Puff Pastry

Recipe by Derf2440
YIELD: 1 batch




  • Ok, you get the whole story!
  • "Before beginning the adventure with puff paste there is one thing to be explained that will make its compositions comparatively easy.
  • (Ha Ha!) The butter used must be washed.
  • The purpose of washing it is to make it elastic.
  • It should be soft through being kneaded, but in no sense soft through being melted- quite the contrary, it must be soft and cold at the same time.
  • In winter turn on the cold water faucet.
  • Manipulate the butter with the hands under the stream of cold water until it is creamy and waxy.
  • At other seasons, do this in a quart of ice water placed in a bowl of ice.
  • The butter may be kneaded with a spoon if preferred.
  • The final kneading of the butter is done on a board or it is patted briskly in the hands until no water flies.
  • This is the recipe of a professional cook.
  • As it calls for egg yolks it differs from the orthodox rule for puff paste.
  • However, her results are remarkable and her method is simple, so I am giving it in preference to the usual rather complicated recipes.
  • (Ha Ha again, it is complicated!) She stresses 2 points: Keep the hands, the bowl, the board and the rolling pin as cold as possible.
  • (Ha Ha, your hands will be frostbitten!) A cold windy day is best for making puff paste.
  • "Work with hands,as in the first paragraph, under water, 1 cup of butter.
  • Place 1/4 cup butter in a cold bowl.
  • Form the remainder into a square and place it where it will keep cold.
  • Add to the butter in the bowl, the flour and salt, work these ingredients with a pastry blender, 2 knives or the finger tips.
  • Beat and add 1/4 cup ice water and 2 egg yolks, (the yolks may be omitted, in that case use in all, 6 tablespoons of water).
  • Work these ingredients well with the hands.
  • If necessary add, to loosen the dough from the bowl, a pinch of flour.
  • Place the dough were it will be cold but will not freeze, preferably in the open air.
  • If it is not possible to do this, fold the dough in a clean cloth and place it in a dripping pan that has been placed between 2 dripping pans filled with ice.
  • After 15 minutes, roll the dough into a square on a floured board.
  • Roll it one way only, not back and forth.
  • A good way is out from the centre.
  • Put the square of butter in the centre of the dough and fold the 4 corners to the centre completely covering the butter.
  • Permit the dough to stand on a cloth or piece of waxed paper in a cold place for 1/2 hour.
  • Turn it once to keep it from becoming dry.
  • Roll out the dough again into a square and fold the corners to the centre.
  • Permit it to stand again for 1/2 hour.
  • Repeat this process.
  • The dough must be chilled and rolled at least 4 times in all.
  • Chill the dough until you are ready to use it.
  • Wrapped in waxed paper it may be kept in the refrigerator for several days.
  • Roll it, cut it into shapes.
  • Chill it again and bake it.
  • One of the secrets of success of puff paste is to have it ice cold when placed in a hot oven.
  • The matter of baking puff paste is a moot point.
  • In all rules the very cold paste is put into a very hot oven- 500°F.
  • In some it is baked at this temperature throughout.
  • In this case the pastry is covered with waxed paper after 10 minutes baking.
  • In other rules the heat is reduced 50 degrees every 5 minutes until the temperature is 350°F for final baking.