Puff Pastry


This Puff Pastry recipe makes about 600g of pastry.

250g unsalted butter

2 cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup chilled water


Melt 30g of butter in a pan. Sift the flour and salt onto a work surface and make a well in the centre.

Add the butter and water to the centre and blend with your fingertips, gradually drawing in the flour.

You should end up with a crumb mixture - if it seems a little dry, add extra drops of water before bringing it all together to form a dough.

Cut the dough with a pastry scraper, using a downward cutting action, then turn the dough and repeat in the opposite direction. The dough should now come together to form a soft ball. Score a cross in the top to prevent shrinkage, wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Soften the remaining butter by pounding it between 2 sheets of baking paper with a rolling pin. Then, still between the sheets of baking paper, roll it into a 10cm square. The butter must be the same consistency as the dough or they will not roll out the same amount and the layers will not be even. If the butter is too soft, it will squeeze out of the sides. Too hard and it will break through the dough and disturb the layers.

Put the pastry on a well floured surface. Roll it out to form a cross, leaving the centre slightly thicker than the arms. Place the butter in the centre of the cross and fold over each of the arms to make a parcel. Turn the dough so that it looks like a book with the hinge side to the left. Tap and roll out the dough to form a 15 x 45 rectangle. Make this as neat as possible, squaring off the corners - otherwise, eery time you fold, the edges will become less neat and the layers will not be even.

Fold the dough like a letter, the top third down and the bottom third up, to form another square, brushing off any excess flour between the layers. Turn the dough 90 degrees to bring the hinge side to your left and press the seam sides down with the rolling pin to seal them. Re-roll and fold as before to complete two turns and mark the dough by gently pressing into the corner with your fingertip for each turn - this will remind you where you're up to. Wrap the dough and chill again.

Re-roll and fold twice more and then chill, and then again to complete 6 turns. If it is a very hot day, you may need to chill between each turn. The pastry should now be an even yellow and is ready to use.

If it looks a little streaky, roll and fold once more.

Refrigerate until required.

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