Puff Pastry – Homemade!

Demi-feuillete anyway (not as many layers of butter as some of the fancier recipes, but perfect for most puff pastry recipes)…Yet another of my goals in baking completed! It’s much easier than making croissants, takes a lot less resting time, and is quintessential French (a.k.a. soooooo much butter). I thought it was a good way to spend a Friday night and a good prep to make brie en croute for a housewarming and birthday party. That’s right. Brie wrapped in puff pastry and baked to oozy-on-the-inside baked-and-crispy-on-the-outside perfect.

Read on for the recipe and some photos…

Ingredients – The dough (la détrempe)

NOTE: This makes a LOT – it was enough for my brie en croute (8oz brie), 6 palmiers, and I still have about 1/3 – 1/2 that I popped into the freezer

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup bleached cake flour

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp salt

1 cup iced water (+ 1 or more tbsp)

Directions

  • Blend the two flours together in a mixing bowl. Remove 1/2 cup and reserve for Step 2 (the butter).
  • Stir the oil into the flour and mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula (I don’t know how thorough you can be here…).
  • Stir in the salt and water, cutting and pressing into a mass with the spatula.
  • Lift dough onto a lightly floured pastry marble or board (I highly recommend marble for this recipe to keep the dough and butter cool).
  • Press dough firmly and rapidly into a cushion shape. It should be elastic but not damp or sticky.
  • Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and wrap in waxed paper. Slip into a plastic bag and refrigerate 40 minutes to an hour.

Ingredients – The butter

12 ounces (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter

1/2 cup mixed flour from Step 1

Directions

  • Beat the butter with a rolling pin or dowel to soften it (like with the croissants).
  • Smear out the butter on the pastry marble with the heel of your hand.
  • When partially softened, work in the flour and continue until of spreading consistency (but still cold).
  • Take out the dough and lightly flour it and your hands. Push and pat the dough out into a rectangle 8″ x 16 – 18″.
  • Using a scraper or stiff spatula, spread the butter over the upper two thirds of the dough, leaving a 1/8″ border. (There is a LOT of butter in this recipe – mine squigged out the sides in a couple of the turns…didn’t seem to matter much).
  • Fold the dough into three (bottom, unbuttered third first), like a business letter.
  • Rotate the dough so that the top flap points to your right.
  • Roll out the dough into another 8″ x 16 – 18″ rectangle (start about an inch from the near edge of the dough to within an inch of the far end of the dough).
  • Fold the top and bottom edges so that they meet at the center of the dough.
  • Fold them together again, as though closing a book. (Second turn – 8 layers of butter, 9 layers of dough – you can freeze the dough at this point, press 2 depressions into the dough to remind you where you stopped).
  • Wrap in wax paper, slip into plastic bag, and refrigerate another 40 minutes to an hour.
  • Turn 3: Roll dough out into a rectangle 16 – 18″ long. Fold rectangle of dough into three, like a business letter.
  • Rotate dough so that the top layer points to the right. Roll again into a rectangle and fold into three. (72 layers of butter)
  • Make 4 depressions in the dough, wrap and chill at least 2 hours to firm the butter and relax the gluten. (You can give the dough another 2 turns after it has chilled to make it the full fancy puff pastry – that’s 648 layers!)

Brie en croute

8oz. Brie (I used Le President)

Puff pastry (you just need enough to wrap around the brie at 1/4″ thick or so)

Egg wash: 1 egg, 1 tbsp water

Optional garnishes: slivered almonds, parsley, apricot preserves

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Roll out puff pastry and place brie in the center.
  • Fold up the dough and cut off excess (use it to decorate the top! I made an autumn leaf…can you tell?)
  • Paint the seam with the eggwash.
  • Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Decorate. Paint with eggwash.
  • Bake for 25 minutes – let stand 20 minutes.
  • Eat plain or with crackers.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Puff Pastry – Homemade!”
  1. ali h says:

    I have never tried making puff pastry, my mother always told me it was too much work, but i feel inspired to try it, as the frozen shop brought pastry is never that good.

    • blubird607 says:

      Yea, it’s pretty easy! If you’re not doing much around the house one day, you can do it in short intervals between the refrigeration time. And – it’s delicious. The amount I made covered: brie en croute, palmiers, and puff pastry samosas, so a little effort really goes a long way!

  2. Leighdles says:

    Ooooh it looks so pretty! I love the leaf detail 😀

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