Proper puff pastry

Proper puff pastry

By
From
Sweet
Makes
550 g

There are two types of puff pastry: rough puff and classic puff pastry. The difference lies in the way the butter is incorporated. In this classic recipe, a portion of the butter is added to the flour, salt and water to create a dough, which is then ‘laminated’ with a large block of butter. The idea is to create layers between the butter and the dough. When the butter melts in the oven it produces steam, which is trapped between the layers of pastry, creating the ‘puff’. It’s very important to keep all the ingredients cold, even the flour. And always use butter, never margarine. You can store puff pastry in the fridge for 3–4 days, and it freezes very well.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch fine salt
300g cold unsalted butter, (50g cut into cubes, the rest left in a block)
150ml cold water

Method

  1. Put the flour and salt on a marble worktop or in a bowl. Add the cubes of butter and rub together with your fingertips to form crumbs. Stir in the cold water and mix to form a soft dough. If using a bowl, tip out onto an unfloured work surface. Pat out into a 2cm-thick rectangle.
  2. Put the block of butter between two pieces of silicone paper and bash out with a rolling pin to a 15cm x 10cm rectangle.
  3. Dust the worktop with a little flour and roll out the dough to form a rectangle measuring 30cm x 20cm, with the long side facing you.
  4. Remove the butter from the paper and place in the centre of the dough. Fold the short side of the dough over the butter, from left to right, then fold the other side over to meet it, covering the butter and brushing off any excess flour. Pinch together the dough at the top and bottom open ends to seal the butter inside, then fold the dough in half lengthways.
  5. Turn the dough 90 degrees, then roll out again to a 30cm x 20cm rectangle, again with the long side facing you. Fold one-quarter of the dough across to the centre, from left to right, then fold the other side over to meet it. Fold it in half lengthways, then repeat the whole process one more time, from the point where you turn the dough 90 degrees. Cover and place in the fridge to chill for 1 hour before using. At this stage the dough can also be frozen and used when required. It will keep for 4 weeks in the freezer.
Tags:
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
desserts
puddings
sweet
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