Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Brick Work

Feuilles de brick packaging.
The pastry rounds are folded in half inside.
The wafer thin sheets of pastry are separated by waxed paper.
The supermarkets here sell several varieties of very good pastry dough. It's been a real boon over the two years of using a temporary kitchen with hardly any bench space to roll out home made pastry. I've been able to ring in the changes with ready to use pâte brisée (shortcrust), pâte sablée (sweet tart pastry), pâte feuilletée (puff), pâte à pizza (pizza dough) and feuilles de brick (??).

To make little parcels you separate the sheets, cut the rounds in half
with scissors, brush lightly with oil and fold over to make a strip.
Put a rounded teaspoon of filling at one end and fold diagonally
end over end. The filling is cheese and chard (silverbeet).
What they don't sell is filo, and brick is often translated as filo. In fact, feuilles de brick are more like wonton wrappers. It is a North African pastry, traditionally used to make fried sweet and savoury snacks. It comes in wafer thin rounds separated by waxed paper. Once you've used feuilles de brick, you won't go back to filo is my guess. Feuilles de brick are robust and well behaved. They don't dry out and shatter in the fridge nearly as readily as sheets of filo, nor go soggy and stick together. Their slightly leathery quality means that they are easy to manipulate while you wrap up a tasty morsel. The finished product is reliably crunchy (croustillante), golden brown and neat.

Rather than fry, I bake them in the oven.
Warm, golden and crunchy, served with a shredded
cucumber and faisselle (like cottage cheese) 'relish'.
This is one pastry I won't be attempting to make for myself, and will continue to buy the excellent ready made product from the supermarket. Shop bought pizza dough on the other hand, is already a thing of the past now that I have a new oven and more room to spread out. The rolling pin has been unpacked and home made rough puff (flaky pastry) has encased a tasty pork mixture recently. Good old shortcrust can't be long in coming. Will I be able to remember how you do it?

Susan

8 comments:

  1. I'm sure you won't have forgotten, and there's something therapeutic about the process of rubbing in and making home-made pastry - maybe it's having the time to do it that is a luxury.

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  2. Tareversuch.... we've some friends coming over from the UK on their way South on Thudsday and we wanted to use up some of our leaf veg and some of the Limousin Fréres' fromage blanc and I thought that a chard and cheese tart would be just the ticket.... but now....!

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  3. If only I could get those Feuilles de Brick here, they will be handy for making Samosas. You are lucky Susan :-)

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  4. I like the look of these Susan. I'll give them a try next time I'm in France.

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  5. Jean: Ahem...actually I'm more likely to use a food processor for shortcrust.

    Tim: They'll be ideal.

    Beaver: Brick is a bit thinner than samosa pastry, but I've seen shop bought tortilla rounds turned into samosas in a similar way.

    Gaynor: They are v. easy.

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  6. PS Tim - did you recognise your cucumber in the last photo?

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  7. Pauline did... and she wondered about the chard, too? Was it the RP SuperU that does the Brick!!?

    You need hands like Pauline's Dad had.... big, long-fingered and connected to the Arctic somehow.... for shortcrust, else use a food processor!!

    WR is "Decon"... so Blogger really is American then!!?

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  8. Yes this looks a very good idea that I will try...Thankyou..
    I invented something similar where I cut off strips of ready made pastry (normally I avoid it but like you and in my grotty kitchen packets of pastry are a boon!) about 25cm wide and dot along a long length of the pastry some smoked salmon and sundried-tomatoes from a jar and maybe even a dab of pesto, then roll and wrap roughly so you can just see the salmon and tomatoes. They were surprisingly good for aperos!

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