Goat Cheese and Olive Palmiers

Goat Cheese and Olive Palmiers

My very favorite thing is savory pastry, and this one has it all: crispy pastry, olives, capers, anchovies, parmesan, goat cheese!

Palmiers always seemed like a bakery-only pastry, not an at-home one. The puff pastry layers plus the coiled, ear-like roll seems daunting, but really, they’re relatively straightforward.

The biggest trick is laminating the dough. For this, you’ll be rolling slabs of butter in between folds of dough to create flaky, crispy layers. As you roll (you should do at least three turns), if the dough gets too soft at any point, throw it in the fridge to firm up before you keep working with it.

Adjustments: swap thyme out for the milder oregano; skip the anchovies and add an extra clove or two of garlic; spread some harissa on the dough before you add the tapenade; whip 150g of feta with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and use that in place of the goat cheese; omit the capers or anchovies if you’re not a fan

Ingredients

pastry

1 cup/120 grams all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup/120 grams bread flour
1 tsp dried thyme
1¼ tsp salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks/225 grams) unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup/50 grams grated Parmesan

filling

3/4 cup/100 grams pitted Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon/12 grams capers
3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove
few sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/5 1/2 ounces soft goats’ cheese, rind removed

Preparation

For the pastry, put the flours, thyme and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in 2/3 cup/150 milliliters water. Stir to combine, then knead for a minute until well combined. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Working with one stick of butter at a time, place a piece between parchment paper and roll out so it is 5 1/2 inches wide and 5 inches deep. Refrigerate and repeat with other stick of butter.

Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a rectangle approximately 16x18 inches. With a short side nearest you, put one piece of butter on the bottom third of pastry and fold over. Put the second piece of butter on top of the folded over section and bring the top section of the pastry over to cover butter. Pinch the edges together so the butter is sealed in the dough. Turn so that a short edge is facing you and roll out to a 6x16-inch rectangle, fold into three (like a letter), wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface, with short edge nearest to you roll out to 6x16 inches, fold the bottom third up and top third down. Give the dough a quarter turn and roll out and fold as before. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

With the short edge facing you, roll out and fold as before, turn a quarter turn and roll out, this time cover the dough with the grated Parmesan before folding. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Repeat, but without sprinkling with Parmesan. Refrigerate overnight.

For the filling, first make a tapenade. Put the olives, capers, anchovy paste, vinegar, garlic and thyme in food processor and pulse until you have a fairly smooth paste.

To finish, roll the dough out to a large rectangle and trim to make a neat rectangle approximately 12x9½ inches. Soften the goats’ cheese a little in a bowl by mashing with a fork. Add the tapenade and mix well.

Spread the filling over the pastry. Roll up the pastry tightly starting at a short edge until you reach the middle, then repeat on other side. Where the two rolls meet brush with a little water and gently press together to help them hold the shape. Freeze for 10 minutes, just to make cutting easier. Cut into ½-inch thick slices, using a large serrated knife. Place well apart on greased baking trays and chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp. If they are still uncooked in the middle, turn them over and return to the oven for a further 2–3 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray before serving.

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