Lamination is the process of creating layers of dough and butter, and rolling them out into thin sheets, cutting them into squares and baking them to make beautiful and elegant pastries. As the butter melts between the layers of dough, it creates steam, which causes the layers of dough to puff up and create the beautiful flaky pastry that you see in Danishes. Laminating dough is a very therapeutic process. It is definitely time consuming and takes good planning and proper thought process, clear and organized mind to be able to go through the steps properly. Whenever you make something, put your heart into it, put your soul into it, and you will see the love that comes out via the dish that you create. Laminating dough is not hard at all but it does require some good muscle work to roll that base brioche dough, pounding on the huge butter block to make it the exact size that you want, rolling out the dough with the butter block in the middle, go through the folds, and finally rolling it out thin enough to make beautiful danishes! And lots of patience!!! The end result is definitely rewarding and so worth it.
*ABOUT THE AUTHOR:*
I have been a huge fan of Julie since a long time, since I started following her on Instagram. Julie Jones is the author of 2 beautiful books : 1) Soulful Baker 2) The Pastry School . When I started following Julie, she would talk a lot about her mom, who was then suffering dementia. Julie is a trained chef, who went to culinary school, and then she really didn’t get a chance to hone her career because she was taking care of her mum and her family. She would share wonderful stories of her mum, and how she inspired her to bake, and really get into the kitchen. I felt a connection with Julie, instantly, because it reminded me of how my mum instilled the love of baking and cooking in me, right since I was a kid. How much I enjoyed baking with her, and giving her company in the kitchen. I was my mum’s biggest fan. So when Julie’s mum passed away, I knew how she felt, having lost my mum too, whom I admired dearly, and who was my best friend. Her Feather Pie was one of the most beautiful creations I have ever seen, so metamorphic, and ethereal. I hope I can meet Julie one day when I visit the UK next year!
*ABOUT THE BOOK:*
Julie Jones is the author of 2 beautiful books : 1) Soulful Baker 2) The Pastry School . Both the books are available here on Amazon. I have the first book and I instantly fell in love with it. Her pictures are gorgeous and each recipe is so detail oriented and beautifully written as well. Julie was gracious and generous to send me her second book – The Pastry School, which I have become a huge fan of! Over a year ago, I took an extensive laminated dough class, and I got really comfortable with making laminated dough, and the whole process of it. After seeing Julie’s absolutely stunning book, released in Spring 2020, I was really mesmerized by all the content in her book. Julie’s book has the basics of making 10 different kinds of pastries like Hot Water Pastry, Shortcrust Pastry, Puff Pastry, Inverted Puff Pastry, Viennoiserie Pastry etc, with exclusive pictures showing the process of making the dough, as it can be intimidating with so many steps, but it is really a matter of reading the instructions very carefully, and following it well. The other chapters are really well divided as well, as in a Chapter of pastry and cheese, Or pastry and nuts Or pastry and fruit OR pastry and meat, and the beautiful creations you can make with these different combinations. The pictures in the book are really stunning. My husband, who is a designer, loved the book and how elegant, sophisticated and minimalistic the pictures were. Each and every creation is different from the next one, and each so unique and beautiful in it’s own way! This is a MUST have book on your book shelf! I want to make the Root Vegetable Tart with puff pastry, because it looks incredible!
I spent some time over the long weekend to make these beautiful Fromage Blanc, Honeycomb and Fig Viennoiserie from Julie’s cookbook ! I started the process late on a Saturday, and we were able to enjoy the Danishes or Viennoiserie’s on Monday morning. The resting process takes time. The book has detailed instructions and a schedule provided as well that you can use as a guide/template to help you through the Danish process. The book also has beautiful step by step process pictures which are very useful too. Laminating dough is very therapeutic. Making the dough is easy, it takes 5 minutes. Making the butter block takes about 5-10 minutes. It is the resting part that takes time. You have to let the gluten develop in the dough, and the dough and butter to be chilled, so you can roll them out uniformly.
The BEST TIPs to take from this:
- Make sure that the dough and the butter are cold.
- If you are making it in the summer or heat, turn on the AC. You need the room to be cold, so that you have a bit of time to work the dough and the butter, and the lamination.
- Have all your tools ready, like a ruler, sharp knife to level off the edges of the laminated dough, a good brush to brush off the extra dough etc.
- User the ruler to level off your dough after every few rolls, to have an accurate rectangle. It will immensely help in shaping perfect pastries.
- Set timers for yourself to know when to do the first fold, second fold etc.
- Follow the instructions and measurements to the T and you will get the end result right.
- Proofing the dough after the squares are cut out, is very important and proofing for the right time and right temperature. Again make sure that the proofing temperature is room temperature. If it too hot the butter between the layers will start melting and make the dough very soggy, and it will lead to butter leaking from the pastry.
- I LOVE this tip from Julie when making these vinnnoiseries . After you cut and shape the squares, put a little plastic wrap with beans in it as a weight, to put on the flaps of the Danish to hold them down. I have always had this issue when making Danish and I love the solution provided by Julie. It is brilliant! The center stays down and it makes for a nice bed to put in the filling.
If you have any questions about this recipe, or laminating dough in general, please feel free to email me or DM me on my Instagram. I am always here to help with whatever questions you have, or walk you through the process. I hope you enjoy this recipe, and if you do attempt at making it, please do not forget to tag @juliejonesk on Instagram so she can see that you made it! 😊
Love and hugs!