The blog of cooking-ez.com

The golden-brown finish on puff pastry


9,1644/5 for 4 ratings
Grade this page:

Last modified on: February 8th 2018

The golden-brown finish on puff pastry

Let's take a look at the tricky matter of producing puff pastry with an attractive, golden-brown finish. French pastry chefs call this "dorure" (literally, "gilding").

Behind this quirky term there lurks a real problem (and the solution): when using puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) for a pie, or to prepare a feuilletage for a recipe, how can we ensure that the baked pastry has a beautifully browned crust?

Is this really a problem? Well, yes, as there is no sugar in the pastry – it is just flour, water and butter – so it does not naturally brown well during baking. We need to understand that, even if it is fully cooked, pale and colourless pastry looks pretty unappetising.

glazing with brush



To overcome this, pastry chefs/bakers/cooks use a glaze made from beaten egg. They brush the pastry with this before baking.

feuilletage doré



During cooking, this glaze turns golden brown – the attractive colour that makes puff pastry items so appealing: vol-au-vent, rolls, pasties, etc.

Ham friand pie



It is very easy to glaze a piece of pastry with a brush, but it is also easy to make the mistake which can ruin everything: glazing down the cut edges of the pastry as well. This prevents the pastry rising, as it effectively "welds" the edges shut and stops the pastry puffing up into flaky layers.

Simply put, we should only brush the glaze over the top surface of puff pastry, and avoid getting on the sides. This will allow the pastry to puff up as much as possible.

puff pastry schema


This diagram represents a piece of puff pastry on a baking sheet: brown indicates where to brush the glaze, and red indicates where to avoid glazing (yes, I know, I know – you can see that my drawing skills are somewhat limited).

This is why on a vol-au-vent, for example, the top is always nicely browned, but the sides are still pale – and that is just how it needs to be.

To sum up: For nicely browned puff pastry, brush the glaze over the top, but avoid glazing the sides.

Back to top of page

Lasts posts

  • The 3 essential knives
    The 3 essential knives

    You must have heard a chef or cook say: "There’s no good cooking without good ingredients". This ...

  • Using stretch food film effectively
    Using stretch food film effectively

    Maybe you use food film in your own kitchen. You know, the very thin, clear plastic stuff that you ...

  • The mock CAP baker's certificate exam
    The mock CAP baker's certificate exam

    The next instalment in my life as an apprentice baker at the French INBP professional school. I’m ...

  • Rosemary in recipes
    Rosemary in recipes

    Rosemary, as I’m sure you know, is a culinary herb: It is one of the famous French "herbes de ...

  • The Holy Grail of French bakers
    The Holy Grail of French bakers

    While browsing through the recipes on this site, you may have noticed that while I adore cooking ...

  • Is it really necessary to cream egg yolks?
    Is it really necessary to cream egg yolks?

    Let’s try and answer a question that crops up in cookery and patisserie, even if it verges on the ...

  • Egg yolks and caster sugar
    Egg yolks and caster sugar

    We often come across recipes where we need to mix egg yolks with caster sugar. This would appear to ...

  • Fats for cooking
    Fats for cooking

    If you need to fry or sear anything a frying pan or saucepan, the temperature is likely to be high. ...

  • Other articles

  • See all posts
  • Random post
  • RSS feed

Other pages you may also like

[Egg yolks and caster sugar]
Egg yolks and caster sugar
We often come across recipes where we need to mix egg yolks with caster sugar. This would appear to be a very ordinary and simple thing to do but, be warned, these two ingredients can behave oddly together.Let’s take confectioner's custard (crème pâtissière, or french pastry cream) as an...
5,5804.4/5 for 7 ratings
[What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?]
What is the difference between bakery and patisserie?
This is a question that you may well have asked yourself and which I will attempt to answer. In France the two trades of "boulangerie" (bakery) and "pâtisserie" (patisserie and confectionery) have always been quite distinct, but where exactly do the boundaries lie? If you were to ask any...
14,522 44/5 for 17 ratings
[Different kinds of pastry and dough ]
Different kinds of pastry and dough
First, take some flour…When cooking in general, and particularly in baking, we can make and use many different kinds of pastry and dough. All built on the same "base": flour - a powder to which we add fat, liquid or both to produce the dough which is then cooked.Here is a brief overview of...
27,4364.2/5 for 12 ratings
[A few tips for effective kneading at home]
A few tips for effective kneading at home
When you have to knead dough for bread or some other recipe, you may well use a food processor or the type of machine known as a stand mixer. The best-known brands are Kenwood and KitchenAid. They are useful tools, but here are a few tips to help you get the best out of them.Let's start with...
3,029 23.4/5 for 26 ratings
[The window-pane test in bread-making]
The window-pane test in bread-making
The home bread-makers often ask themselves “Have I kneaded my dough long enough?”. A good question, as dough that is insufficiently kneaded will not rise properly or will fall flat when the top is slashed, which is very frustrating.To know when the dough is ready, one can rely on the...
8,705 13.7/5 for 6 ratings

Post your comment or question

I am not a leaving thing

Follow this page

If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your email with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page