Puff pastry is extremely versatile used both in desserts and cuisines. It originates from Spain in the 17th century. Puff is a delicious, light and very rich pastry but only one serving can be forgiven!! It will wreak havoc to your waistline! I can attest to that….
Puff pastry freezes well, which is a relief considering how time consuming it is to make. You would freeze the dough after all the turns have been completed.
500g Strong Plain flour
75g Very soft butter
20g Lemon juice
300g Butter softened (best available butter)
1 Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and then add the 75g of butter.
2. Next add water and lemon juice, and mix the dough with your fingers, adding more water if the pastry is too dry. Be careful: do not over knead! Form the dough into a ball and then wrap it in cling film.
3. Flatten the dough down to a rectangle, which will make the next step far easier. Then rest it in a fridge for 30 minutes.
4. While the pastry is resting, cut baking paper to approx. 30cm x 70cm. This will become an A4 pocket or envelope to contain the butter.
5. Fold the paper in half to create the A4 template and fold your two edges over by 5cm or so, which will seal the butter into the pocket or envelope and maintain its shape.
6. Roll the butter to fill this A4 pocket/envelope, then pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm. It sounds obvious, but keep the butter lying flat, otherwise it will be malformed.
7. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface roll the dough into an approx. 22cm x 47cm rectangle. Place the butter at the bottom of the dough and fold it into the dough, by taking the bottom end of the dough upwards with the butter and folding it to cover the butter completely. You will have a remaining flap of dough, approx 22cm x 15cm. Fold this over the remaining dough and pinch the ends of dough to seal.
8. Place the dough lengthways and roll to about 20cm x 45cm, dust off the flour and fold in three, as you did previously but this time without the slab of butter! Fold the pastry 2/3 inwards and then fold the last bit of dough over the remaining length of dough. This is called a “turn”.
9. Repeat rolling the dough and folding it (per step 8) and then rewrap it in cling film and pop it in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
10. Your pastry has now had two sets of “turns”. It needs three more turns. After each TWO turns, rewrap in clingfilm and rest the pastry in the fridge for 30 minutes.
*In this method, the resting time in the fridge is 30minutes, however a 2 hour resting time is better, if possible. For perfection, the longer the rest period the better, even up to 8 hours between turns! Don’t worry I haven’t waited 8hours between turns….yet!