The ultimate Puff pastry guide

Puff pastry is the base of many classical french sweet and savoury recipes, it looks intimidating to make but when you break down the technique it is simple and you can prepare a big batch and freeze it for a couple of months as well. To make the crispy and buttery puff pastry of your dreams , there are different techniques from a simple and quick 20 min dough to a reversed puff pastry that takes a bit more of time and technique to master , and here are 3 tested recipes from the easiest to the most technical one .

20 min simple puff pastry

This first version is quite convenient and easy to make for those days where you dont have few hours to spend making a perfect layered dough but you are craving a mille feuille or a vol-au-vent. While this recipe is so simple and easy it doesnt have uniform layers like a classical recipe and it does not rise a lot but it still have a perfect crispiness and taste.

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20 min simple puff pastry

PREP TIME20 Min
COOK Time40 - 45 Min
TOTAL Time20 Min

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 gr cold unsalted Butter
  • 250 gr flour (Type 405)
  • 10 gr salt
  • 150 gr cold water
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a mixer add in the flour salt and cold butter cubes and mix for 1 min until the butter an flour are mixed together while keeping big lumps of butter.
  2. Add the water and continue mixing for 30 sec to 1 min until the dough starts to get together, it should not be smooth and you should be still able to see big chunks of butter in it.
  3. Flour a clean surface and place you dough on it and try to form a ball without kneading .
  4. Now we will start rolling out the dough and making turns (Tours in french).
  5. We will make in total 3 double turns (see the illustration with the detailed method) .
  6. If you have time or the weather is hot place the dough for 30 min in the fridge to cool down and give you an optimum result before baking.
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Classic puff pastry

This is the classical recipe that involves more cooling/resting time between the turns it is probably why the dough have a reputation of beeing challenging to make when in fact its just time consuming but you can make a big batch cut it and freeze for few weeks.

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Classic puff pastry

PREP TIME4H30
COOK Time40-45 Min
TOTAL Time4H30

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 gr soft butter
  • 250 gr flour (Type 405)
  • 10 gr salt
  • 150 gr water (room temp.)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the soft butter between two parshment papers and roll it out to form a 15cmx 15cm square then place it in the fridge for 30 Min.
  2. Mix the flour and salt then make a well in the center for the water and vinegar , start mixing the water and flour gradually and lightly knead it until you get a smooth dough ( do not over knead to keep the dough from developing too much gluten and becoming too elastic and tough to roll out ) then place in the fridge for 30 Min to rest .
  3. Roll out the rested dough into a 25cmx 25cm square , place the butter square in the center then close it over like in the illustration .
  4. We will do 3 double turns with 1 hour of resten in between (you can find the turns illustration bellow).
  5. After the last simple turn let the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
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Reversed puff pastry

This is the most technical of all of the puff pastries recipes but it give the most perfect layers and crispiness to the dough when baked , it is actually similar to the classincal recipe but as the name already sais the layers are inversed , it mean the dough will be covered by the butter not the other way around. This technique is perfectly made in a cool environement so if you live in a hot region or if it is summer this is not the best recipe to use unless you have a professional cooled down room and you can make the recipe in it.

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Reversed puff pastry

PREP TIME5 hrs
COOK Time40-45 Min
TOTAL Time5 hrs

INGREDIENTS

  • 375 gr soft butter
  • 150 gr flour
  • 350 gr flour (Type 405)
  • 110 gr melted butter
  • 150 gr water
  • 15 gr salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. First we will have to prepare the butter-dough by mixing the soft butter and flour then forming a 25cmX 25cm square and keep it in the fridge for 1 hr.
  2. Second, prepare the dough by forming a well in the center pouring in the melted butter,salt, white vinegar and water and starting mixing it gradually until a dough forms, then knead the dough until it is homogenous, but again without overdoing it, let it sit in the fridge for 30 min.
  3. Roll out the dough to 15cmX 15cm square , place it in the center of the butter dough, close the edges and let it sit in the fridge for 30 min .
  4. Start making 3 double turns with 1 hour rest in the fridge in between and 2 hours rest after the last turn.
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And voilà, that's it i hope you like this little guide and leave some comments bellow if you have any questions.

Amal Nasri

A full time sweet tooth foodie , foodphotographer and recipe developer who is always on the hunt of new flavor combinations and food discoveries to re-create sweet delicacies and fresh dessert recipes .