Puff pastry is made from hundreds of paper-thin layers of butter trapped between hundreds of paper-thin layers of dough. Add 1 cup of flour and 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt to your bowl. Stir gently. Add the 10 tablespoons of cold butter chopped into pieces, and then begin to work the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingertips. If you’re using your fingertips, pinch the butter and smear it through the flour lightly.
The fastest way to incorporate butter for homemade puff pastry is by using your fingers. Gather your mixture into a rough ball and press it into a square shape on a well-floured cutting board or another work surface. Use plenty of flour to avoid sticking, but also be mindful about adding too much flour to your dough.
Since your dough is in a roughly square shape, begin by rolling it away from you into a long rectangle shape. Then, fold it up like a letter: fold the bottom third up to the middle and then the top third over the middle. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat. So, you roll out the dough, fold it like a letter, and turn at least 5 times. You’ll notice the dough becomes easier and easier to work with.
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 10 tablespoons high-quality unsalted butter (5 ounces), cold
- 1/3 cup ice cold water
- In a medium bowl, add the flour and salt. Stir to mix.
- Cube the butter and then add it to the flour bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dough. It will be very crumbly, and you’re done when the butter is in uniform pieces all about the size of peas.
- Make a hole in the center of the dough and pour in all of the water. Using a fork, stir to combine the dough.
- Flour a cutting board, and add the dough. Pat it into a rough square. You will still see chunks of butter and it will seem too dry, but do not add extra water. The dough will come together with each roll.
- Flour the rolling pin, and roll the dough out in front of you into a rectangle about 10″ long. No need to be too precise here.
- Fold the bottom third of the dough over the middle of the dough. Fold the upper third of the dough on top of the middle too.
- Rotate the dough one-quarter turn, and repeat. Use additional flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Roll out, fold, and turn the dough at least 6 or 7 times.
- When done, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour, or overnight. Dough may be frozen, too.
- Roll out with flour for desired puff pastry use.