Pastry sheets are ready-to-bake pastry bases, which can be prepared into puff pastry or other delicacies. Puff Pastry is a deliciously light, flaky pastry made from dozens of layers of specially-prepared pastry dough. The pastry "puffs" when baked causing the layers to separate. Delicious though it is, the process is extremely painstaking. With readymade pastry sheets, the task becomes very easy—whether you are an expert or an amateur.
First, you need to remove as many pastry sheets as needed (wrap unused sheets in plastic wrap or foil and return them to the freezer). Thaw the sheets at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour. Work with one pastry sheet at a time, keeping the others in the refrigerator. Unfold pastry sheets on a lightly-floured board, counter top or pastry cloth. Seal filled pastries by brushing a mixture of beaten eggs and water between layers, then pinching or pressing them together. For thin, crisp pastries, roll sheets to a 1/4-inch thickness. Bake prepared sheets in a preheated conventional oven (not a microwave), voila, the light and flaky puff pastries are ready to be enjoyed with tea.
How to select
• Choose a reliable brand.
• Check the pack seal and the expiry date before buying.
• The pastry sheet is used to prepare crispy pastries: First cut the pastry with a sharp utensil such as a knife, pizza wheel or pastry tool. For decorative edges or shapes, use a fluted ravioli cutter or cookie cutters. Then, fill the pastries with your choice of sweet or savoury fillings such as meats, fruits, jams, chocolate cream or vegetables.
• For variety, stir fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries, finely-chopped apples, thinly-sliced bananas, mini-chocolate chips or nuts as filling.
• Other flavourful toppings include sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or bananas with whipped cream or a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
• To turn pastries a deep golden-brown, brush the tops with a mixture of 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water just before baking.
• To add a special texture and flavour, sprinkle chopped nuts, seeds, ground spices or grated cheese on top.
• For extra-thin, crisp pastry, set a second baking sheet on top of the filled pastry before baking. A lattice pattern can be created by topping the pastry with a metal cooling rack, then turning it at a right angle half way through the baking.
How to store
• Ready-to-use pasty sheets should be stored in an airtight container.
• To freeze homemade pastry sheets, cool and wrap them in aluminium foil or place them in a freezer bag, and then deep freeze. You can store them for up to a month.
• To reheat, place a single layer on a baking sheet, cover with foil and heat at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
• Pastries are a quick source of carbohydrate,and thus keep hunger away.
• Choose healthier alternatives like fresh fruits or green vegetables as filling or topping on pastry sheets for a tasty and healthy breakfast or snack.