Vol-au-vent is a popular french flaky pastry.

Flaky Pastry

What is Flaky Pastry?

Flaky pastry is an adaption of puff pastry that is easier to make, but does not give the same distinct layers as puff pastry. This is the type of dough that is frequently used to produce flakey biscuits and over flakey, but not distinctly layered baked goods. It differs from puff pastry and rough puff pastry in the way that it is made, though the process is very similar to rough puff pastry. This dough is most associated with savory dishes, though can sometimes be made into sweeter dishes.

Flaky pastry is like most pastry dough in that the sizes of the chunks of butter or fat, as well as the temperature of the dough throughout the process are critical. Flaky pastry dough should be kept below 16 ℃ (60 ℉), throughout the process. As a result, most pastry chefs chill all ingredients and utensils prior to making flaky pastry dough.

To make flaky pastry dough begin by mixing flour, water, salt, and butter to make short crust pastry dough. This is then chilled for at least ten minutes. This dough is then rolled out into a large thin rectangle on a chilled pastry board, preferably marble. Two thirds of this rectangle of short crust dough is dotted with butter that is about the size of breadcrumbs. Some recipes also call for grated butter. This dough is then folded like traditional puff pastry and rolled out. This process is repeated several times with the dough being chilled between each addition of butter. The end product is then pastry dough that has butter speckled into it, but not in consistent layers like puff pastry. Since it lacks this uniformity, when baked flaky pastry does not rise and expand as much as puff pastry. This is due to the steam being able to escape the dough more easily and not creating such distinct layers.