This week the bakers were tasked with a signature bake making 24 filled pastries of some description – there were empanadas, pasties, mini beef wellingtons and samosas.
The technical bake consisted of making something no-one had ever heard of and only Richard really nailed it. Then the showstopper was an éclair extravaganza, which is a phrase I wish I could use more often.
I was tempted to make éclairs, but since I made a two foot tower of profiteroles (or a croquembouche, to those of us initiated in the secrets of choux) at the tender age of 20, I feel I'm already a master of that form of pastry.
I hate to blow my own trumpet, but if the choux fits…
So I went with the signature bake and made pasties. I used one of Paul’s recipes for the pastry, but I couldn’t find any shredded vegetable suet in Sainsbury's (I know, outrageous) so I just used margarine.
I used a slightly altered version of the mushroom and lentil filling recipe the nice lady from Fisher&Co wrote on the back of a receipt for me. I also made a cheese and leek filling, but I can't be sitting here writing you recipes all day, so I'm just going to give you the mushroom filling recipe.
Look at the shine on that pasty! That was a result of egg-washing it about every 10 minutes as it was baking...
Despite the lack of vegetable suet, I thought these pasties came out really well. I had a bit of trouble with the crimping - I think it might be because the pastry seemed a bit dry after rolling it out with a dusting of flour, so perhaps if you try this recipe run a wet finger along the edges of the pastry before crimping. This recipe makes 4 pasties.
You will need:
For the pastry:
500g strong white bread flour
150g baking margarine (or 25g butter & 120g lard, vegetable suet or shortening)
pinch of salt
1 beaten egg
For the filling:
400g finely chopped mushrooms
1 finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
seasoning, to taste
knob of butter
100g brown or green lentils, either from a tin or already soaked and boiled
1. Fry the onion, mushrooms and garlic in the butter until the mushrooms have released all their water and it has cooked off. Season to taste and set aside to cool.
2. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, then add the margarine (and other fat, if using) in cubes. Or just mauled into lumps, like I have here.
3. Rub the margarine into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Make a well in the crumbly mixture and add the water, stirring all the time with one hand until the mixture comes together into a dough. Knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth, glossy and pliable.
5. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes to an hour, preheating the oven to 170C at some point during the chilling.
6. Divide into 4 equal pieces and roll each out into a circle the size of a dinner plate, using a plate to trim any excess pastry away.
7. Put the filling on one side and pull the pastry on the other side up over it. Crimp around the edges by putting your finger on the edge and pulling the pastry up around it. Watch this rather excellent video with Paul Hollywood to see how to do it.
8. Put the pasties on a greased baking tray, brush them with beaten egg and place in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. If you want the high shine effect, you will need to brush them with egg every 10 or 15 minutes.
9. Leave to cool a little, then dig in!
This is what the cheese and leek pasty looked like, in case you're interested:
Next week on the Bake Off, it's enriched dough, which I don't want to do *grumble grumble* because I've made loads of brioche and such recently.
I'm also making Mary's Fraisier cake for a cake and coffee fundraiser at work because I love making things hard for myself. Hooray!