With puff pastry, the sky’s the limit as there are a lot of recipes in which it can be used. Savoury, sweet as well as plain recipes can be made with puff pastry. Meat, vegetables, fruits, chocolate, cinnamon are some of the ingredients which go well with puff pastry.
Puff pastry is flaky, buttery and crispy when baked. It is advisable to bake puff pastry at high temperatures to prevent the fat from melting and soggy pastry. When making puff pastry it is important to use cold butter and water. This makes the pastry flaky and for the butter not to melt.
Holsum fat can be used when making puff pastry. Holsum is made from palm oil and it is not flavoured.
Try not to touch the pastry dough as much as you can, as warm hands can cause the butter to melt. It is also important to roll and turn the dough at least four times. This helps in developing the layers which we all love in the puff pastry.
When rolling and turning remember to keep the dough cold and work the dough as fast as you can. When the butter starts melting, wrap the dough and chill it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before rolling it.
When making puff pastry I like to grate my butter instead of rubbing it into the flour. Grating is faster so I don’t touch the butter for too long. I put the butter in the freezer before using it for between 15 and 30 minutes.
When my butter is in the freezer I also put my mixing bowl, knife and water in the fridge and take them out when I am ready to use them.
After grating the butter , I mix it with flour using a round bladed knife or a table knife and start to pour water a little at a time, mixing with a knife until a dough is formed. I quickly use my hands to bring the dough together, wrap and refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes.
When the dough is cold , I flour my working surface and roll the dough, fold it, roll again and repeat the process at least 3 times more as fast as I can making sure the butter is not melting. I fold the dough and refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes before using it.
Puff pastry is funny to make and seeing your pastry flaky after baking is just fulfilling. The process of chilling the dough during the puff pastry making can feel tiresome and boring but believe me, it’s all worth it at the end. Nothing beats freshly baked meat pie or apple pie or plain croissants.
Puff pastry can be made and kept in the fridge for 3 days before using it. It can be kept in the freezer upto 2 months in an airtight container. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before using it.
Ingredients For Best Homemade Puff Pastry
260 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
175 mls cold water
Method For Best Homemade Puff Pastry
2. Using a grater, grate cold butter to the flour and mix with a knife.
3. Gradually add the cold water until a soft dough is formed.
4. Use your hands to bring the dough together. Wrap the dough with a Plastic Wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
5. On a floured surface, with a, rolling pin roll the dough into an oblong or rectangle keeping the sides even.
6. Fold pastry bringing the top third down to the centre and the bottom third up on top making 3 layers of dough.
7. Give the dough a quarter turn to the left or right and roll again into an oblong or rectangle.
8. Repeat folding, turning and rolling at least 4 times making sure butter is not melting.
9. Fold the dough and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before using it.
1. To avoid butter from melting, chill dough for at least 20 minutes after each two rollings and final rolling.
2. Chill utensils, butter and water before using them.
3. Bake puff pastry at a high temperature of between ,200°c (400°F) and 230°c (450°F).