There are more complicated recipes for puff pastry with lots of cooling times and fancy equipment like marble rolling pins on marble rolling boards, but this recipe is much easier and does the job. The one trick to puff pastry is that everything has to be COLD! There is pre-preparation in this recipe, so read it through before starting. Also, there are two 30-minute refrigeration times.
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose white flour
1 tbsp (12.5 g) sugar (see above note, but don’t bother making caster sugar for 1 tbsp of it. If you have some on hand, fine. If not granulated works.)
1 tsp (6g) salt
1 cup (227 g) butter, very cold (frozen is even better)
Up to 1/2 cup (118 ml) ice water
Put the butter in the freezer for at least half an hour before starting this recipe.
Put about a cup of water into the freezer, too.
Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
Using a box grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture. Stir it around every 1/4 cup or so to coat the butter pieces with flour. (If you don’t have a grater, just cut little pieces off the butter.)
Stir by hand (Do NOT use a machine. The butter will warm up too much) while slowly drizzling ice water into the flour/butter mixture. Add just enough water so that the dough will hold together if you pinch it. It will be very shaggy at this point and not look “finished.” Don’t worry. The rolling out takes care of that.
Plop it out on a lightly floured surface and push it together a couple of times to make a 6-inch by 3-inch brick. It will NOT be a uniform dough at this point.
Wrap it with plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Once chilled, roll it into a 8- X 12-inch rectangle. Turn it so that it looks like a pice of notebook paper. Then fold it in thirds like you are trying to make it the right size for a business envelope.
Turn it 90 degrees and roll it out into 8 X 12 again.
Fold and repeat this process 4 to 8 times. While you are doing this it will become more and more like what you think of as dough.
Once you’ve done all the rolling, fold it one more time into thirds, wrap it in plastic and chill for at least another 30 minutes. (You can make this dough the night before and do this chill overnight, to make the danish in the morning.)
This makes the equivalent of 2 sheets of store-bought. (One box) To use this in the recipe above, cut into two pieces.
Options and extras:
You can also make this and freeze it for later use. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before using.
This is a basic puff pastry for desserts. It’s suitable for galettes, turnovers, croissants, etc. You can also make cinnamon rolls with puff pastry dough instead of yeasted dough as in the recipe that follows.