Puff pastry is the sort of recipe that requires a lot of time. It’s tremendously satisfying when it all goes right, but it does need a good two days where you’re quite happy to potter around the kitchen with a rolling pin.
Right now I barely have time to cook dinner, let alone make anything as complex as pastry by hand – but I do have a recipe saved up for you for that rainy day weekend when nothing else but homemade puff pastry will do. It’s not the traditional method (which is the one that requires 2 whole days); this recipe will only take up a few hours of your time, but it is still a fab recipe. The layers don’t rise quite as beautifully as traditional puff, but you still get a very impressive rise, along with meltingly flaky texture. Not healthy in the slightest.
When I made this pastry, I froze half of it away, and with the rest I made some sweet almond puff pastry straws. I’m still tinkering with the recipe (think almond croissant flavours) to get it perfect, but you’ll be sure to see it when I do.
Rough Puff Pastry
Roughly translated from Pierre Hermé’s Les Larousse des Desserts
- 250g plain flour
- 250g very cold unsalted butter
- 5g table salt
- 150ml very cold water
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl, then to this, small pieces of butter. Rub it in roughly as though making a crumble but stop halfway when there are still lumps of butter in the mixture. Add the water little by little, and bind the pastry together into a rough-looking ball of dough. Wrap up in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once the pastry has rested long enough, lightly flour a worksurface, and roll it out into a rectangle three times as long as it is wide. Fold it into three like a letter, which forms the first “fold”. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
After resting, turn it 90˚, roll it out into a rectangle the same size as before, and fold the second time. Continue, until the dough has had a total of 3 folds, with a 30 minute rest in the fridge between each fold. Keep the dough in the fridge until it is ready to use.