Homemade Puff Pastry

letter fold
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This is the recipe and step by step process of making a small batch laminated puff pastry. Feel free to multiply the recipe for a bigger batch.

About the puff

  • Puff is something that you can freeze without an issue. So if you are going the extra mile, why not whip up a big batch and save some for later. There’s no feeling like knowing that you have readymade puff sheets in the freezer 🙂 so you can use them for quick dinners and snacks! Just multiple the recipe by 2 or 3 or 4 and once you are done with all the lamination, let the dough rest as usual. Then roll out to 2-3mm thickness, cut in to manageable size sheets ( say 12″ by 12″) wrap individually and freeze for later!
  • To use them, simply pull a sheet or two from the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge over night (8-12 hours) and they will be good to go!
  • Avoid thawing them at room temperature, whenever possible, as the sudden drastic temperature fluctuation could damage the lamination or sometimes cause the pastry to melt
  • When working with puff pastry, use a cold surface and be quick. Avoid using warm fillings or spreads. Do not let it go too soft. Keep the pastry in the fridge when not dealing with it or until the oven is ready

A bit about folding

You can give either book folds or letter folds to your dough to create the layers. It is completely up to you. A book fold multiplies layers by 4 whereas a letter fold multiplies layers by 3. For puff pastry the more layers the better. But always stop at 7. Way too many layers will stretch the butter layer a little too much making it disappear.

puff dough

Place flour, salt, lemon juice(optional) and cold butter in a bowl. Rub the butter into flour (or use a food processor)

Lemon juice (or any acid) will help prevent too much gluten development so the pastry will be flaky not chewy

mixed dough

Add water and mix until a dough is developed. If the dough is too dry add 1-2 tbsp. of more water. the dough would be fairly stiff but malleable.

smooth dough

Kneed this dough until it is fairly smooth. Make sure no lumps, flour is present. Does not have to be super smooth.

Wrap and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes (up to a day)

butter block

Make a butter block by pounding about a 100g (stick of butter) until you get a 1/4 inch thick slab. Size roughly 4″ by 6″.

Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until hardened.

lamination

When you are ready to laminate, bring the butter out and let it sit for 5 minutes until a little soft to the touch.

Then bring the dough out and roll it out on a floured surface to twice the size of the butter block. Check the image.

Then lock the butter block inside the dough and seal the edges.

lamination

Roll out and do a book/letter fold

letter fold

How a letter fold looks like.

Wrap and place this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then repeat folding(either book or letter or a mix), resting in-between folds

Perform at least 3-4 folds (up to a 7) for a flakier pastry.
eg:
3 book folds and 2 letter folds
2 book folds and 2 letter folds
3 book folds and 1 letter fold
4 book folds
5 letter folds

Once done with lamination(folding) wrap and chill the dough for about 4 hour (or even overnight). After resting roll out to desired width and length depending on the recipe you are going to use the puff for. If you are freezing, roll out to a 2mm thick sheet, wrap in parchment/cling film and freeze.

Frozen puff sheets should be thawed in the fridge before being used. Usually, placing the frozen puff in the fridge overnight will be sufficient.

Some of the recipes you can try using this puff pastry sheet.

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