© 2023 WYPR
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Laminated Dough

"Do not overwork the dough," says Chef Higgins. You want a loose, jaggedy ball.
"Do not overwork the dough," says Chef Higgins. You want a loose, jaggedy ball.

Anyone who has watched any of the dozens of baking shows on TV has marveled at the flaky magic of multi-layered dough. There seems to be several types in play here, so I asked Chef Jerry Pellegrino, to teach us the different kinds and how to make them?

Here are the basics. Laminated dough is a culinary preparation consisting of many thin layers of dough separated by butter or other solid fat, produced by repeated folding and rolling. Such doughs may contain more than eighty layers. During baking, water in the butter vaporizes and expands, causing the dough to puff up and separate, while the lipids in the butter essentially fry the dough, resulting in a light, flaky product Pastries using laminated doughs include:

Croissant pastry, from France

Danish pastry, made with yeast-leavened dough, from Austria via Denmark

Flaky pastry

Jachnun, a Yemenite Jewish pastry

Kouign-amann, a sweet Breton cake from north-western France

Paratha, a flatbread native to South Asia

M'semen, a traditional flatbread of northern Africa

Puff pastry

Here is a great recipe for puff pastry:

Here’s a great croissant recipe:

 And some great ideas on how to use your puff pastry:

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.