300 g flour (use T55 in France)
1 teaspoon salt
~165 mL ice water
225 g cold unsalted butter
extra flour for the butter and for dusting work surface
Whisk together the flour and salt. Dump it out onto your work surface, make a well in the middle, and begin incorporating the water, one tablespoon at a time. After each addition, fluff the flour with your fingers to incorporate the water evenly, then use a dough cutter to scrape everything back into a pile, and repeat. Stop once the dough sticks together when pressed. It’s totally fine if it’s a little clumpy and ragged – as long as it sticks together, it’s good. It’s more important not to overwork the dough! Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After about 15 minutes, begin working the butter. Place the butter onto your work surface, and beat it with the end of your rolling pin. Add a very small amount of flour as required to absorb any moisture. Use your dough cutter to scrape the butter back into a pile, and continue working it with the rolling pin until it is pliable, and you can fold it over onto itself without it breaking. The objective is to make the butter pliable without warming it too much. This should take about five minutes. Then form the butter into a 4″ x 4″ (10 cm x 10 cm) square (use your tools, not your hands!), wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Remove both the lean dough and the butter block from the fridge. Lightly flour your work surface, and roll the dough into a rough square – about 8″ x 8″ (20 cm x 20 cm). Place the butter in the center of the dough, rotated by 90 degrees, and fold the dough around the butter like an envelope. Pinch the dough to seal.
Now for the rolling and folding, which creates all the layers that are essential for the “puff” part of the pastry.
Roll the pastry until it is about 12″ (30 cm) long and 6″ (15 cm) wide. Then fold the top third down, and the bottom third up, just as if you were folding a sheet of paper to fit into an envelope. Turn the pastry 90 degrees, so that it looks like a book that you could open. This process is called a “turn”, and you need to do a total of six turns. After every two turns, the pastry needs to be re-wrapped in plastic, and put into the fridge for 30 minutes.
After the sixth turn, wrap the pastry in plastic and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes (and up to a day) before using. When you’re ready to use it, roll it out to ~1/8″ (3 mm) thickness. Once rolled, the sheet should be about 24″ (60 cm) long and 16″ (40 cm) wide – which is about 1.5 times the size of a puff pastry sheet that you’d buy at the grocery. At this point, follow the directions in what ever recipe you’re using, or you can bake it at 200°C (400°F) for ~12-14 minutes, until puffed and deep golden.
© Half-Baked by Liz
*See original blog post here, including step-by-step pictures!