I always thought of puff pastry as a challenge, something really hard to make, but as it happens it’s really easy! The only problem with making your own puff pastry is that it’s very time consuming. You could rustle up some pretty good stuff in a day but to make a really flaky, puffy pastry you need to give yourself a few days.
Puff pastry is made up of thin alternating layers of butter and dough, when you bake the puff pastry in an oven the layers of butter evaporate and leave you with the cooked layers of dough. It really is a simple process.
I started my first ever puff pastry on Monday (it is now Sunday). There isn’t much to say about why I chose to make puff pastry, I had no plan with what to make from it I just wanted to do something new and challenge myself.
Here’s the recipe:
250g Plain Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Caster Sugar
150 ml Water
Firstly, using a fork combine the plain flour, salt and sugar in a bowl with the water. Lightly dust a counter top with flour and turn out the dough onto the counter, gently knead the dough with your hands until smooth, place to one side.
Lay out a sheet of Clingfilm on your surface and place the block of butter on top, cover with another sheet of Clingfilm and using a rolling pin carefully roll the butter to a block about 1cm thick, wrap the cling film around the butter and put in the fridge for an hour.
When your butter has been chilling in your fridge for an hour grab your dough and on a lightly floured surface roll out into a rough rectangle shape so it is wider than it is high. Make sure it is big enough for your butter to fit.
Take the chilled butter out of the fridge, remove the Clingfilm and lay in the centre of your rolled out dough. Fold one side of the dough over onto the butter and then the other side on top of that. Carefully roll out the dough back into a rectangle.
Now begins the time consuming part, with your rectangle dough fold a third of the pastry over onto the middle and the other side on top of that (like when folding the butter into the dough) and roll together into another rectangle. Repeat this step once more.
Begin folding the pastry onto itself again but wrap in cling film and put into the fridge. Whilst making puff pastry the butter will become soft, every few folds it will need to be put back into the fridge to set, this is what makes puff pastry such a time consuming task.
If you’re wanting to make your pastry quickly all in the same day leave the pastry to chill for an hour at a time and folding 3 or 4 times each time you bring it out of the fridge, doing this about 4 times in total. This will make a very rough puff pastry; the butter may have spread thinner in some places so there might be parts more risen than others.
Otherwise leave to chill for 8 hours each time, folding no more than 3 times each time you remove it from the fridge and repeating this process at least 4 times, if not more.
I took the pastry out of the fridge each morning and evening for 4 days.
Once the pastry is formed you can do whatever you fancy.
Keeping it refrigerated it’ll last about a week. You could cut it into quarters and keep in the fridge to take out when you need.
Here’s what I made with my puff pastry:
Jam & Custard Puffs