Introduction: Homemade Puff Pastry
In this Instructable, I will show you how to make puff pastry from scratch. This homemade puff pastry recipe is so easy to make and only requires 4 ingredients. I will point out this is a classic French style puff pastry and not the easier rough puff pastry. I find you get better layers with this method, although it takes longer, it is well worth it. Have leftovers? That is okay, you can easily freeze your puff pastry for later use. It is so simple to make, if I can do it, you can do it. Let's get baking!
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Follow the easy steps below or watch the in-depth video tutorial or do both. :)
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
You may print the recipe here if you like.
- 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour/plain flour, plus more for dusting. (270g)
- 1/2 tsp. of salt (2g)
- 2/3 to 3/4 cups of cold water (158 to 177ml)
- 1 cup of butter (226g)
- Rolling pin
- Dough cutter/scraper (optional)
- Ruler (optional)
- Plastic wrap
Step 2: Make the Dough
Begin by making the dough. This is called a lean dough because it only has flour, water, and salt in it. Add the flour and salt to a large bowl and whisk them together. Then add in the water about a third of it at a time mixing it with a sturdy spoon. Switch to clean hands and keep adding water until you are left with a dough that is just slightly tacky. Dust the top and bottom with flour and knead the dough for 30 seconds or so.
Step 3: Chill the Dough
Now roll out the dough into a square that is roughly 8 inches by 8 inches. Then cover it completely with plastic wrap or place it in a large ziplock bag. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Butter Slab
Now we need to make the butter slab. Take the butter, I left the butter out about 20 minutes before starting the dough, and place the butter on a floured work surface. Cut the butter into cubes and then mash, roll, etc. the butter together, until you can form a square that is roughly 5x5 inches. Use flour as needed to keep it from sticking. It is okay if the flour gets mixed in with the butter. Wrap your square butter slab in plastic wrap and chill it along with the dough for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Dough and Butter Pouch
Once the dough and butter have cooled, roll out the corners of the dough a little bit. This will create little flaps of dough. Place the butter in the center angled so it looks like a diamond when looking at it. Then fold up the flaps of dough over the butter to envelop it. I have found you don't have to be super precise with this, it is okay if some flaps are overlapping others. Pinch the seems of the dough as well.
Step 6: It's All About the Folds
Now, roll the dough out into a large rectangle roughly 18 inches long by about 10 or so inches wide. Fold the dough into thirds. Turn it over so the seam is down, and roll it out again and repeat with folding the dough. This gave us two folds. At this point, the dough and butter will be too warm so we need to chill it. Wrap it up again in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Next, repeat that process two more times which will give you a total of 6 folds. This is called laminating the dough. We are creating all of those amazing layers of butter and dough, which are what cause the dough to puff up and get flaky when it bakes.
Step 7: Can You Freeze This Puff Pastry Dough?
Yes! You can freeze the dough. In this demonstration, I cut the dough in half, then folded it with pieces of parchment paper in between. Next, wrap it again with plastic wrap tightly and place in a freezer bag and then place it in the freezer. It will last for several months.
To use it, remove it from the freezer, allow it to thaw at room temp for about 40 minutes until it is pliable and easy to work with again.
Step 8: Baking the Puff Pastry Dough
Notice those layers in the dough, with the first image. Now for a simple cinnamon tart recipe. Cut the dough into triangles, and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Brush them with butter and then sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar. Bake them in a preheated oven at 375 F/190 C for 22 to 26 minutes until they puff up and are golden brown. You will be amazed at how much they puff up, and how crispy, flaky, and buttery they are. Enjoy!
You can use this recipe for any that calls for puff pastry. :)