I have a confession, I love puff pastry! This buttery and flaky pastry works equally well with sweet or savory dishes. And luckily it’s not that hard to make yourself. A little time consuming, yes. But you can definitely do it and it will surely impress your guests! In between folds you can take care of laundry, read a book, organise your pantry or go for a run. You can also do some other cooking experiment or have a friend over for wine. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to roll.
about 1¼ lb (560 grams) puff pastry
1 ¾ cups (8.75 ounces, 250 grams) all-purpose flour (extra if needed)
14 tablespoons (7 ounces, 200 grams) unsalted butter
½ to 1 teaspoon salt, optional
½ cup (130 ml) ice water
Place all-purpose flour directly onto a flat surface, preferably a cold material such as a stone or stainless steel counter top. Cut 3.5 tablespoons (1.75 ounces, 50 grams) of the butter in smaller pieces and pinch the butter into the flour until you have a coarse crumb. Don’t over work, you should still have bits of butter in there. Make a well in the crumbly dough and poor in the ice cold water. Work together quickly and form a rough ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Shape the remaining butter, 10.5 tablespoons (5.25 ounces, 150 grams) into an approximately 5 inch (about 13 cm) square block. Wrap in plastic foil and refrigerate.
Cut a deep cross in the dough ball. Fold every corner out and roll the dough with a rolling pin to an approximately 8 inch (20 cm) square. Place the butter block diagonally on top of the dough. Fold every corner into the middle (without stretching), like folding an envelope. Pinch the seams together slightly.
1st – 2nd fold
Turn the package up side down. Dust a little flour on both sides and roll it out carefully to approximately 12 inch (about 30 cm) square. Make a three fold (like folding a letter, see diagram). Flatten the fold slightly and fold a 2nd time the other way. Cover the dough and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3rd – 4th fold
Roll the dough to approximately a 13 inch (33 cm) square. Make one 3 fold one way and another 3 fold the other way. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5th – 6th fold
Repeat as in 3rd – 4th fold.
Let the dough rest again for 30 minutes before using. If using it later, freeze in a well wrapped freezing bag, whole or in pieces with wax paper in between.
* keep all ingredients cold
* don’t overwork the dough
* if your kitchen is very hot you will need to rest the dough in the fridge between every fold.
* if you feel that the dough starts to get too warm, refrigerate immediately
* before baking shaped pastries let them rest for 15 minutes on a cold baking sheet before baking them in the oven, it will keep the shape better
suggested things to do with puff pastry
Caramelized Apple Tarte by Clotilde Dusoulier
Palmiers by London Eats
Peach Tarts with Goat Cheese & Honey by Some the Wiser
Joulutorttu (Finnish Christmas Tarts) by My Dear Kitchen in Helsinki
Butternut Squash and Pecorino Tart by Karen Biton-Cohen @ The Kitchn
Almost a Pissalasiere by La Tartine Gourmande