How to make Puff Pastry – also known as French or Laminated Pastry

We practised this precise puff pastry technique today… I’ve included my rough drawings from class – hope they make sense to you!

INGREDIENTS:

400 grams bread flour

100 grams cold butter

4 grams salt

250 ml ice cold water

A few drops of lemon juice (to strengthen the gluten)

300 grams cold masterpuff margarine (or replace with butter)

METHOD

FIRST STAGE: PREPARE DOUGH

Puff Pastry Dry Ingredients

  •  Sift the flour & salt into your mixing bowl
  • Add the butter in chunks as you start mixing with a ‘bread arm’ Add the iced water (keeps some of it to add more a little later if the mix is too dry). Add the lemon juice
  • The mixture will look like a sticky mess at first (fig. 3 below)
  • The dough will begin to gather into a ball shape – there will still be sticky dough on the bottom of the bowl (fig. 4 below)
  • Stop mixing when the dough becomes an ‘elastic’ silky smooth ball – add more water should the dough feel too dry (fig. 5 below)
  • Dust some flour on the dough and place in a bowl – cover with cling wrap/plastic (fig. 6 below)Puff Pastry Dough Consistency
  • Put the dough into the fridge for 20 minutes to half an hourPuff Pastry Refridgerate

SECOND STAGE: PREPARE MASTERPUFF/BUTTER BLOCK

  • Knead/roll your masterpuff into a square shape.  Use sprinkles of flour as you go along to make the job easier. Bang with your rolling pin to soften a little.  (Note: ‘puff pastry’ should read masterpuff/butter in fig. 8 below)

Puff Pastry Masterpuff Part

THIRD STAGE: FIRST ROLL & ‘PACKAGING’ OF MASTERPUFF/BUTTER BLOCK INTO PASTRY

  • Take dough out of fridge and pat into tight ball shape (fig. 7 below)
  • Cut two slashes across the dough with a sharp knife (as in fig. 7 below)
  • Pull the corners of each slash out (fig. 8).  Roll out each of the four corners so that they extend out and away from the centre.  Do not roll the centre – it should remain thick – only the four corners are rolled out thin
  • Place the masterpuff/butter block in the centre (fig. 9)  & fold each corner over the top (one over the other as in fig. 10).  Press down neatly creating a square shape

Puff Package

FOURTH STAGE: FIRST FOLD

  • Press down hard onto the square with your hands creating a wider square shape
  • Now you have your form – roll out into a long sheet of pastry (fig. 12 below)

Puff 1st Roll & fold

  • When the dough is even and you have a perfect rectangular shape FOLD THE LAST 3RD OF THE RECTANGLE IN & THEN FOLD THE FIRST 3RD OF THE RECTANGLE OVER IT (fig. 13 above)

FIFTH STAGE: SECOND FOLD

  • Roll out the pastry into a rectangular shape again (fig. 14 below)
  • Fold a small section of the right end of the rectangle towards the centre as in fig. 15 no 1 below (as in a book fold cover on a hard book)
  • Take the left edge of the rectangle and press down against the edge of the ‘book fold’ as in fig. 15 no 2 and pat the edges down on top of the other fold’s edge
  • Fold the left section across to create a ‘book cover’ as in fig. 16 below
  • Put two dots in the dough to remind you that you have ‘folded the dough’ twice.  Wrap it in plastic and let it rest for 20 minutes to half an hour

Puff 2nd FOLD

SIXTH STAGE:  FINAL SINGLE FOLD

  • Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out into a rectangle shape as before.
  • Do one fold as you did in the fourth stage above
  • Roll out into a sheet
  • Your pastry is ready to be used as you wish!

Note: If you slice the pastry right through you will see several layers alternating between dough and butter… which is why Puff Pastry is also called Laminated Pastry.

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