The blog of cooking-ez.com

The golden-brown finish on puff pastry


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?
27K 2 5 4
Grade this page:

Last modified on: February 8th 2018

The golden-brown finish on puff pastry
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 dissociation of a preparation
The dissociation of a preparation
It may have already happened to you: You prepare a sauce, a cream, a ganache etc. and then suddenly or almost, the whole thing dissociates, and from a smooth mixture that you were preparing with love, you end up with a horrible thing with a more or less solid part and another liquid part. It's...
461 January 22th 2022
 The super powers of cornstarch
The super powers of cornstarch
I start this new year by evoking an old product, that you most probably have in your cupboards, a white powder, often in a small cardboard package with a slightly outdated look, only the "gluten free" is relatively recent, it is simply cornstarch, hence its name of maïzena. It's used for a lot...
398 January 14th 2022
The return of the
The return of the "Norman hole"
You maybe know the "trou normand", this old gastronomic custom typically French which consists in taking a (small) glass of calvados, generally between the last course and the dessert? It's something that seems a bit anachronistic nowadays, having a glass of an alcohol of more than 60° in the...
1,217 December 18th 2021
In praise of Mont d'Or cheese
In praise of Mont d'Or cheese
Do you know the Mont d'Or, this extraordinary cheese from the Haut-Doubs in France, with a unique taste and appearance, which can be eaten both raw and cooked? I'll tell you a few words about it, and with some tips on how to choose it and cook it. .
1,5955 November 27th 2021
Cooking scallops
Cooking scallops
We are, as I write these lines, in the season of the scallops, if you like that it is necessary to benefit from it as much as possible, although it is alas not cheap. I like scallops a lot, but I have to admit that it has naturally little taste, or, said differently, it takes the taste of what...
3,4765 November 23th 2021
Other pages you may also like
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 length...
71K 23.7 June 16th 2021
Candied fruits: don't get ripped off
Candied fruits: don't get ripped off
Do you like candied fruit? You might like to nibble a handful or add it to a recipe, like a classic fruit cake or delicious Italian specialities like panettone or sicilian epiphany pie.
34K 23 June 21th 2017
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.
207K 23.6 June 23th 2021
Different kinds of pastry and dough
Different kinds of pastry and dough
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. .
92K 13.7 November 6th 2012
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? .
83K 13.9 February 7th 2017
Post your comment or question
Posted by:
I am not a leaving thing
Your 2 comments or questions on this page
  • Yes, if your dough rest in the fridge.
    Posted by jh november 24th 2019 at 21:57 (n° 2)
  • Can I brush on the dorure 5 hours before cooking?
    Posted by Sally november 24th 2019 at 19:32 (n° 1)
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 e-mail address 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