French pastry, for those who have never tried it, is light and crispy with a distinctive butter taste. The fact that it is regarded as a delicacy sometimes puts people off trying to make it for themselves. However, this article will give you the knowledge and the confidence that you need to start. There is quite a variety of French pastry recipes, so let us look at some famous examples.
The most well-known French pastry is the croissant. It is flaky with a pronounced buttery flavour. You can make dough for croissants by folding chilled butter into a leavened puff pastry dough. The folding process is a technique that requires some hands-on tuition. So, unless you want to go to the trouble of joining a French pastry school, it would be best to buy frozen dough for your first effort at making croissants.
There are several French pastries that are made with choux pastry. This pastry consists of eggs, flour, butter and water. The steam produced in the baking process creates spaces inside the dough, making the pastry light and airy.
The eclair is made with the choux pastry and is given a rectangular shape. The filling can be chocolate cream, custard or fruit. Profiterole
Another choux pastry recipe is the profiterole. It has a round shape and is filled with custard or cream. The profiterole is usually topped with chocolate or caramel sauce, which is allowed to harden like icing. Beignet
The beignet is a kind of French doughnut made with choux pastry, and having the characteristic of an airy texture.
Another type of French pastry is the brioche. It is made from a dough containing large quantities of butter and eggs. It is usually topped with a glaze made from egg before it goes into the oven, so it comes out with a golden shine.
Necessary ingredients and techniques
The secrets of the French patisserie are found in the ingredients. The ingredients that you will need for French pastry recipes are unsalted butter and low-gluten flour. The flour is most important in producing the light texture expected of French cake recipes.
There are also some techniques involved, however they are not hard to learn. Basically, you must develop the knack of working quickly as you mix the dough. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour. Do not allow your hands to remain in the dough for a long time, as this will allow the butter to soften. If you do not feel that you can develop the techniques without help, you can always enrol in a pastry school, where all your questions can be answered and any mistakes corrected.