[Sca-cooks] Leaf pastry developed into puff pastry

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Sat Nov 22 06:36:56 PST 2008

"Robin Carroll-Mann" wrote:

> I suppose I should throw in my two maravedis.  The oldest definition I
> have for hojaldre is from Covarrubias (1611).
> la torta de manteca, que de muy sobada con ella, esta' hecha hojas una
> sobre otra.
> My translation would be:
> the tart [dough] of fat, which being well kneaded with it, is made
> [of] leaves, one upon another.
> A few notes:
> This definition is rather vague.  It *could* mean that "hojaldre" is
> made like phyllo, with multiple layers of thin dough.  It could also
> mean that -- like puff pastry -- it forms the layers during baking,
> and that Covarrubias is describing the finished product.
> The dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy says the leaves form
> during baking, but as that was written in 1734, the meaning may have
> changed.
> I translated "hojaldre" as "leaf pastry" because it's the most literal
> translation that follows the etymology ("hoja" means "leaf").
> "Pastry" is not part of the Spanish word, but it's needed for context.
>  It may *be* something very like puff pastry, but to translate it that
> way would be drifting from the etymology, and making assumptions.
> "torta" is normally "tart" or "cake", but here I am sure that he is
> referring to the dough that forms the crust.  In the same source, the
> adjective "hojaldrado" is defined as anything made with ojaldre [sic].
> Modernly, "manteca" is lard.  Covarrubias defines it as animal fat,
> but it can sometimes refer to butter.
> I believe that Granado has instructions for making "oxaldre", and I'll
> look for that.  In the meantime, I'd love to hear Suey (or anyone else
> fluent in Spanish) comment on Covarrubias' definition.
I think you are right on  with your translation of Covarrubias 
definition of hojaldre. Maravedis de oro it is! :-)   I know you are 
very literal in your translations but I am still mincing over 'leaf 
pastry'. Would 'flaky pastry' make more sense to the reader? On  
"manteca" I would translate the last part of Covarrubias' definition  
thus: it is described as fat,  butter and lard.  In Leon lard from cows 
called butter because it is so rich.
Granado has four recipes for making different types of  "Ojaldre"/dough, 
pp 152-155. The first one is made like phyllo with multiple layers of 
thin dough.

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