Puff is a cute single-subject cookbook focused on one ingredient: puff pastry. Because the holiday season comes hand-in-hand with entertaining, I find that I stock up on puff pastry more than any other time of the year. Puff pastry is just a simple dough with a light and flaky texture and, although it is buttery, not much personality on its own. It is this relative plainness that makes puff pastry such an incredibly versatile ingredient. It can be made into desserts or used as a base for savory appetizers and main courses. Puff pastry is also very easy to work with and readily available in the freezer case of just about every single grocery store. Once it is defrosted, it is pretty hard to go completely wrong.
The hardest part about using puff pastry is that you have so many options it’s hard to decide what to do. It is here that Puff steps in, providing 50 unique and easy to follow recipes for using puff pastry. It includes bite-sized appetisers that can be perfect for feeding a hungry crowd over cocktails, as well as recipes that use the pastry for dressing up dinners, using the flaky pastry as a base for a gourmet pizza, for instance. There are also plenty of dessert recipes, from quick palmiers to more complex tarts.
One thing that bakers will really appreciate with this book, in addition to the ideas and photos it provides, is that the author takes the time to describe the process of making puff pastry from scratch. It’s really not as difficult as you might think (I’ve done it before) and the results are great. If you opt not to go this route, there are lots of good tips on handling frozen dough to make sure you achieve the best finished product no matter what recipe you’re using.