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Puff pastry from scratch recipe


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  • Dish type
  • Pies and tarts
  • Pastry
  • Puff pastry

If you've ever wanted to make puff pastry from scratch, this is the recipe. Puff pastry puffs into thin delicate layers as it bakes, making it perfect for breakfast pastries, beef wellington and tempting pies.

13 people made this

IngredientsServes: 24

  • 685g strong white bread flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 475ml water, or as needed
  • 450g unsalted butter, at room temperature

MethodPrep:1hr40min ›Ready in:1hr40min

  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. Gradually stir in water until the dough holds together enough to clean the sides of the bowl. You may not need the full amount of water. Shape into a flat ball, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Place the butter between two pieces of clingfilm and pound into a flat disc using a rolling pin or other heavy object. Place in the fridge until firm, about 20 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 1.5cm thick. Place the disc of chilled butter in the centre and fold the two ends over it so that it is completely encased in dough. Roll out the dough again, taking care not to let the butter break through the dough, to about 1.5cm thickness. Fold into thirds. This is the first ''turn''. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll out into a rectangle again. By this time the butter is starting to warm up. Place the dough on a baking sheet and mark it with two pokes from your finger (two turns). Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat this rolling, folding and turning two more times, then refrigerate until firm. Repeat two more times for a total of 6 ''turns''. Wrap and refrigerate. The dough is now ready to roll out and use in any recipe calling for puff pastry. Roll the dough out as thin as 5mm to make pastries. Bake in a preheated oven of at least 200 C / Gas 6 to get the maximum puff from your pastry.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(75)

Reviews in English (56)

by Monica

This is a great recipe for puff pastry. I agree that the butter can be cut by 6 tablespoons per 2 cups of flour. Also, putting the dough in the freezer for 10-15mins. between turns made the process quicker and easier, esp. if you are cooking in the kitchen which adds for additional heat. Another tip is to put the rolling pin and cutting board in the freezer between turns. Finally I worked the dough on parchment paper so I could just wrap it in the paper and place it in the freezer. This cut the entire process down to about an hour with amazing results.-25 Dec 2008

by ABoston

Great recipe, but you must follow it exactly to get the desired result. Because you have to refrigerate the dough between turns, the recipe takes time and you must allow for that. If you decide that the recipe is too time consuming, try a butter-based pie crust recipe. Avoid the vast majority of frozen and refrigerated puff pastry because they are usually made with cheap hydrogenated fats instead of butter, and this makes a HUGE difference in taste and texture, which is what puff pastry is all about.-24 Nov 2008

by Kitty Johnson

This was the closest that I could find to my old recipe. Keeping the butter ice cold is extremely important. The butter melting while baking is what puffs it up. My hands are always hot so I only do a turn at a time, then place in the freezer for 10 minutes. I also keep a frozen bag of peas that we use for an ice pack on the table between turns to keep it cold as well. Great recipe.-29 Oct 2008


Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup cold water

Cut 1 cup (2 sticks) butter into 1/4-inch cubes. Place in an even layer on a plate and transfer to refrigerator to chill.

Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Cut remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter into thin slices and add to food processor pulse to combine. Add 1 cup chilled butter pulse 3 times, 1 second each pulse. Add half of the water and pulse once add remaining water and pulse twice. Dough will not form a ball.

Remove blade from processor by lifting up with the handle. Scrape dough from bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour dough and, using your hands, squeeze and shape dough into a cylinder. Press down to flatten into a rectangle.

Starting at the narrow end furthest away from you, use a rolling pin to press the dough firmly in parallel strokes close to one another. If there are sticky pieces of butter on the surface, cover with a large pinch of flour and press with the rolling pin to combine. Clean off the rolling pin as you go to make sure nothing sticks to the dough. Continue pressing with the rolling pin, working towards the narrow end closest to you.

Roll dough into a 10-by 20-inch rectangle. Fold the 10-inch ends over the middle (like a letter) to make three layers. Position one of the (about) 6-inch ends to face you and roll up dough like a jelly roll. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface, seam-side down. Sprinkle top of dough lightly with flour and press down using your hand to form a rectangle.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days before using.


Helpful tips for making Classic Puff Pastry from scratch:

  • At all times the butter must stay cold. If the butter melts it will mix into the dough and the layers will not stay distinct. Any time you feel the butter may be getting too soft put the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool it down.
  • You want a certain amount of gluten in the pasty dough so it has enough strength to hold it&rsquos shape as it rises. But you don&rsquot want to develop too much gluten or you&rsquoll have a tough texture. Using medium protein all purpose flour keeps a good balance of strength and tenderness.
  • If you find that the dough is getting tough and it keeps springing back as you try to roll, give it a 15-20 minute rest in the refrigerator before continuing.
  • Brushing the dough with water before each fold helps create distinct layers and, conveniently, also helps the entire slab of dough stay together as you roll.
  • Once you&rsquove completed all 6 &ldquoturns&rdquo split the dough in half for a more manageable size for rolling. You can store the dough 2-3 days in the refrigerator or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Watch the recipe video to see how to make Classic Puff Pastry.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a 5-star review.


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How to store Puff Pastry?

Store fresh, homemade dough in fridge for up to five days — wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. You may freeze prepared dough or ready-to-bake items, like a turnover, for up to three months.

The method I’m following uses a block of dough and a block of butter (Unipuff) — along with a series of rolls and folds — to create layers upon layers of pastry. When baked, the butter melts and creates steam, which is then encased and trapped between layers of dough, causing them to separate into dozens of flaky layers. And the result is like, melt-in-your-mouth clouds of flaky goodness!!


The butter in puff pastry is a bit of a challenge: you want it to be cold so it stays solid and doesn't melt into the dough, but you also need it to be pliable so it can be rolled out without breaking into pieces.

Sprinkle the butter with a few teaspoons of flour during this process — some of the liquid in the butter will spread on the surface as you pound and the flour helps absorb this. Also, rub flour on your rolling pin as needed to prevent it from sticking to the butter.

Puff pastry dough requires few tricky folds. It is a time taking procedure as you need to maintain the consistency of the butter.A country such as India, where it is usually humid and warm weather you need to set your refrigerator with high temperature.

I tried to demonstrate the process as much clear as possible but feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions.


How to Make Sugar Palmiers

First, I make my quick puff pastry. After I keep it in the freezer for 30 minutes, I start making the palmiers.

I coat the work surface with half of the sugar and roll out quick puff pastry into almost 12*10 inches (30*25cm) rectangle. Long side stays in front of me. Then, I cover the top with the remaining sugar and I use my rolling pin to roll the sugar into the dough. I cut from the bottom and the sides if needed to make a nice rectangle.

I fold almost 1,75 inches (4,5 cm) from the top edge and 1,75 inches (4,5 cm )from the bottom edge. Later, I fold 1,75 inches (4,5cm) from the top and bottom again. Shortly, I fold two times from the top, two times from the bottom equally until they meet almost in the center.

There will be a little gap in the middle, so when you fold one side over another they meet each other.

I let it rest in the freezer for 30 minutes or until very cold. Then I cut into 0.4inch (1cm) thick slices and place them on the baking sheet, at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart as they spread during baking.

I bake them for 7 minutes until caramelized on the bottom and flip the palmiers over and bake for an additional 7 minutes or until they are golden brown. Enjoy your French palmiers!


  • Sandwich the softened butter between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Flatten with a rolling pin as evenly as possible to form a roughly 4࡫-inch rectangle. Transfer to a baking sheet (without removing the paper) and refrigerate while you make the dough.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Pour in the melted butter and lemon juice. Add a little less than 1/2 cup water, and mix all the ingredients with your hands. Add more water, if necessary, to make a soft dough. Knead until you have a smooth dough, about 1 minute.

Lift one short end up and over the central portion of pastry, then fold the other end over the central part, as if you were folding a letter. Press the edges down lightly with a rolling pin to seal. Turn the pastry clockwise 90 degrees. What was the top edge of your pastry will now be on the right. Mark the top left corner by pressing your finger into it. You have completed the first “turn.” The pastry and butter should still be firm enough to roll another turn, but if it is very soft and the butter is on the verge of oozing, put it on the baking sheet, cover, and chill for 20 minutes.

For your second turn, dust the work surface again with flour and put the pastry on it, with the marked corner at the top left. Dust with a little flour and roll the pastry out again, without turning the dough, into a 12吋-inch rectangle. Fold the pastry as before and turn it clockwise 90 degrees. Mark the top left corner with 2 indentations of the finger (this is to remind you that you have completed two turns). Transfer the pastry to the baking sheet, cover, and chill for 30 minutes.

Make another 4 turns, covering and chilling the dough for 20 minutes after each turn or every other turn, as needed. At the beginning of each turn place the pastry in front of you with the marked corner at the top left. After the third turn, make three indentations in the top left corner, and so on.

Make Ahead Tips

Complete the last turn, then wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months. If freezing, thaw completely in the refrigerator before using.


Puff pastry: delicious to eat, hard to make

The lamination process for 𠇏ull” puff pastry, created by sandwiching layers of butter between layers of dough by encasing a solid layer of butter in pastry and then rolling out with a series of folds, is, how shall we say, a tedious and annoying affair, which is often left to the trained professionals.

There is nothing as disappointing as spending all the time and effort on scratch puff to bake it off and find it rises unevenly, or to have all the butter fly out of the dough and make your end result dry or greasy. Smart people know that frozen puff pastry, which you can buy in the freezer section of your grocery store, works very well. My preferred brand is Dufour, which I find completely indistinguishable from any I have had at bakeries, and significantly better than any I have made by hand.


Homemade Puff Pastry and Palmiers

A pair of recipes today! I made puff pastry from scratch. It is far and away the best puff pastry I have ever tasted, and I can say the same thing for the palmiers that resulted from the batch.

I primarily use frozen puff pastry. It is convenient, inexpensive and works very well. I certainly wouldn’t turn away from using it again, but it’s nice to have made puff pastry just to have the experience and skill to know that I can make it if I need to. And if I have a lot of butter on hand, as well as time for a lot of folding and a lot of rolling, since it’s not a quick and easy thing.

One of the biggest challenges is to keep the pressure even the whole time you are working with the dough so your edges will stay straight and none of the butter will be able to escape. Several people in class had problems with this and their pastry became gooey as their holes got larger and butter escaped.

To make a good pastry, shape your butter into an even rectangular block before you begin. Mush the block together and refrigerate to keep it firm. This way you will only have one piece of butter to work with and you will not have to worry about individual pieces moving around. Use lots of flour when rolling to prevent the dough from sticking. There is plenty of butter in the pasty, so you will not toughen it by using flour! A few people, since they were not using enough flour, had problems rolling their dough. The best way to roll is use lots of short strokes, which will prevent the butter from being pushed to the side and out of the dough. If you do make a small hole, dab a bit of flour over it so it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin and continue on. It will probably get covered during the next fold.

Many instructions state that it is necessary to make 6 turns in your pastry. When you’re making it by hand, you should only make 3 or 4 turns. It simply isn’t that practical to try so many turns without the consistency of a machine – your odds of tearing your dough or squeezing out the butter really increase. Try for 4 turns and stop at 3 if you seem to be getting a few holes. As long as the butter stays inside your pastry, your dough will still be flaky.

Puff Pastry
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour
10 ounces butter, cold (2 1/2 sticks), divided
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 – 1 cup cold water

Take 8 ounces of butter (2 sticks) and shape into a block roughly 1/4 inch thick. If you are using stick butter, slice each stick into three long pieces and make a 2ࡩ block. Press butter together well and refrigerate.

Combine flours and salt in food processor. Pulse lightly to combine. Add remaining 2 ounces (1/2 stick) of butter and cut in until dough looks like sand. With the motor running, add 3/4 cup water. If dough has not come together, add remaining water slowly.
Flatten dough into a smooth disk, wrap and chill for 1 hour.

On a well floured surface, roll dough out into a large (10 inches or so) circle. Set butter block in the center and fold up the extra dough as though you were folding an envelope: fold over the sides, the fold the top down and the bottom up. Turn the seam side down and roll until envelope has quadrupled in size. USe short strokes, keeping the pressure as even as possible, and lots of flour.
Fold the dough in thirds as though you were folding a business letter. This is one turn. Wrap and refrigerate dough for at least one hour and up to two days.
To make turns 2, 3 and 4, place chilled dough seam side down on a well-floured surface and roll out again into a large rectangle. Try to keep the dough as evenly rectangular as possible. Fold as you would a business letter. Wrap and chill.
Dough can be frozen until ready to use.

These are the best palmiers I have ever eaten. What a difference homemade pastry makes – though ones made with store bought will be almost as good if you buy a high quality dough. Don’t put cinnamon in your palmiers. As it was put in class: “French people will roll over in the graves if you do.” Even the living ones? Yes, even the living ones.

Palmiers
1 recipe for puff pastry
lots of sugar

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface until it is as thin as you can get it. Cover generously with sugar. Starting at the right side, roll the pastry until it reaches the center. Repeat with the left side.
Cut roll into 1/2 inch segments.
Spread more sugar onto your work surface. Fold each segment into a V shape and press it down into the sugar, flattening it with the palm of your hand. Use lots of sugar. Place each palmier on baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.


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