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.
431K 6 62 4.4
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Last modified on: January 19th 2011

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For 1 kg 100 g, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 550 g 1 kg 100 g 2 kg 200 g 3 kg 300 g
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingStart to finish
45 min.2 hours2 hours 45 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée)
Mix 200 ml water and 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
...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)
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)
Fold up this 1/3 on top of the butter.

Stage 10 - 5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée)
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)
Turn the pastry a quarter turn.

Stage 12 - 5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée)
Roll out into a long regular strip.

Stage 13 - 1 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée)
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)
Fold strip in from both ends to meet in the centre.

Stage 15 - 5 min.
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée)
Then fold this in half.

You have done "one double turn" or "wallet turn".

Stage 16 - 1 hour
Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée)
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)
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).
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.
1 or 2 days in the fridge, folded in a plastic film.
After Gaston Lenôtre.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
4,741 Kcal or 19,850 Kj48 gr370 gr341 gr
237 %18 %35 %52 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
428 Kcal or 1,792 Kj4 gr33 gr31 gr
21 %2 %3 %5 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Gluten, Milk, Sulfites
How much will it cost?
  • For 1 kg 100 g : 3.34 €

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Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.

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Your 6 comments or questions on this recipe
  • You're right, there was a mistake in the recipe, but now fixed.
    Thank you.
    Posted by jh may 14th 2020 at 11:27 (n° 6)
  • Step 1, you wrote "Mix 500 g flour" but the photo shows 1 or 8 (I don't know the unit) water, and, on step 2, it seems that the water, rather than the flour had been used in step 1...
    Posted by Henri may 14th 2020 at 08:36 (n° 5)
  • Using a knife.
    Posted by jh january 19th 2011 at 07:28 (n° 4)
  • How do i cut my dough?
    Posted by Anonymous january 18th 2011 at 20:09 (n° 3)
  • That's the case of all pastry with butter inside, without going to the fridge butter will be soft, too soft, and so your dough rather impossible to roll out.
    Posted by jh june 6th 2010 at 07:43 (n° 2)
  • Why does it need to be rested in the fridge?
    Posted by Anonymous june 5th 2010 at 23:07 (n° 1)
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