26 October 2011

Wheat Free, Crispy Apple Tart made with Homemade Wheat Free Puff Pastry Dough.

Yes, it is possible.

It is possible to make a successful, homemade wheat free puff pastry dough, with Spelt flour.  Classic puff pastry dough scares people because it sounds complicated.  Yes, to make it perfectly takes some practice, but if you follow a few do’s and don’ts, you should be able to make dramatic puff pastry the first time.
There is so much you can do with a classic puff pastry dough.  From croissants, to fruit tarts, to pies and snacks.
Over the weekend we made a Crispy Apple Tart with the puff pastry dough, and even managed to keep a part of the dough for breakfast croissants. 

This tart manages to taste intensely of butter and apples at the same time.  You will also feel a delightful delicate crunch when you bite into a piece.
Ingredients for Crispy Apple Tart
Makes one 11 by 14 inch or 28 by 35 cm tart
1 recipe puff pastry dough, 4 turns instead of the traditional six
4 large apples, such as Golden Delicious, Macintosh or local tart varieties for baking, but not Granny Smiths
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup butter, melted
Classic Puff Pastry Dough
Tips on a classic Puff Pastry Dough (The same for spelt or all purpose flour):
  • Remember, you’re basically enclosing a packet of butter in some pastry dough and then rolling it out and folding it over itself to create layers. 
  • Keep the dough cold or the butter it contains will melt and the integrity of the layers will be lost. Before baking, trim off the edges.  
  • The edges are likely to be crimped and can inhibit the pastry’s rise. 
  • Once you’ve rolled out the pastry dough and cut it to the size and shape you want, stick the whole sheet pan in the freezer for 15 minutes just before baking. The colder the dough and the greater the difference in temperature between the dough and the oven, the more dramatic the rise will be.
  • When baking puff pastry dough, always start with high heat, at least 425 degrees F or 220 degrees C, to get the most rise.  If the dough isn’t cooked through even though it’s puffed and golden brown, turn down the oven to 300 degrees F or 150 degrees C so the pastry continues to cook on the inside without browning any more. 
I’ve included a hand made puff pastry dough and a recipe made in the Panasonic Bread Machine - the one piece of equipment in my home I can’t raise a wheat sensitive family of ten, without! 

The hand made recipe is somewhat unorthodox because it calls for working the basic dough that you use to enclose the butter.  This is heresy to anyone trained in the classic method in which the dough is worked as little as possible, but the results are dramatically better.  The only downside is that the initial dough has to rest overnight before you can get to the next step.
Ingredients for Hand made Dough (without yeast)
Makes 1 ¾ pounds / 800g dough
2 cups all-purpose flour or 2 ⅔ cups white spelt flour
½ cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound butter
Combine the flour, water, oil and salt by hand on a work surface or in a stand mixer or food processor.  Mix until they come together in a smooth, homogeneous mass. Don’t hesitate to knead the mixture to smooth it out.  Form the dough into a squarish disk and score the top deeply with a knife, to help the gluten relax.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.
Bread machine Dough (with yeast)
2 ½ t yeast
550g white spelt flour (400 g all purpose flour)
1 ½ t salt
1 ½ Tsp rice milk powder (normal milk powder will also work)
1 ½ Tsp rapandura sugar
1 egg
30g butter
215 ml water
Add ingredients in the bread machine in the same sequence as given in recipe.
Choice of “select” - basic
Choice of “option” - dough (2hours 20min)
Press “start.
When dough is finished, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to cool and rest in refrigerator for about an hour.
The butter should not be too cold, it will crack when you roll it; and not too warm, it will ooze out between the layers.  It should have the same consistency as the dough itself.  
Cut a ¼ pound / 125g butter into thin pieces and lay them next to each other between two layers of baking paper.

Roll the butter so the pieces become one. Don’t thin out the butter.

Put in freezer for 30 min to harden.

Flour the work surface and put the dough on it.  Roll out in a rectangle about 13 by 17 inches / 30 by 45cm. (I didn’t us all the dough for the tart and saved about 200g for the croissants.)  Place the butter on the one half of the rectangular dough.

Fold over the flap, tucking excess dough into the folds so the butter is completely enclosed.  

Fold the rectangle into thirds as though it was a letter, starting with the narrow end, fold the bottom third down,

and fold the opposite end up, to form a neat parcel of dough.  

Hammer gently on top of the packet of dough.

Turn the dough so that the large single fold, like the spine of a book, is on your left, and fold it in the same way.  If the dough is difficult to roll, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Wrap in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for an hour to rest.
Continue in this way until you have given the pasty 4 turns in total.
Method for Crispy Apple Tart
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F or 220 degrees C.
Sprinkle cold water on a sheet pan to keep the bottom of the tart from burning.
Roll the dough into a 12 by 15 inch / 30 by 40 cm  rectangle and transfer it to the prepared sheet pan. Trim the edges of the rectangle so it measures 11 by 14 inches / 28 by 35 cm and dock it (poke it with holes) to keep it from puffing up in the oven.

Peel, halve and core the apples.  Cut the apple halves into thin slices.

Arrange the apple slices in rows along the length of the pastry, overlapping the slices so that each one cover about half of the one before it and changing direction with each row. 

Brush evenly with the melted butter.

Sprinkle the tart with the sugar.

Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the edges are a deep golden brown.  Start checking the tart after 20 minutes to make sure it isn’t puffing up and forcing off the apples.  If it is puffing, poke the puffed part with the tip of a paring knife to deflate it and use the tip of the knife to gently rearrange any slices that have moved.

Let cool on the sheet pan for a minute and then, with a long metal spatula, scrape under the tart to loosen it before you remove the tart from the sheet pan - it always sticks and usually burns a little on the bottom.

Cut into rectangles and serve.

I enter this delicious tea snack in Heidi-Mari's Fortnightly Baking Challenge

This fortnightly theme is Snazzy Snacks and you can be the proud winner of the Australian Women's Weekly Snazzy Snacks Recipe book!
Hop over to Heidi-Mari's blog and check out the mouth watering snacks.  Maybe you can enter you favourite snack too!

Bon appetite


Heidi-Mari said...

Dear Mom
Thank you SO much for taking part in my Baking Fun Challenge again!
This recipe is DELICIOUS! And it’s beautiful too!
Love you LOTS

Ss D said...


Thanks for this recipe. Just wanted clarification...when the dough has been rolled with the butter and put in the frigde for 1 hour, you mention to roll out again for 4 turns. Does this mean that after each turn, it has to be left in the fridge for 1 hour?


Linnie said...

Hi Sam
I'm so glad you take interest in my recipe.
Yes, left the dough to rest for an hour in the fridge between each turn.
Happy Baking!

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