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Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée)

Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée)

Puff pastry is an incredible assembly of thin layers of butter enclosed in thin layers of dough. After cooking this give a succession of thin crisp pastry leaves that produce exceptional desserts or pies. It's a jewel of French patisserie.

Making your own puff pastry is not very difficult, it's just a little work with a good recipe (like this one!). This recipe is for quick puff pastry ("feuilletage rapide") perfect for beginners.

290,166 44.6/5

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Last modified on: January 19th 2011

For 1 kg 100 g, you will need:

How long does it take?

PreparationRestingStart to finish
45 min.2 hours2 hours 45 min.
Preservation: 1 or 2 days in the fridge, folded in a plastic film
At what time?
When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
Work this out...

Step by step recipe

Stage 1
5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #1 Mix 500 g flour et 1 teaspoon fine (or table) salt, if possible add 1 teaspoon white (spirit) vinegar to prevent dough from turning grey.
Stage 2
5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #2 In a mixer bowl, pour 500 g flour and 200 g butter cut into pieces.

Knead on low speed for one minute, then add the water+vinegar+salt mixture.
Stage 3
1 hour
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #3 Stop as soon as dough is smooth, this dough is called a "détrempe" (soaked or softened).

Form it into slab, cover with plastic film, and put in the fridge for one hour.
Stage 4
5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #4 After this time, remove dough, unwrap it, then roll it out on your work surface into a large rectangle.
Stage 5
1 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #5 Measure length of rectangle, and make a small mark with your finger at the 2/3 point.
Stage 6
5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #6 Put 200 g butter between two sheets of plastic film, and hit it with your rolling pin...
Stage 7
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #7 ...until you get a butter "sheet" which is a little narrower than the dough and 2/3 the length.
Stage 8
5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #8 Lay the butter sheet on the dough, starting at the small mark you made before.

You should now have butter on 2/3 of the dough, 1/3 empty.
Stage 9
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #9 Fold up this 1/3 on top of the butter.
Stage 10
5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #10 Then fold over again onto the final 1/3.

You have done "one simple turn", which means that you now have 2 butter layers inside 3 dough layers.
Stage 11
1 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #11 Turn the pastry a quarter turn.
Stage 12
5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #12 Roll out into a long regular strip.
Stage 13
1 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #13 Remove any excess of flour with a Short-handled brush or a pastry brush (we do this because too much flour can hinder the layering of the pastry).
Stage 14
2 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #14 Fold strip in from both ends to meet in the centre.
Stage 15
5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #15 Then fold this in half.

You have done "one double turn" or "wallet turn".
Stage 16
1 hour
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #16 Cover pastry with plastic film and leave to rest in the fridge for one hour.

This sequence of "double turn" + 1 hour rest, needs to be done twice more to get: 1 simple turn and 3 double turns.
Stage 17
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée) : Photo of step #17 Your puff pastry is now ready to use. Cut into three pieces (of about 300g) and wrap each in plastic film until use, or freeze (see below).

Remarks

Puff pastry should not be kept in the fridge for too long (in spite of the vinegar), 2 or 3 days maximum. But it can easily be frozen, in which case don't do the final double turn and freeze at this stage. When needed, remove from freezer, leave to thaw in the fridge overnight, and do the final double turn just before use.

You wonder how-many layers there are? Here is the solution: after the first turn there are 2 butter layers between 3 dough layers, and each double turn multiplies by four. So after the first one we get 12 layers, 48 at the second, and 192 at the third.

How does it work? In the heat of the oven, the layers of pastry cook and turn brown and crisp, at the same time the butter melts (helping pastry to brown) and the water inside turns to steam. This steam in trapped in the pastry, so the entire pastry inflates to become puff pastry.

Nutritional information

% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories by day for a woman (change to a man).

How much will it cost?

For 1 kg 100 g : 3.34 €

Note : These prices are only approximate.

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Source: After Gaston Lenôtre.
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More recipes?

This recipe use (among others)
FlourFlour: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Sandwich bread, French croissants, Vegetable clafoutis, Fillets of sole meunière, Pistachio "Financiers", ... All
ButterButter: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Green beans with tomatoes, Leek and potato soup, Baked potoatoes with herb butter or cream , Hollandaise sauce, Marchand de vin sauce, ... All
WaterWater: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: "Buttonhole" quail eggs, Hollandaise sauce, Vietnamese prawns, Bacon rolls, Franche-Comté sticks, ... All
Fine (or table) saltFine (or table) salt: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Pâté de campagne, Small cheese and bacon rolls , Home-made terrine of foie gras, Shortcrust pastry (pâte brisée), Kugelhof for Nanou, ... All

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