Making your own puff pastry isn’t something you do in a few minutes. But, it is not as daunting as you might think either. You just need 3x 10 minutes and a lot of waiting in between.
The recipe makes enough puff pastry for tarts for 6 people. Since making the puff pastry is most of the work, you might want to make the full portion even if you only need half and just freeze the rest.
This recipe is written with a kitchen at regular room temperature (about 20C). If it’s a lot warmer in your kitchen you have to take care to keep everything cold and you may want to cool down your ingredients more and longer in between steps.
- 500g flour
- 1 egg
- 290g water*
- 1/8 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 345g butter
See notes for a suggestion on toppings.
- In a bowl, weigh out the flour, egg, water and salt. Knead together into a smooth dough. There is no need to form a lot of gluten, so you don’t have to knead it as extensively as bread. Knead it until it has come together into a soft flexible ball. Add more water or flour if you need it. The final dough shouldn’t be sticky.
- Cover the dough and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. If it is warm in your working area, store it in the fridge. (You can also leave it up to 2 hours, if you’re planning on leaving it for longer, put it in the fridge).
- Take your butter and place it in between two large sheets of plastic foil. Using a dough roller, smash the butter into a flat disk (approx. 1/2 cm thick). Try to keep it in a rectangular shape, that will make the next step easier. Store the butter in the fridge until you use it.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle about twice the length of the butter slab.
- Place the butter slab on one side of the dough and fold the other half of the dough over the slab. Close of the edges of the dough to ensure that no butter is sticking out.
- Roll out the slab into a long rectangle again. Make a bookfold, along the long side of the dough you fold the top quarter inside, same for the bottom quarter. Your rectangle should now be half the size it was at the start with the two pieces of dough coming together in the middle. Now fold it double one more time.
- Wrap the dough in a plastic bag or plastic foil and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. No problem to leave it in for a couple of hours until you go to the next step.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and immediately start rolling it into a rectangle again. You want to have the dough turn 90 degrees compared to how you folded it up.
- Repeat the bookfold from the previous fold.
- Turn the dough 90 degrees again, one quarter, roll out into a long rectangle again and fold again.
- Cover it back in the plastic and leave to rest in the fridge for another 30-60 minutes.
- Repeat the rolling and folding, do it two times again.
- Place it back in the fridge, covered in plastic. It is now ready to use. If you want you can freeze it until you’re planning to use it. Otherwise, leave it to rest at least another 30 minutes in the fridge before rolling it out.
- How to bake it depends on the recipe, we baked it at 200C (400F) for 25 minutes until it was nice and crispy and a light brown. You should see the sides puffing up.
* The amount of water will depend somewhat on your flour. If you’re not sure about your flour hold back 30g of water and see whether it comes together. Only add the water if you notice you’ve got too little.
You can use puff pastry for a lot of things, but if you’re looking for a nice simple savoury tart, you might want to consider the following. Take a small pumpkin (choose a variety you look, we used the generic orange type) and cut it into small pieces. Bake in the oven at 180C (350F) for about 30 minutes until soft and tender. Mix the pieces with 30g of goat’s cheese, big handful of walnuts and 50g cranberries (sliced in half). Roll out half of the puff pastry and cut into 8 smaller pieces. Add a generous portion of the topping but take cake to keep the sides free to get that real crunch. Back in the oven at 180C (350F) for 25-30 minutes until the pastry has turned a nice light brown.