Puff Pastry Dough Article - Allrecipes.com
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Puff Pastry Dough

Since the dough contains no yeast, the way this pastry puffs in the oven is pure magic.

Okay, so it's not magic, it's chemistry. But puff pastry is still one of the most satisfying items to bake.


About the Pastry

Puff pastry is leavened by water in the layers of butter and  dough evaporating in the hot oven, causing the layers to separate. Classical puff pastry has close to a thousand separate layers of butter and dough: the "thousand leaves" of millefeuille.

A traditional variant that doesn't puff as high is called blitz puff pastry (demi-feuillete). It's easier to master at home than classic puff pastry: rather than having a block of butter that you envelop in a square of dough, you make a kind of glorified pie crust. The technique of "blitz" (lightning!) puff pastry isn't especially fast. Plan to spend much of a weekend afternoon rolling and folding dough.


A Word of Advice

This is an ambitious project. It helps if you're familiar with dough, like making pie crusts. It can, however, be tackled successfully if you're an enthusiastic beginner. The dough can smell your fear, so be confident! This recipe will look like a complete disaster when you begin, but by the time you're rolling out the dough to shape it, you'll declare yourself a culinary genius.

(See? It's not pretty.)


    Before You Begin

    Unlike pie pastry, you don't want the butter to be stone cold. It should be at a cool room temperature, almost waxy, but not too soft. I recommend using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer or using a food processor's "pulse" function. You can also make this dough by hand, using a kitchen knife or a baker's bench knife.

    • Basically, you want big, big chunks of butter: cut the sticks horizontally, so you've got pieces about a quarter inch thick and as long as your butter stick.
    • They'll break up a bit in the mixer, but you're really trying to keep long flakes of butter that will be distributed throughout the dough (mimicking the effect of a solid sheet of butter in classic puff pastry).


      Method

      Use the Blitz Puff Pastry recipe.

      • Turn out the butter and flour mixture onto a large work surface or big mixing bowl.
      • Make a well and add the liquid (the tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar helps tenderize the dough and keep it from oxidizing or turning gray).
      • Stir gently to combine, keeping the butter pieces large.
      • The dough will look terrible: all floury and "shaggy," not like a nice pastry at all.
      • As best you can with dough that's falling apart, roll it out into a long rectangle. Depending on the quantity, you're probably looking at a 8 x 14" block. Fold it in thirds, like a business letter. (Again, the pastry will look a mess. Don't worry, it'll shape up.)
      • Wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for an hour. This will allow the flour to fully absorb the liquid and will let it relax after the first roll-out.
      • Return the dough to your work surface and roll it out into a rectangle again. but fold it so that the short edges are in the fold. Basically, you've done a quarter turn of the dough.
      • Chill and repeat one more time, again turning the dough to fold the edges inside.
      • Chill before rolling, and again after cutting the dough into shapes (to keep the edges sharp) or before baking (this prevents shrinkage).


        Breakfast Pastries

        Puff pastry is a wonderful component in desserts, but it's also spectacular for breakfast. For a special occasion brunch or tea, make almond-filled Bear Claws. Our step-by-step tutorial makes it manageable--and you can make the components or the filled and shaped pastries ahead of time, and bake them the morning of your event.


        Variations

        When you make your own puff pastry, you can get creative with compound butters. Fat distributes flavors better than, say, flour: spices, citrus zests, and herbs really pop when they're layered into your pastry dough. An orange butter is delicious in Palmiers. A cayenne pepper butter will turn your dough a gorgeous red-orange color; it's perfect for making cheese straws. Or try an herb butter with Puff Pastry Salmon or on a pot pie.

        While I think this dough recipe works well in both sweet and savory applications, you can cut the sugar to about 1 tablespoon if you're making savory tarts or other dishes.

        Comments
        Jul. 10, 2009 1:27 pm
        I would like to learn how to bread bowls out of Puff pastry dough for salads,desserts and dip.
         
        iluv2c00k 
        Aug. 18, 2009 10:07 pm
        This is good and very informative. Thank you.
         
        Oct. 14, 2009 8:20 pm
        Thank you so much. I love making so many things with puff pastry and normally buy it but would love to make my own.
         
        zayaan 
        Dec. 15, 2009 8:40 pm
        plz mention the quantity of ingridients
         
        kcorum 
        Mar. 8, 2010 6:08 pm
        Mine turned out pretty terrible. It never fluffed up like pastries that are light and airy. It was more like well done homemade pizza dough. The filling was wonderful but it was a lot of work. What could I have done wrong?
         
        carmencelis 
        Apr. 13, 2010 6:08 pm
        i never tried making puff doug, but i certainly trying this one; it's like a trick the way the layers form. thanks for this recipy and will post my experience soon.......carmencelis01
         
        meda 
        Apr. 18, 2010 5:20 pm
        As a suggestion for kcorum, Is it possible that when you made your dough, you forgot to refrigerate it while working, or that it was over-worked? Either of these could result in dough that won't "puff" and is a bit tough... And now a question of my own: I was considering trying to roll this out using my pasta machine. Would this make it too thin perhaps? Does anyone have thoughts?
         
        Apr. 20, 2010 12:34 pm
        Hi meda. Yeah, I think a pasta machine would make the dough far too thin--it might compress the layers too much. I don't go much thinner than 1/4 of an inch, depending on what I'm making.
         
        Apr. 22, 2010 6:37 pm
        Looks good!
         
        seminole milica 
        Aug. 20, 2010 8:48 am
        Main issue about puff pastry is: Always fold dough in same direction- left side to center, right side overlapping, bottom side up, upper side down. It looks like square book when done. Rest it in refrigerator for 1/2 hour between next folding Once you made it, rolled up and made your whatever with puff pastry- put it once again in refrigerator for about 30-45 min. before you finally bake it on 375 for approx. 25 minutes
         
        Sep. 14, 2010 8:53 am
        I would like to know if anyone has a good filling recipe for homemade creme horns...something light and fluffy would be great, thanks!
         
        Nov. 17, 2010 6:21 pm
        you could try the frosting for red velvet cake as a filling ,it is not too seet and is fluffy. I am talking about the kind that starts with flour and milk cooked together.
         
        Darcside28 
        Nov. 24, 2010 9:05 pm
        I would like to know if anyone has the receipe for puff pastry...diddle here and diddle there but no receipe.....where is it????
         
        Nov. 28, 2010 3:32 pm
        Here you go aq Clasic Puff Pastry recipe. One thing you MUST remember is that puff pastry is the only dough that achieves its height solely through lamination.This is a small and large recipe large will be in brackets DOUGH 3 cups unbleached bread flour (3lbs8oz) 1/2 cup cake flour(8oz) 1 1/2 tsp salt (1oz) 1/4 cup unsalted butter,melted(8oz) 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice(1oz) 3/4 cup +2 tbsp(7oz)Ice water(1lb 12os) BUTTER 2 cups unsalted butter,cut into 1 inch chunks ( 4lbs) 5tbsp unbleached bread flour (6oz) For the dough combine the flours and the salt in a mixer bowl.Using the dough hook and the mixer on low speed,add the butter and lemon juice. Add the ice water in a slow steady stream, scraping up the mixture from the bottom , Add just enough water so that the dough comes together. Increase the speeed to medium:knead until smooth and stretchy, about 45 seconds. form into a rough rectanlge:chill 1 hour. For butter mixture, fit the mixer with paddle.Add the butter and the
         
        Nov. 28, 2010 3:36 pm
        Just a little note when cooking or baking you should Always use unsalted butter if you want the true flovours to shine through, no butter substitutes or margarine. If you want to eat plastice go a head margerin is one molecule off from plastice just to let you know.
         
        Dec. 3, 2010 7:34 am
        Heather a fantastic filling for cream horns is 7 minute frosting. Or Fluffy white or White Mountain. It has a lot of different names but it is basically sugar, corn syrup, water, vanilla and egg whites. I use more sugar than the recipe calls for to make it stand up longer.
         
        Jarkoruus 
        Feb. 7, 2011 11:33 am
        Ty For all this useful info, i still need a tutor however :)
         
        Feb. 17, 2011 8:22 pm
        I would like to see more step by step pictures...I'm visual.
         
        Kfong 
        Feb. 18, 2011 9:12 am
        It sure seems tough but I shall try my hand on it
         
        Joanie.bells 
        Mar. 10, 2011 1:37 pm
        William Sonoma has an Essentials of Baking book that gives wonderful picture instructions for both Quick puff pastry and the "Classic Puff Pastry". Check it out! It's an awesome book and every cook I know that sees it gets it! :) I am so excited to try to make Puff!
         
        LOCKSLEY 
        Apr. 10, 2011 7:30 am
        Can you freeze the pastry?
         
        Apr. 17, 2011 11:55 am
        For those asking for the ingredients, "Use the Blitz Puff Pastry recipe" Scroll up, there's a link for it up under the "About the pastry" section. :)
         
        lisa 
        Apr. 22, 2011 12:55 pm
        yes you can freeze it.
         
        plumbob 
        Sep. 27, 2011 4:18 pm
        Is it possible to make puff pastry dough and freeze it for later use? I cook for my wife and myself and generally can't use 2 or 3 lbs of dough.
         
        Sep. 28, 2011 12:50 pm
        How about the classic pastry dough? Can we learn how to do that?
         
        kishin mirpuri 
        Dec. 2, 2011 8:19 am
        YOU HAVE NOT MENTIONED QUANTITIES REQUIRED TO MAKE PUFF PASTRY DOUGH. ?
         
        truck_ngirl 
        Jan. 9, 2012 4:49 pm
        The recipe is Blitz Puff Pastry in blue next to the picture. Just click your mouse on the title and it will take you to the recipe. I have to commend all of you for having the patience to make this. I am looking for the recipe for the flat cinnamon crispies that are made from this dough. My dad used to get them from the Dunford Bakery when I was growing up on SLC, UT.
         
        Kalynda 
        Oct. 12, 2012 2:44 am
        Would love a video on this kind of dough.
         
        PO34 
        Apr. 3, 2013 10:29 am
        Thank you for the information, but where is the recipe for the pastry dough???
         
        Jan. 3, 2014 6:49 pm
        I think this is good for me to know. I've never used puff pastry, but I'll try it! :)
         
        merimary 
        May 1, 2014 8:45 am
        I love puff pastry, the best I ever ate was in South Wales UK. I will be attempting to make my own now and have some in freezer for special occasions. Thanks for the very easy to follow instructions.
         
         
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