How to Make Puff Pastry at Home
There are many people who are purists and who wish to have home-made recipes. Some of these people may like to have puff pastries also made at home. The fact is that making puff pastries at home is not a difficult task at all. But, you must be ready to spend time and put forth the right efforts. It may take three days for making puff pastries because overnight refrigeration is required for certain steps, especially the first and the last one.
Why home-made puff pastries are preferable
Once you learn how to make puff pastry at home, you may never opt for buying it outside. Further, home made puff pastries will be tastier and better than what you may get in the stores. You can use these pastries for desserts and savory dishes because they are versatile. The most important factor why one wishes to make puff pastry at home, is that you know your ingredients and there are no chemicals added.
If you decide to try making puff pastries at home, it is better you try small quantities. Once you gain confidence, you can increase the ingredients and try larger quantities.
The ingredients you require are simply all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, water and salt.
Making puff pasty dough involves three major steps. First you must make the puff pastry dough. Then you must add the butter to the dough and finally start making the folds. Each of these steps has a equivalent name in french as explained below.
The dough consists of 4 ingredients, flour, butter, water and salt. The butter can be only butter or a combination of butter and shortening. Some if not most professional pastry shops add some SPS shortening along with the butter, because it's much easier to rolll out the dough.
First of all let's start with making of the dough. You must mix the butter with the flour until the dough mixture has a sand-like texture. This must be done before adding the water and the salt. Once done, you add the water and the salt, and you knead the dough just enough to incorporate all the ingredients together. At this point you must let the dough rest. This dough is called detrempe in french. Wrap the detrempe with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for best results over night.
The next step involves adding the butter. Before adding the butter to the dough, you must first soften the butter. Place butter in between two sheets of plastic wrap, and begin softening it by using a rolling pin.
Next, you must thin out the dough and add the thin layer of butter onto the dough. The dough and butter should have relatively the same temperature or consistency to ease the rolling out of the dough/butter. Fold the dough over the butter so that it is enclosed completely by the dough, and let rest another 30 minutes in the refrigerator. This is called beurrage in french. Now here is where everybody makes a mistake. The beurrage is NOT considered one turn. It's simply the beurrage part of the procedure.
Next you will begin making the required number of folds (follow link at the bottom of this article) in order to achieve the proper puff pastry dough. The folding part of this procedure is called tourage in french. Four your work surface area and begin thinning out the dough to proper size. The more you thin out the dough the better the results. Once the dough has been thinned out you will fold it on each side (as shown in video) but don't forget to remove all excess four that is on the dough, using a brush. You must rest the dough 30 minutes after each fold.
Once the puff pastry dough is ready you are able to make anything that involves puff pastry dough, for example, the famous apple turnovers, apple struddel, cornets, mille feuilles, etc.
Puff pastry dough may be frozen. Simply wrap tightly using plastic wrap before freezing. To use frozen puff pastry dough, simply defrost the dough in the refrigerator over night before using.
For more information on the subject, and the exact quantity of ingredients used, see our step by step video instructions on how to make puff pastry dough.