25 g fresh yeast or 13g active dry yeast granules
150 ml whole milk finger warm no more than 36c (97–98°F)
50 g caster sugar
50 g butter softened
350 g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 egg - plus 1 yolk
For the layers:
350 g butter slightly softened (not too soft)
25 g plain flour.
a baking sheet lined
Instructions for preparing the dough
If you are using fresh yeast, add the yeast and whole milk to a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved.
If using active yeast granules, pour the milk into a bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly.
Pour into the mixer with the dough hook attached.
Stir in the sugar and softened butter, then mix the flour with the salt and start to add, bit by bit. Add the egg halfway through along with the remaining flour. Keep mixing with the dough hook for a good 5 minutes. The resulting dough should still be a little bit sticky.
Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead through, adding more flour as needed until you have a stretchy, workable dough and then roll the dough out into a big square 35 x 35 cm.
For the filling, mix the butter with the flour into a just mouldable ball using your hands. It’s important this mixture ends up being a similar consistency and workability to the dough – this will make it easier to roll. If your hands are too warm, use a rolling pin and beat the butter flat between two sheets of baking parchment. Flatten the butter out to a square around 25 x 25 cm, then place this butter square onto your dough at a 45 degree angle so that the dough corners can fold back in to cover the butter.
Carefully fold the dough corners over the butter until you have completely enclosed it – a bit like making an envelope! Dust with flour and very carefully roll out the package to a rectangle around 30 cm x 50 cm, then fold the layers the short way twice so you end up with a rectangle approx 30 x 15 cm (3 layers with butter). It is important that you roll carefully so that the butter stays inside the pastry package at all times.
Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet, cover with clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. This will help the butter chill so you can keep working it.
Repeat the folding process: roll to a rectangle and fold back on itself – you now have 9 layers of butter. Again, rest the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes, then repeat the rolling process again so you end up with yet another rectangle in 3 folds with 27 layers of butter in total. After a final rest in the refrigerator, your pastry is now ready
Instructions for making the pastries
On a lightly floured surface, carefully roll out the dough and cut into 12–14 squares of around 10 x 10 cm each.
Place a generous teaspoon of remonce almond paste into the middle of each pastry square, then carefully fold each of the 4 corners in to meet in the middle, using the sticky remonce to hold the corners down. Use your thumb or a fork to secure the pastry. Place the pastries on the prepared baking sheets, then cover with cling film and set aside to rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
Brush the tops of each pastry with a little of the beaten egg mixture. Add a teaspoon of your preferred filling (pastry cream OR jam) into the centre of each square. Lastly, add a sprinkling of chopped toasted hazelnuts to the centre as well.
Bake in the preheated oven for around 10–15 minutes or until golden brown, then remove and allow to cool before decorating. You may need to bake these for longer – it really depends on your oven, but they need to be baked through.