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Should you cut the rind off brie before baking in puff pastry?

Whether to cut the rind off brie before baking in puff pastry is a common question for those looking to create this classic appetizer. There are pros and cons to leaving the rind on or cutting it off, so it often comes down to personal preference.

Quick Answer

The quick answer is that it’s not strictly necessary to cut off the rind when baking brie in puff pastry. The rind helps hold the shape of the cheese, prevents leakage, and provides a nice texture contrast. However, some people find the rind too tough or unpleasant when baked. So it’s fine to cut it off if desired.

What is Brie Cheese?

Brie is a soft cow’s milk cheese named after the French region where it originated. It has a white rind formed by Penicillium candidum mold. The rind helps ripen and flavor the interior cheese, which is soft and creamy.

There are different types of brie cheese, but Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun are the most traditional French versions with Protected Designation of Origin status.

What is Puff Pastry?

Puff pastry is a light, flaky, and buttery pastry. It’s made by repeatedly folding butter into the dough, which creates layers that puff up dramatically when baked.

Puff pastry can be made at home but takes time and skill. Many bakers prefer to use store-bought frozen puff pastry for convenience.

Why Bake Brie in Puff Pastry?

Wrapping brie in puff pastry and baking creates an elegant appetizer. As the cheese warms, it softens and melts slightly. Meanwhile, the pastry turns golden brown and crispy.

The crispness of the puff pastry contrasts nicely with the gooey brie interior. And the pastry keeps the molten cheese contained.

It’s a simple but impressive dish for entertaining. The wrapped brie can also be prepared ahead of time and baked just before serving.

Should You Keep or Remove the Rind?

Here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to keep or remove brie’s rind before puff pastry baking:

Pros of Keeping the Rind

  • Helps the brie hold its shape rather than collapsing or leaking from the pastry.
  • Provides textural contrast against the soft interior cheese.
  • Imparts more complex, earthy flavors from the rind.
  • Following tradition or typical presentation.

Cons of Keeping the Rind

  • Rind may seem unpleasantly tough or chewy when baked.
  • Flavor and aroma from the rind may be too strong for some.
  • Can inhibit smooth cutting and presentation of baked brie.
  • Rind may separate or pull away from the cheese.

Pros of Cutting Off the Rind

  • Creates very soft, silky texture throughout when baked.
  • Allows pure, mild brie flavor to shine without rind influence.
  • Prevents any toughness from the baked rind.
  • Can slice baked brie cleanly for serving.

Cons of Cutting Off the Rind

  • Brie will be more delicate and prone to collapsing or leaking from pastry.
  • Loses the texture contrast the rind provides.
  • May lose some complex flavors from rind.
  • Untraditional presentation.

Tips for Baking Brie with or without Rind

Here are some tips to ensure delicious baked brie either way:

  • Select a good quality, ripe brie at room temperature.
  • Use thawed store-bought puff pastry for convenience.
  • If keeping the rind on, score it lightly in a criss-cross pattern so it doesn’t split randomly.
  • If removing the rind, handle the cheese gently to keep its shape.
  • Chill wrapped brie for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  • Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with nuts, fruit, chutney or jam if desired.


There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to keeping or removing brie’s rind before baking in puff pastry. It comes down to your personal taste and texture preferences. Leaving the rind on provides more flavor and structural integrity, but peeling it off creates soft, seamless cheese.

As long as you handle the brie gently, chill and bake the pastry thoroughly, you’ll end up with a delicious appetizer either way you choose.