All you need to know about puff pastry when making it at home

Question. What is puff pastry dough?
Answer. Puff pastry in French is known as pâte feuilletée. Puff pastry is dough that is laminated with layers of dough and butter. Standard puff pastry involves enveloping the butter into the dough, while reverse puff pastry involves enveloping the dough into the butter.

Pastry items prepared with puff pastry dough

Items made with puff pastry dough

Here you will find listed the finished products that are made with puff pasty dough;

  • Apple turnovers (or other fruit)
  • Cheesesticks
  • Bande aux fruits
  • Pithiviers
  • Vol-au-vent
  • Napoleon
  • Mille-feuilles


What you will learn from this lesson

  • Make puff pastry dough
  • Laminating the dough
  • Making various desserts made with puff pastry
  • Baking puff pastry items
  • Shaping various puff pastry items
  • How to make single and double turns when making puff pastry

How to make single and double turns when making puff pastry dough

How to make a single turn

How to make a double turn

For detailed information on how to count layers after making a single turn please follow this link.

More info on mixing methods or techniques used in french pastry


About our recipe tables

sample recipe table

Sample recipe table

All the recipes in our course are given by weight and percentages. The advantage of having a recipe in percentages is of extreme importance. You can alter the size of the recipe to any size you wish, and most importantly you can make recipe comparisons to notice the effects of ingredients between recipes.

In this lesson you will be introduced to the following terminologies;

  • Sablage (method used to make tarts & pies)
  • Laminating the dough
  • Detrempe
  • Beurrage
  • Tourage
  • Single turn
  • Double turn

History and Variants of Puff Pastry

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.


Puff pastry dough ingredients

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.

Making the puff pastry dough
how to make puff pastry 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.

softening the butter
how to soften butter

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.

adding the butter to the puff pastry dough
beurrage (adding the butter to the puff pastry dough)

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.

Make one  turn in puff pastry dough
Tournage (making one turn in puff pastry dough)

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. Sprinkle some flour 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.

apple turnovers with puff pastry dough
apple turnovers with puff pastry dough

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.


Please follow this link in order to view our recipe and step-by-step video instructions on how to make the perfect puff pastry dough every time





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