Puff pastry is found in the frozen foods section of the markets, sheeted and ready for you to cut out. Save yourself a trip to the market and create a better product at home by making puff pastry yourself. Puff dough, or puff pastry, is a relatively easy pastry dough to make. All you need is how to create the turns to make the layers of the pastry.
The key to puff pastry is the individual layers. The reason it bakes up so high and with so many very thin layers is each is separeted by butter. Butter and dough are folded multiple times in a certain fashion so as to not mix the two together, but keep them separated.
Puff pastry basically consistes of two separate parts: the dough and the butter. A trick to making puff dough is having the butter and dough at the same firmness or texture to begin with: the dough shouldn't be too soft or elastic, and the butter shouldn't be rock hard or too soft. If either one is off, you'll end up just kneading the two ingredients together rather than folding them into each other.
Read the recipe carefully when making puff dough. Some recipes will call for specifically unsalted, plugra, melted butter, or unsalted margarine. Whatever is called for in the recipe you are reading, follow it as the tester has created a particular formulation to create an even finished product. Plugra butter is a brand name for European style butter, a butter with a high fat content and less water.
Some recipes are specially made for vegans, and will call for unsalted margarine. Choose one with zero trans fats or non-hydrongenated. Since margarine and whole butter will have different liquid content, don't interchange one for the other. Look for a recipe specially made using that type of fat. The recipe from Vegan Baking is a really great recipe for puff dough completely vegan.
are two recipes for puff pastry. The first is a traditional puff dough
recipe, with diagrams of how to fold. The second is an inverse dough
puff pastry recipe. It is an industry recipe, so the quantity is suitable
for large, professional settings.
2 c unsalted butter
4 c flour
1 t salt
1 1/2 c water (may not use it all)
Knead by hand
the butter until it is waxy. Shape the butter into a flat, square cake,
wrap in foil and chill. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Gradually add
in the water and knead on a smooth floured surface until dough is elastic,
about 20 minutes. Wrap the dough in foil; chill for 30 minutes. Roll
out the dough on a floured surface into a square 1/2" thick. Roll
the edges a little thinner than the center. Lightly flour the square
of butter and place it in the center of the dough at an angle. Fold
the 4 edges of the dough over the butter:
the dough square and proceed to roll out dough into a rectangle, rolling
forward only in one direction, until the rectangle is roughly 8"
If the dough
tears at all, take a little piece from the edges and patch up the whole
immediately. This is important as this will trap in any air as the layers
are built. Fold the top third of the dough toward you, making the ends
as neat as possible, then fold the last third away from you, making
three layers of the dough:
You now have
three layers. Take this folded rectangle and give it a quarter-turn,
so that the unfolded edge is facing you and the folded edges are facing
Roll out in
one direction, until the dough is roughly the same as the first rectangle,
about 8" by 16". You have just finished with one "turn."
Wrap this dough and place in the refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes.
Unwrap dough and proceed as above with the rolling, folding and re-rolling
and folding. You need to finish 4 more "turns" for the dough,
chilling for 30 minutes between each turn so butter is firm enough and
dough is stable enough to roll out. Always be sure that the unfolded
edge of the dough is facing you.
Use this puff
pastry dough for any recipe calling for puff dough.
Puff Dough (large batch)
Makes 2 Patons. NOTE: Plugra butter contains less water, so changing
the butter would ultimately change the finished product.
Flour AP 2#
10 oz. Mix together.
Plugra Butter 6# 12 oz. Divide
(no substitutions) Chill.
Flour Bread 6#
8 oz. Mix until
oz. forms ball.
oz. Do not
Vinegar 1/2 oz. Overmix.
Melted Butter 2 # Divide
Place butter mixture
on the outside, bread flour mixture on the
inside. Seal edges and chill well. Roll out into long rectangle, a sheeter
will be necessary to assist you. You need to do 3 times of double turns.
Chill well after each
turn before completing next. After the double turns are completed, roll
out and fold in half. Ready for use or for the freezer.
the recipe files of Renee Shelton.
of Horizon Magazine. The Horizon Cookbook and Illustrated History
of Eating and Drinking
though the Ages. Part Two.
Ed. in charge Wendy Buehr. US: American, 1968.