As with the real thing, we found that the following precautions are necessary to avoid lopsided puff pastry and ensure a successful rise.
- To prepare: thaw frozen pastry on the counter until pliable but still chilled(20 to 30 minutes). Unfold and place with creases opening onto a floured surface like a book set face down. Gently press the creases to make a smooth, even sheet.
- When using a cookie cutter: dip the cutter periodically in flour so that it does not stick to the dough. Do not twist the cutter to cut. If the layers are pressed together, the dough will not rise evenly.
- When using a knife: make sure it is sharp, and do not drag it through the dough to cut. A pastry wheel or pizza cutter may also be used.
- Avoid dripping egg wash down the pastry’s sides. This can seal the dough to the pan and prevent the layers from rising.
- Avoid rolling over the dough edges with your rolling pin. It can press down the sides.
- Position your oven rack in the upper third of the oven to bake.
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