This Notoriously Difficult Recipe Is Worth It, According To Gesine Bullock-Prado

There are cookies and brownies, then there are baked goods that strike fear in the heart of every home baker — and we wouldn't be surprised if laminated dough sits on top of that list. If you think that the name itself makes the dough sound fiddly, that's because it can be. Laminated dough is the end product of folding stone-cold butter into a dough made with flour, water, and salt, over and over again until you have alternating layers. Because the butter is cold, it doesn't become part of the dough, and when it hits the oven, the butter melts and turns into steam, resulting in distinct layers of flaky pastry. Laminated dough is what bakers use to make puff pastry, as well as croissants and danishes. 

Because of the perceived complexity of laminated dough, unless we had time or were utterly devoted to our craft, we're likely to give this type of baking a hard pass, with the idea that bakeries have the facilities to make croissants and puff pastry better than we ever could, anyway. However, one celebrity chef says the process is completely worth it. 

Gesine Bullock-Prado says making laminated dough at home isn't as hard as you think

According to "Baked in Vermont" star, Gesine Bullock-Prado, it is well worth the effort and she has a good reason for encouraging home bakers to give laminated dough a fair shake. "How a block of butter creates a flaky masterpiece is magical," Bullock-Prado says (via Food Network). "Ignore ANY chef who says it's not worth the time to make it. It is. The dough is so much better than store bought and the process is so satisfying. It's a treat just to make it."

She explains reading the recipe is what seems so scary. "Seeing the process helps because the language of pastry and lamination, 'book folds,' 'turns,' etc ... doesn't make any sense unless you SEE what a fold looks like and what a turn is," Bullock-Prado says. And to prove that she's as good as her word, she has a video on YouTube to show us how, which dates back to her pre "Baked in Vermont" days. In any case, even as she recommends learning to make your own laminated dough, Bullock-Prado has follow-up advice to those who have tried and failed to make this complex-sounding pastry: "Don't be afraid to make mistakes."