How To Tuesday: DIY Puff Pastry
I’m still in Chicago, letting probably a third deep dish pizza get all up in my grill – but I couldn’t let this recipe wait another day! I don’t think there is a more versatile pastry than Puff Pastry, and I’ve struck buttery, flaky, gold with this recipe. And frankly spending nearly 6 bucks every time I need to indulge my puff pastry craving every time I go to the store was really getting tiresome. Six bucks for two pastries, and lather, rinse, repeat that how many time – it starts taking a toll on the wallet. When pastry costs start over taking your coffee budget things have got to change, and I have this fantastic, quick DIY Puff Pastry recipe for you.
At about $2 for 3 rectangles of pastry – you can’t beat those odds for a Saturday afternoon project.
Just like a pie crust, this involves three great things – flour, butter, and water. Okay, a little salt too. I like this version opposed to traditional puff pastry that seems a little tough to bite clean through without residual layers sticking out of your mouth – this falls apart into flaky layers with air in little pockets through out.
Instead of cutting the flour and butter together with knives or fork so tediously, I opted for my food processor. It’s easy to take this method over board, so be careful. After pulsing the butter and flour together until large pea size balls formed, I added 2 tablespoons of cold water to the mix. A third tablespoon of water was needed to get the dough to start to ball. Just as it starts to ball, stop and remove the dough. Knead the dough to form a smooth ball.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 15″ x 12″ rectangle. Fold the ends onto themselves to form three layers of dough. Then turn the dough ¼ turn, like on the hands of a clock. Repeat the rolling and folding maneuver. Next, let it chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes so the butter doesn’t get too soft in the dough.
After 20 minutes, repeat the roll-fold-turn-roll maneuver once more. Repeat the chilling. This process is done five times. It’s nearly the same process you’d use for making your own homemade croissants! It’s all those layers intermixed with butter that create steam and cause the dough and pastry to puff up so deliciously.
Once you’ve done your roll-stretch-chill and all that jazz, cut the rectangle into three sections about 5 inches wide by 12 inches long. Then you’re ready to bake away!
Throughly wrap your puff pastry if you want to freeze it or go ahead and bake away with your lovingly made dough.
Be sure poke the dough down to make sure it doesn’t go all Marshmallow man and get overly puffy on you as you bake.
You’ll be in heaven with this flakey, golden brown delight.
And see what’s coming tomorrow using these puff pastries – perfect for Easter dessert, these fresh Lemon Berry Napoleons are pure bliss. They’re so light and airy, you’ll have zero guilt. Well, nearly zero.
Check out these other Puff Pastry recipes for some baking inspiration:
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This recipe is made with a handful of simple ingredients. The end result is a delicate pastry with flaky layers that can be used in a variety of recipes!
- ⅓ cup Cold Water
- Dash of Salt
- ¾ cup cubed and chilled Butter
- ¾ cup Flour
- ½ tsp Lemon
- Stir salt into water, set aside. Cut butter into flour using either a pastry cutter, or a food processor, until the butter and flour forms pea size crumbles.
- Add in 2 Tablespoons of water and stir in (if mixing with a spoon), or pulse in (with a food processor). If a soft ball has not formed, add in a 3rd Tablespoon and mix or pulse in until a soft ball just starts to form. Do not over mix.
- Roll out the dough onto a floured surface. Fold the dough over onto itself in thirds. Let it rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Place back onto floured surface and roll into a 15×12 inch rectangle. Fold the dough onto it self in thirds again. Turn the dough ¼ turn and roll again. Repeat the roll/fold/chill process five times.
- On the last roll out, cut the pastry into ⅓ and wrap tightly and freeze for later use or use immediately.
- Poke several times with a fork before baking so the dough does not rise unevenly and can release steam.
Adapted from Darigold’s Napolean recipe