For the longest time I was convinced that I would never attempt making puff pastry. It always just seemed too difficult and too much work. Thankfully I had forgotten all about this conviction when I decided to make mini beetroot tart tatins as an amuse for a dinner party. It wasn’t until I was standing there with a rolling pin in my hand that I thought “wait a minute – this is puff pastry”.
Ok, this version is a simplified approach to the real thing, but the end result tastes fabulous; so much more wonderful than any puff pasty you buy at the supermarket.
And because I only really needed the smallest amount for my mini tart tatins I now have a few lovely chunks of puff pastry waiting for me in the freezer.
(recipe from the blog “British Larder”)
Makes approximately two 600g blocks of pastry
500g plain flour
500g good quality unsalted butter
250ml ice cold water (preferably filtered or natural spring water)
- Cut the butter into small cubes, let them come to room temperature, but not too soft and warm.
- Weigh the flour in to a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and butter, gently rub the butter with your finger tips in to the flour, until it looks like a coarse meal (This is easiest when butter and flour are at the same temperature. I think I worked to slow and had to return the bowl to the fridge a few times. But after a while I got there).
- Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add half of the ice cold water. Gently work the water in to the flour. Do not kneed the pastry. Add the remaining water little, by little until a dough forms. (I needed quite a bit less). It does not matter if you can still see flakes of butter.
- Divide the dough in two. Wrap one half in cling film and refrigerate.
- Flour a work surface and your dough. Roll the pastry out, away from yourself in one direction only, to form a rectangle approximate 10cm x 20 cm. Fold the pastry ends over to form three folds. This represents the first turn. Turn the pastry clockwise. Repeat the rolling process and fold the ends over to form another three folds. Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, repeat the above steps. Wrap the pieces of pastry separately and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.
- At this stage you can freeze the pastry or store it in the fridge over night.
- When rolling your pastry always roll away from yourself in one direction only, work quick on a lightly floured surface. You can reuse the off cuts but do not to squash them together, always fold them over and follow the folding and rolling rules.
Use it to make
Tips & Variations
The blog, where I found the recipe, recommends marking your pastry every you place it in the fridge so you do not forget how many times you have folded it: After your have rolled and folded the pastry for the first time you mark the pastry by making indents with two fingers. This represents the amount of turns. After the pastry has rested and you have repeated the steps you mark the pastry with four fingers.