Sunday, 16 August 2015

GBBO Week 2 - Arlettes

Week 2 of the Great British Bake Off, and it’s biscuit week! The first challenge were biscotti, with a huge variety being displayed. Paul’s chocolate and hazelnut biscotti looked very tempting, and I loved the idea of Ugne’s white wine biscotti! Ian’s orange, rosemary and almond biscotti looked amazing (though I personally wouldn't put the rosemary in)…and in a few days I’ll be posting my attempt at biscotti.

The technical challenge were something I had never heard of before – Arlette’s. They reminded my of a very flat cinnamon swirl,  being made up of puff pastry swirled with cinnamon. The puff pastry however is made using a reverse method, whereby the butter is outside of the dough when folding! It sounded difficult but delicious.

Me and my boyfriend made these this weekend, and didn't need to modify the BBC website’s recipe too much. Here is our recipe :D

In our opinion they tasted delicious – with a crisp pastry and sweet cinnamon flavour. 

Perfect alongside a cup of tea.

The original recipe makes 8 biscuits, but ours ended up slightly smaller, and we got 10.


For the dough:
  • 60g white bread flour
  • 60g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 40g butter, melted

For the butter layer:
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 25g white bread flour
  • 25g plain flour

For the filling:
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Icing sugar, for dusting


1. First, start the dough. Put the flours, salt, butter and 50ml cold water into a mixing bowl, and gently mix (with a wooden spoon) to form a dough.

2. Lightly dust a surface with flour, and tip out the dough on to it. Knead it for about 5 minutes – the dough will become super smooth. Shape the dough into a square, then wrap in cling film, and freeze for 30 minutes (or refrigerate for an hour).

3. Whilst the dough is chilling, make the butter layer. Cream the butter and flours together in a bowl until well incorporated. Place onto a layer of clingfilm, and cover with another clingfilm layer. Spread out to a rectangle roughly twice as long (but the same width) as the dough square. Chill in the fridge for 25 minutes.

4. Unwrap the chilled dough and butter. Place the butter on a lightly floured surface, and place the square of the dough in the centre of the butter sheet (making sure it is neatly positioned and is nearly at the edges of the butter).
Lift the exposed butter sheet at the top and fold it down over the dough, then take the bottom exposed sheet and fold it over the top (the dough is completely enclosed).
Roll out the rectangle (so it’s back to the size it was pre-folding), and then fold the top quarter down and the bottom quarter up so that they meet neatly in the centre.
Fold the dough in half (along the centre line). This is a book turn. Cover in cling film and chill for 25 minutes.

5. Remove the dough from the fridge and do another book turn. Wrap again in cling film and chill for 25 minutes.

6. Make the filling. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Take the dough out of the fridge again and roll out the dough to a rectangle (as previously). Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon, before making another book turn.

7. Roll out the pastry to 1cm thickness, about 12 x 20 cm in size. Roll up the short end (to get the maximum number of swirls), and roll tightly (like a swiss roll). Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 25 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

9. Once chilled, trim the edges of the roll and cut 1 cm thick slices. Place a sheet of cling film on a surface, and place the slice on the cling film. Cover with another layer of film, then roll out very thinly. Take off the top layer of film and dust with icing sugar, then place onto the baking tray, and remove the second layer of film. Dust with icing sugar. Repeat for the other biscuits. We found that the cling film helped prevent the dough sticking to the rolling pin (due to the high amount of butter, it is very sticky!).

10. Bake for 5-10 minutes. The BBC recipe says 5 minutes, but we found with our oven slightly longer was needed. Remove from the oven and very carefully (using a metal spatula or fish slice), flip the biscuits. IF they seem to soft, put them back into the oven for a minute or so. Bake for a further 3-4 minutes, until they are golden brown. Leave to cool completely.

11.Dust with more icing sugar, then devour.

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