Puff pastry

Puff pastry

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Use for fine pastries where maximum delicacy and high, even rising are required.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g plain flour
250g butter
170g iced water
squeeze lemon juice

Method

  1. Sift flour into a mixing bowl, add 30 g butter, and rub into flour until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add water mixed with lemon juice and stir with a knife, then gather dough together with fingers. Place on a lightly floured surface, knead lightly and shape into a square pat. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. At the same time, chill remaining butter.
  2. Remove chilled dough and butter from refrigerator; put butter into a loose plastic bag and beat with a rolling pin to make it pliable, remove from bag and then with a floured rolling pin, roll it into a 15 cm square. Butter and dough should both be firm and of same consistency.
  3. Lightly flour work surface and roll out dough to a 25 cm square, pulling out corners to make a neat shape. Place butter diagonally on centre of dough and fold the 4 dough corners in, slightly overlapping, to make an envelope of dough completely enclosing the butter.
  4. Beat lightly and evenly with rolling pin from front to back of pastry, then roll out as follows: bring rolling pin down firmly on pastry, give a short, sharp back-and-forth roll, lift pin and repeat. The idea is to roll pastry thinner without pushing the fat about so that it breaks through the surface. Work your way from front to back of pastry with these short, quick rolls but stop just before you get to the back edge so that pastry is not pushed out of shape. If fat does break through, sprinkle it with flour and refrigerate pastry for 10 minutes before continuing.
  5. Roll dough and butter to a rectangle 3 times as long as it is wide, and 1 cm thick. Fold bottom third up and top third down and seal edges by pressing lightly with rolling pin. This is the first fold.
  6. Turn dough round at right angles so that top flap is to your right, as if it were a book. Roll as before to a rectangle 3 times as long as it is wide and about 5 mm thick. Fold into 3 as before, place in a plastic bag and chill for about 30 minutes until firm but not hard. Dough has now had 2 folds.
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll and fold twice more in the same manner. Chill again for about 30 minutes, then roll and fold twice more (dough has now had 6 folds). Chill again for 30 minutes, and dough is ready to use.
  8. Roll out and cut as desired, then chill again for 30 minutes before baking. Unless otherwise indicated, bake puff pastry in a preheated very hot oven.
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