250 grams all purpose flour
125 grams Water
300 grams good quality buttersoft
For those flaky, crusty and light pastries
A correct flaky, buttery and light puff pastry or “Pate feuilletee” is the most important ingredient to so many dessert and savory dishes. Preparing and baking the puff pastry takes some practice, is fairly time consuming and tedious process, but the final product will be so much more rewarding, whether you are making a vol-en-vent, mille-feuille or the famous Napoleon.
You may find a lot of puff pastry recipes out there, but their measurements and methods are usually “half baked”. Below is our proper take on those flaky, crusty and light pastries that you will surely find useful.
- Work on a marble or granite surface in a cool place. Sift the flour into a heap, and make a well in the middle. Add the salt, water and 50 g of the soft butter into the well and with your fingers start to combine the ingredients.
- Start in the middle of the well and working your way to the outside carefully as not to break the well in order to avoid the water to run onto the surface. Work the pastry into a sticky dough, adding sprinkles of additional water if the dough becomes too dry.
- Knead gently for approximately 5 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth.
- Make diagonal incisions into the dough about ½ inch deep and cover with a moist cloth and rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Place the butter in between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic. With the rolling pin tap and push the pastry into an approximately 3 cm (1 inch) thick square.
- The butter will now also be fairly soft, about the same consistency of the dough already made.
- Place the rested dough onto the marble surface, and with the palm of your hand spread it lightly into a cross.
- With the rolling pin, further roll out the dough in the same manner until the cross reaches the size that the butter fits into the center. Fold in the “arms” of the rolled out dough tightly over the butter. You should now have a perfect square.
- Turn the dough onto the other side and ensure that the edges and corners are fully closed and neat. Roll out the dough to a long rectangular shape, ensuring a very straight long rectangle. Fold in the bottom third of the dough, brush off the extra flour and then fold in the top third over the already folded dough. This is very mush the same as how you fold a letter head paper.
- Ensure the folding is very neat and straight to achieve a square dough again. The fold of the dough should now point towards you.
- Rotate the dough a ¼ turn. And roll it out in the same long rectangular as before.
- Fold in, starting with the bottom third and then the bottom third aligning the sides neatly.
- Gently press two fingers into the dough (this indicates how many turns the dough has been prepared already) Wrap up and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Repeat the above process twice, starting by rotating the dough a ¼ turn (in the same direction as previous) and then rolling out the long rectangular. Fold into thirds and mark the dough with 4 fingers. Wrap up and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- At this stage you could store the pastry for a couple of days or even freeze it for further use at a later stage.
- Before, using and shaping the pastry, repeat the process so the pastry will achieve 6 turns, refrigerate for another 10 minutes and then roll it out to the desired thickness and shape and bake in preheated oven by 180C.