Classic Puff Pastry by Chef Bret Bannon

classic puff pastry

A classic recipe that can be the base for dozens of delicious creations – sweet or savory, dinner or dessert. Tarts, turnovers, savory pot pies, pizza wheels, it’s time to get creative! You start with two things, a block of butter that you combine with flour, and dough that you make separately. Get your mixer out and have fun.

Classic Puff Pastry Block of Butter Ingredients

Dough Ingredients

  • 2½ cups (11 ¼ oz or 320 g) organic unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup (2 oz or 60 g) organic cake flour (not self-rising)

  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz or 60 g) soft Kalona SuperNatural Unsalted Butter

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • 1 cup (240 ml) ice cold water

Classic Puff Pastry Directions

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the butter, salt, and flour into a smooth mass.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap down on the counter that is about 24-inches in length. Using a spatula, scrape the butter mixture from the mixer and plop it near the middle of the plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over onto the butter and using the plastic wrap form it into an approximately 6-inch square. Refrigerate it until firm.

While the block of butter is chilling in the fridge, now’s the time to make the dough. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal “S” blade pour in the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt. Pulse to mix. Scatter the butter around the flour mixture and pulse again to evenly incorporate it. Remove the lid and all at once, pour the water over the flour mixture. Run the processor again until the dough forms a ball on the blade.

Remove the dough from the machine. Form it into a disk and using a small, sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern. Wrap dough back in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for about ½ hour.

Unwrap the chilled dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all-purpose flour. Roll into a 10-inch square. Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with “ears” or flaps. Remove the plastic wrap from the cold butter and place it in the middle of the dough. Fold the “ears” of the dough over butter, stretching as needed so they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely. It should be about 7 inches square.

It’s now time to make the first of six turns. Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom edges of the square. Then, keeping the work surface and dough well floured, roll the dough into a rectangle that is three times as long as the square with which you started, about 24 inches. It is important that the butter is rolled evenly along the length and width of the rectangle; check when you start rolling that the butter is moving along and adjust your rolling accordingly to get a smooth, even dough-butter lamination. With a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough, and fold the rectangle up from the bottom and down from the top in thirds, like a business letter. Brush off any flour from the folded thirds as well. You have completed one turn.

Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Repeat the rolling and folding process, rolling the dough to a length of 24 inches and then folding in thirds. This is the second turn.

It might be time to chill. If the dough is still cool and no butter is oozing out, you can give the dough another turn or even two additional turns. If the condition of the dough is sketchy, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Each time you refrigerate the dough, mark the number of turns you’ve completed. It is best to refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns. The total number of turns needed is six. After the sixth turn, divide the dough in half, wrap and freeze or use one or both immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Bret Bannon