Party Food IV: Pepperoni and Asiago Pinwheels

It seems odd to write the final party food post so long after our holiday party, but we don’t have to stop throwing parties just because we’ve blown through Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s. And, once you read this recipe, you’ll find a reason to have a party just so you can impress your friends with these delicate but hearty hors d’oeuvres.

That balance of fancy and familiar is exactly what put these pinwheels at the top of the party menu. Of course, I wanted to be really fancy, so I made my own puff pastry dough. The recipe is totally intimidating, but it’s more time consuming than it is difficult. I used the recipe from the Joy of Cooking — the recipe is below, but the book has really useful illustrations that you may want to look at. Meals; for Moderns also has some good tips (including a link to a video).

I was very pleased with the quality of the puff pastry (if you look closely, you can see the butter bubbling out between the layers of dough), but next time I’ll assemble them a bit more carefully. These turned out less like pinwheels and more like half moons. To make them more pinwheel-like, I would roll the dough out much flatter (I rolled it out to about 1/4 of an inch, next time I’ll try 1/8). And, after spreading the pepperoni and cheese on the dough, I would roll them very tightly and seal the edge with water or melted butter or a beaten egg.

Puff Pastry Dough (from the Joy of Cooking)

Pulse to combine in a food processor:
2 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp salt

Scatter over the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs:
5 Tb cold butter, cut into small cubes

In a separate bowl, stir to combine:
1/2 cup ice water
2 Tb fresh lemon juice
1 egg yoke

Drizzle the liquid over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough starts to form. Remove dough, form into a 5″ square and chill for 1 hour.

Cut into small cubes and freeze for a few minutes:
3 1/2 sticks butter

Place butter in food processor along with:
1 cup flour

Pulse until crumbs form. Remove, shape into a 6″ square and chill.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it onto a floured work surface. Roll into a 13″x8″ rectangle, with the short side facing you. Remove the butter patty from the refrigerator and place it on one half of the dough. Fold the dough over the butter and seal the open sides. Turn the dough so that the folded edge is on the left.

Roll the dough package into a 17″x7 1/2″ rectangle, with the short side facing you. Fold the dough into thirds, like a business letter. Rotate the dough so that the folded edge is on the left and the open edge is on the right, like a book about to be opened. Roll the dough into a 17″x7 1/2″ rectangle. Fold the bottom end up and the top end down to meet in the center (not overlapping), then fold the dough in half so that the folded ends meet to form four layers of dough. Mark the dough with two imprints to indicate that you have completed the second turn, wrap, and chill for 45 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and put it on your work surface with the folded edge on the left and the open edge on the right. Roll the dough into a 17″x7 1/2″ rectangle. Fold the bottom end up and the top end down to meet in the center (not overlapping), then fold the dough in half so that the folded ends meet to form four layers of dough. Mark the dough with three imprints to indicate that you have completed the third turn, wrap, and chill for 45 minutes.

Complete a fourth turn, wrap, and chill the dough for an hour before using the dough.



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