Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quick Puff Pastry

I will be making this AGAIN!  I want to make it again today; it was (SERIOUSLY) so worth the effort.  This was my first attempt at puff pastry and it won't be my last!  I didn't find it to be as hard as I thought.  Of course this a 'quick' version of puff pastry.  It was very similar to the croissants and I guess they weren't as hard as I thought they would be either. hmmm, I wonder what else I can do.  Days like yesterday get me excited for the possibilities and then very soon, I will have a day that will make me never want to cook again!  Let's enjoy this feeling though, shall we?  
I am not going to tell you what is inside the puff pastry yet.  I am going to save that for tomorrow since today's post is already way too long with WAY too many pictures.  I wanted to make sure it was explained well though.  I want everyone to be excited with me.  We could start a movement!

The name of the game here, is cold, cold, cold.  You want to make sure everything is cold.  It says it quite a few times in the recipe, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to say it one more time.  (I might say it again in a minute too).  After I was making this, I realized I think I have even heard of some people refrigerating their flour as another step in the cold direction.  (Did I mention this needs to be cold?)  I didn't take that extra step but if you want to, it wouldn't hurt, that's for sure.  Also remember that flour is your friend here.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's post to see what's inside, it was DElicious!  (Yes, it needed a capital D and E to emphasize how delicious it was.  Not a typo.)

Quick Puff Pastry
barely adapted from:  Bake! by Nick Malgieri

10 oz (2  ½ sticks) butter, divided
2 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
⅔ cup cold water, divided

Put the half stick of butter in the freezer for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, cut the 2 sticks of butter into ¼ inch cubes.   The easiest way is to make 2 cuts lengthwise like below, then roll to the side and do the same, then starting at one end, make 1/4 inch slices. If you have the longer, skinnier sticks of butter, you would probably only do 1 slice to cut it in half lengthwise, then roll and cut in half lengthwise again. Cut from one end into 1/4 inch slices.
Place on a plate in a single layer and refrigerate.  
Remove butter from freezer and use large side of grater to grate the butter.  
In a bowl, add 2 cups of flour and the salt to the grated butter.  (You can use the food processor for this part, just pulse with steel blade until butter disappears into mixture, then dump into a bowl.)  If you are doing it by hand, rub the butter into the flour, sqeezing it with your finger tips.  Make sure you are reaching down to the bottom of the bowl to get all of the flour incorporated.   This only takes a couple minutes by hand, the mixture should remain cool and powdery. It will look about like this.
Add chilled butter cubes and use a rubber spatula to fold them in.
Set aside 2 T of cold water and pour the remaining water over the butter and flour mixture.  Use the rubber spatula to fold everything together, from the bottom of the bowl upward.  If there are still a lot of dry bits, add remaining water 1 T at a time.  (I ended up using it all.)  

Drop the dough onto a floured work surface.  
Shape the dough into a cylinder with your hands and then press down to flatten into a rectangle..

Flour the surface and the dough, start rolling dough into a rectangle.   Make ridges all along the dough and press with the rolling pin, then start to roll.  Roll both vertically and horizontally until dough is about 18X8 inches.

Fold the two ends into the middle of the rectangle and then fold on top of each other.  (so there are 4 layers of dough).
Reposition the dough so the folded (smooth) end is on your left like the spine of a book.  Roll again to a 18X8 rectangle and fold again.  Repeat steps 2 more times, so you do the folding a total of 4 times.  Flouring dough and work surface generously as needed.   It's so much smoother after the final rolling.
Wrap the dough and refrigerate at least 3 hours before using.
Roll out and bake according to recipe directions.


  1. dude what is the consistency of the dough? Could you say use a pasta roller to make the finished product?

  2. hmmm. It would be interesting to see if it worked. I haven't tried it. It only has to be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick when rolled the final time. You could maybe use the first or first couple largest settings. If you try it, let me know how it goes. Rolling it with the rolling pin wasn't too bad though.


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