Homemade puff pastry is a time consuming yet completely worthwhile task -- nothing beats freshly made golden, flaky puff pastry, which is the perfect base for croissants, danishes, pies, cronuts, tarts and more.
But for those who are lactose intolerant, dairy free or vegan, puff pastry may seem like a thing of the past.
Good news: there is a way to make puff pastry without butter. And it tastes just as good as the original.
"As a dairy free vegetarian I'd been looking for a way to create a dairy free puff pastry that didn't rely on using commercial vegan margarines with hydrogenated fats," Jennifer Schmidt -- author, freelance food photographer and food stylist from Delicious Everyday -- told HuffPost Australia.
"I spent almost three months developing this recipe. I love cooking from scratch and I really enjoyed the process of coming up with a dairy-free pastry that contains natural ingredients.
"It was definitely a challenge getting the ratios of ingredients right and for a time I struggled because the butter would melt in the hot Brisbane summer weather when I was testing the recipe."
The key to dairy free puff pastry is making the vegan butter from scratch, using two secret ingredients: cocoa butter and miso paste.
"As I was making a cake one day, I stumbled across some cocoa butter I had in my pantry and wondered if that would work to help stabilise the butter. And it did," Schmidt said.
"Then I went through many iterations of the pastry recipe so that I had something that was soft enough to work into the flour, but stable enough to hold its shape and cope with being rolled out in the dough."
As for the use of miso paste? Well, the Japanese seasoning adds a complex buttery flavour.
"Umami, the so-called fifth taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Miso is naturally packed with umami and as such adds a wonderful depth of flavour to foods. I use miso in this recipe to replicate some of the complex flavours found in butter," Schmidt said.
To make the pastry extra puffy, a little bit of rolling and refrigeration time is required.
"The process of layering and rolling the pastry creates the beautiful layers which puff pastry is famous for," Schmidt said.
"As each layer is added, it adds layers of butter and pastry. As the pastry is cooked, the liquid creates steam which lifts each layer of pastry before evaporating, leaving behind wonderful, flaky, buttery layers.
"The key to this recipe is patience and thoroughly reading the recipe before beginning. Take your time to incorporate the oil into the chickpea water and refrigerate the pastry in between creating each layer."
Keen to give it a go? You only need eight ingredients all up. Check out the video below and the full recipe.
"My goal was to come up with a stable enough pastry so that I could use it for my mushroom wellington recipe, a family favourite, for Christmas lunch. The end result was a resounding success with a beautifully golden exterior and flaky buttery layers," Schmidt said.
"It can also be used to make vegetarian or vegan sausage rolls, fruit tarts, tarte tatin, danishes, palmiers, empanadas and pies."
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