three separate times.
My first thought when I dumped the dough out and shaped it into a ball is that this dough felt like real dough. I mean the expression smooth like a baby’s bottom was accurate. I was so happy I wanted to cry because I haven’t felt that texture while baking since the last time I made a dough with wheat flour. I also had a lot of fun bashing my block of butter into rectangular submission. Then I started with the laminating process.
I don’t have as many pictures this time because my rolling pin skills need some work and I couldn’t let the dough get too warm or my butter would melt and I would lose all of my layers. But with each successive turn the dough felt better and better. I could also start to see the butter and dough remaining mostly separate which was a huge relief. My dough wasn’t cracking during the folds which I thought was another good sign.
When I cut the dough to make the individual pastries I was so pleased to see that I actually had layers. I should have moved a little faster or cheated and briefly rechilled the dough before cutting and placing in the muffin tin but I wasn’t complaining because some of them turned out looking pretty good. Then it was time for the taste test.
Layers – check
Flakiness – check
Flavor – check
Happy dance – check
Even now, over a week later I am still stoked that this was a success.
Due to my lack of rolling skills and inaccurate measuring, I ended up with some scraps of dough leftover so this weekend I thought I would try croissants again. Lets just say they are much better then the first attempt but still not picture worthy. However, I think this recipe can be adapted to make croissants. If you are interested in how other bakers did this weekend check out the hashtag #RomBakeOff on Twitter and Instagram. My previous bakes can be found here:
Week 6 | Week 5 | Week4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1