Learn how to make puff pastry recipe from scratch, it' s really easy to make and much better than the commercial one! This classic recipe has a very light and crispy flakiness in taste, it is perfect for all your sweet and savory recipes!
Puff pastry is a basic recipe widely used in sweet and savory recipes. It's made using a folding technique known as "Tourage" in France (lamination), which consists in alternating layers of dough and butter by folding, which gives a very crispy and flaky layers texture after cooking.
There are several methods of preparation including this classic method where you put the cold butter into the flour paste, but also a version of inverted puff pastry where it is the dough that is wrapped by the butter or the easy version ready in 10 minutes also knows as rough puff pastry where all ingredients are mixed together roughly in a food processor.
Unlike leavened puff pastry with yeast which is used to make croissants or pains au chocolat, this basic recipe is more used to make apple turnovers, the galette des rois or as the base of a tart as in my puff pastry apple tart recipe, which can also be made with pears or strawberries.
Particularities of this dough
As opposed to recipes such as shortcrust pastry dough or pie crust, it is much more technical and requires a lot of time to prepare. This makes it quite intimidating for beginners..
In reality it is very simple to make and the differences with the commercial one are incredible! The dough is even crispier and above all it is much lighter and easier to digest.
To make a good flaky it is necessary to follow a technique of folding which consists in alternating the dough (distemper) and the fat (dry butter) by carrying out successive foldings, we say that we make turns.
To make a classic homemade puff pastry recipe you need 6 turns.
Two methods are used to fold the dough: the single turn or the double turn:
- Single turn: This is the simplest folding, the dough is rolled out in a large rectangle then folded in 3 and counts for 1 turn.
- Double turn: This is the so-called wallet fold, the dough is rolled out into a large rectangle, then folded into 4 and counts for 1.5 turns.
You can follow one of these 2 methods to turn your dough:
Method 1 : do 2 x 1 doubles turn + 1 single turn and finish with 1 single turn ( 1,5 + 1 + 1,5 + 1 + 1 = 6)
Method 2 : do 3 x 1 single turn + 1 single turn (1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 6)
Between each series of turns the dough must sit for a minimum of time in the fridge otherwise after too much manipulation the butter will soften and the flaky texture will disappear.
How to make puff pastry recipe
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook and knead for 3-5 minutes until you have a soft dough.
- Form the dough into a ball.
- Incise crosswise with a knife, then wrap it in plastic and place in the fridge for about 2 hours.
Tip: Make it in large quantities, it keeps very well in the freezer.
Stir the butter into the dough:
- Roll out the dough into a square with a rolling pin on a floured work surface.
- Place the butter in the center (see picture), the dough should be a little larger than the size of the butter.
- Fold the corners over the butter to cover it completely.
Tip: Make the dough with brown butter for a good taste of roasted hazelnuts.
How to do a simple turn.
- Roll out the dough into a large rectangle at least 30-40 cm long.
- Fold in 3, fold the top edge first and then cover with the bottom edge (see picture).
Tip: Let the dough sit for 30 minutes in the freezer between rounds to save time in preparation.
How to make a double turn
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to a length of about 40 cm.
- Fold in 4, first folding the top edge over ¼ of the length of the dough.
- Fold over the remaining ¾ without covering the top edge.
- Finish by folding the whole again in 2.
Tip: Always turn the dough a quarter to the right before turning again. The opening should always be on the side.
- In the fridge: it will keep for about 2-3 days after the dough starts to darken.
- In the freezer: well wrapped in cling film you can keep it for several months.
FAQS - Frequently asked questions
Use a dry butter with at least 80% fat content.
For a lighter dough, reduce the amount of kneading butter and make at least 6 turns.
Finish baking the dough at 230°C for 5 minutes for more crispness.
Apply a layer of sugar syrup on top of the dough after baking.
How to bake successfully your puff pastry dough
The key to successful baking and to prevent the butter from coming out and to keep the flakiness is that the dough must be cold and rest before using it.
Once you have completed the rolling and folding steps, if the dough is not too soft then immediately roll it out on a sheet of parchment paper to a thickness of 3-5 mm and place it in the refrigerator or freezer for about 15 minutes. (it should have a firm enough texture at the limit of freezing)
Then cut into the desired shape with cutters or use it to wrap as in the baked brie recipe.
Then let it rest again in a cool place while the oven preheats to at least 355°F / 180°C and bake for as long as necessary until the dough is golden brown and crispy.
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Homemade Puff pastry
- 250 g Flour - All purpose or bread flour or a mixture of both
- 35 g Butter - melted
- 5 g Salt
- 125 ml Water - cold
- 200 g Butter - for folding
- Melt the butter in the microwave and let it cool for a few moments.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the cold water, then the melted butter, the salt and finish by adding the flour.
- Mix at medium speed with the hook for about 3-5 minutes, until you get a smooth and soft dough.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and form a ball with your hands.
- Incise the dough in the center in a crosswise with a knife.
- Wrap the dough with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Butter for turning
- Cut out a sheet of baking paper, place the butter in the center and close the baking paper over the butter to form a square.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the butter into a square sheet.
- Place the sheet of butter in the refrigerator.
Incorporate the butter into the dough:
- Take the butter sheet out of the fridge 10 minutes before you take out the dough.
- Roll out the dough to a square slightly larger than the butter sheet.
- Place the butter in the center of the dough and fold the corners of the dough over the butter to cover it completely.
- Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 40 cm long.
- Follow one of these two methods, making sure to turn the dough 90° to the right between each fold and letting the dough rest in the fridge for about 1h30 - 2 hours between each series of turns.
- Method 1 : Make 2 series of 1 double turn + 1 single turn then finish with 1 single turn.
- Method 2 : Make 3 series of 1 single turn + 1 single turn
- Make the first folding with either a double turn or a single turn, then turn the dough a quarter turn (so that the opening is always on the right) and immediately make the second folding, a single turn.
- Wrap with cling film and let the dough sit in the fridge for about 1 ½ - 2 hours.
- Repeat the previous step, making a double turn + a single turn or 2 single turns, always making sure to turn the dough a quarter turn between each folding. And let the dough sit again in the fridge for another 1h30 to 2 hours.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and make this time only 1 single turn if you followed the method 1 or 2 single turns for the second method.
- After the last few rounds you can immediately use the puff pastry for your recipe.
- In the fridge: about 3 days
- In the freezer: up to 3 month
Reduce the butter to 150 g for 250 g of flour Lighter dough :
Make at least 6 rounds ( more puffs = lighter and less heavy) Faster preparation:
Let the dough sit in the freezer for 30 minutes between each round.