Crispy, buttery, cinnamony and sweet. What’s not to love about the palmier?
I bet a lot of you have been watching the Great British Bake Off whilst feeling very hungry, I know I have! If that’s the case, these biscuits will probably look a little familiar. On biscuit week last week, the bakers were challenged to bake arlettes, French puff pastry biscuits that seemed to have all but disappeared from baking today. What I bring to you this week is the more popular cousin of the arlette, the palmier biscuit. It too is made from rough puff pastry, is filled with cinnamon sugar and rolled up, although into a slightly different shape.
I fell in love with these biscuits in my early childhood and then endless summer holidays in France, where these were bought from the local boulangerie or supermarket most weeks. They sweet cinnamony flavour lends itself beautifully to the slightly crispy pastry it’s swirled inside… Boy are they good!
After the arlettes left me craving these palmiers last Wednesday, I just had to make them for you. The rough puff pastry is quick and easy (don’t let the p-word scare you off) but you can use shop bought if you prefer. These biscuits are a great way to make your first laminated dough, though, so I’d encourage you to give them a try and show me what you make!
This recipe makes about 24 palmiers, but trust me you’ll be left wanting even more! 🙂 It is adapted from Michel Roux’s rough puff pastry base.
For the rough puff pastry
250g unsalted butter, diced
250g plain flour
125ml cold water
A dash of salt (if using salted butter, do not add the extra salt)
For the palmier filling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g granulated sugar
Baking palmiers is much simpler than the finished pastry biscuit looks. Rough puff pastry is also far quicker than its purebred relative, puff, so you can knock it up in just over an hour. For a simpler option, though, just pick up packet of all butter puff pastry from your local supermarket.
- Put the plain flour and diced butter together in a bowl. Unlike shortcrust pastry, you aren’t about to make bread crumbs. Instead, rub the butter into the flour a little. You’re allowed to have lumps of butter. In fact, you need them so don’t go too crazy combining the two. Lumps of floury butter in the flour are what you’re after.
- Make a well in the middle as you would for shortcrust pastry, and add some of the cold water. Mix the ingredients together until they form a ball of dough, adding more water as necessary. Wrap up in cling film and put in the fridge for about half an hour. This will reduce the temperature of the butter so when you roll it out it won’t melt and will create the desired streaks of butter in the rolled out dough.
- Once out the fridge, I go for Michel Roux’s method. So roll out your dough into a long rectangle but make sure you only roll in one direction. Take the top of the dough and fold it down 2/3 of the way. Then take up the bottom third of the dough and fold over the top. Turn by 90 degrees and repeat, then cover and put back in the fridge for another half an hour. I know it’s tempting but don’t skip any of the fridge time, it really will help make sure your rough puff pastry turns out great.
- Start preheating your oven now to 200’C if it’s a fan oven.
- After half an hour, roll and fold the dough twice more. You’ve effectively done four quarter turns now, including the initial fold, and your pastry is ready!
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon together before spreading half on the surface. Place your dough on top and roll out to a rectangle as before, then sprinkle the remaining half of the cinnamon sugar on top and gently roll in with your rolling pin. You’ll have cinnamon sugar on both sides now.
- Roll the dough up to the middle from either short end to get the classic palmier shape. Chill once more for at least half an hour to firm up the butter, but longer if you can. This will make it much easier to cut into slices.
- Slice the roll into thin pieces, about 1cm wide, and place on a lined baking tray. Give them a final gentle roll just to get them a little thinner. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, then turn the palmiers over and bake for another 5-10 minutes until crisp and golden. You’ll see the butter bubbling around the biscuits, but when the centre is golden and the edges are golden brown, they’re done. As they cool, they’ll harden just like most biscuits do.
Serve with a mug of coffee and savour the crunch of these buttery sweet pastry biscuits.
I love these palmier pastry biscuits SO much, but if there’s one person who loves them more it’s my sister Kat so I’ll be baking plenty more when I see her soon! I’d love to see how yours turn out or any other fillings you try, I have a feeling that Nutella would be gorgeous but you can also make them savoury. French bakes are becoming a little bit of a theme on this blog, aren’t they? I hope you’re enjoying them 🙂
You’ve probably also noticed I’ve tried a slightly different format for my recipe this week. Rather than having photos interspersed with the instructions, I’ve gone for text only. Is this easier to follow or are the photos of each step helpful? Let me know what you like best!
Until Friday when I recreate a delicious pizza inspired bake for you that I found on a bakery counter the other weekend,
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