How Do You Make Puff Pastry?

How Do You Make Puff Pastry?

Ask the Chef

How Do You Make Puff Pastry?

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Question:

I was wondering if you had a recipe for pastry sheets.

Answer:

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are making flaky pastry. One is that the frozen puff pastry found in your grocery store gives you good results every time, without the labor intensive work of homemade. Chefs use this kind of short cut all the time, particularly because the fillings and what you do with the pastry is what gives it a signature identity. The second thing to know is that there are a couple of versions of homemade puff pastry – one we’ll call ‘classic’ and one that is called ‘rough pastry.’

Classic puff pastry is a basic dough that you repeatedly roll out and wrap around butter. Here is an Editor’s Choice recipe for the dough, filled with an almond paste and made into a Homemade Almond Coffeecake, great for the holidays.

Rough pastry involves cutting the butter into flour and water. This saves the mess of butter seeping out the edges, and requires less rest time between rolling it out and folding the layers. One of the best articles we’ve found to describe the process is at Taunton.com.

If you consider making puff pastry a challenge you want to take on, or simply want to declare your item ‘made totally from scratch,’ try the recipes included in that article, or go with this one . . . keeping in mind it takes three days to make this one, from Homecooking.

Once you have your pastry (using any of your three options), try our recipe for Cheese Straws as an easy way to get started cooking with puff pastry. These make a terrific holiday hostess gift – just box them up or put them in a pretty, tall glass with a ribbon and go!

For more recipes using pre-prepared puff pastry, try Puffpastry.com.

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