You can call it rough puff, cheater puff pastry, 15 minute puff pastry, but whatever it’s name, this easy puff pastry is a quick, delicious way to make two sheets of puff pastry.
Puff pastry is one of my favorite ways to bake to impress. It’s delicious (because butter), versatile, and makes anything it touches feel just a bit fancier and elevated. The kind from the store suffices in a pinch, but they’re usually not made with butter and lack in the flavor department. Making “full puff”–making a butter block and rolling and folding it in a dough multiple times at perfectly spaced increments–is incredibly time intensive and not something that I can make happen regularly.
Enter easy puff pastry.
This concept and recipe are definitely not my original idea. I first heard of 15 minute puff pastry from Christina, the blogger behind Dessert for Two. She was one of the first blogs I ever followed, and I absolutely love her recipes. It’s always worked so well for me, and I really love making it. But with a little quick research research on the internets, I found many different recipes and methods. Some of them were more complex than others, but the idea and promise was the same–a sheet of flaky, buttery pastry in a fraction of the time and effort the standard laminated version requires.
How to Make Easy Puff Pastry
There are a LOT of process photos here to help you understand what your pastry should look like each step of the way. As always, you can drop a comment below if you have any questions!
- Begin by setting out all of your ingredients. Whisk the salt into the flour, make sure your water is nice and cold, and cut your butter into chunks
- Next, use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the flour until it is a very rough blend. You still want fairly large chunks of butter in the dough (see the tips for why).
- Once your butter is cut in, add the water a bit at a time. Mix it with a fork as you do until you have a very rough, shaggy dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and press it together.
- Gently press/roll out your rough dough with a rolling pin to a rectangle about 5×10. Fold one third down from the top, then the bottom third up over the rest. This is called an envelope fold. The dough will be very loose at this point– simply press any chunks that fall off back into the dough before rolling again.
- Repeat the fold 3 times, turning the dough each time so that the short edge is closest to you. If it’s a warm day and your butter is softening quickly, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to rechill the dough.
- Repeat the roll/fold process another 3-4 times, this time rolling it out until it measure 10″x18,” or until you have a smooth, supple dough that you can still see streaks of butter running through. Use a bench knife along the edges to keep them as straight as possible.
- Cut the puff pastry into two sheets, and wrap each one well with cling film. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the butter to chill thoroughly and the gluten to relax.
- And now it’s ready to bake with! To bake a sheet of puff pastry, remove one piece of the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a well floured surface to a rectangle that’s 10″x15.” If you are having trouble with the dough springing back after being rolled the gluten is simply too tight. Give it a few minutes to relax on the bench before rolling again.
- To bake a sheet of puff pastry, preheat the oven to 400f. Place the pastry on a baking sheet, then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Or, use it in any recipe that calls for puff pastry!
Some tools for making great puff pastry…
You probably have most of these in your kitchen already if you are a baker! But if not, here are a few tools that might help you out:
- Rolling pin — I LOVE my French rolling pin, and not just because it’s French. It’s so easy to maneuver and control, and I just freaking love it. The traditional rolling pin with handles is also completely capable if that’s what you have on hand though!
- Bench knife —
- Pastry blender — This makes cutting the butter in so easy! However, you can also use two regular butter knives and simply slice away at your flour/butter mix.
- Marble Pastry slab — This really is fluff, but very heavy, beautiful fluff. As in you don’t need it at all, but it does keep your dough and butter cooler while you’re working with it, which is always a good idea. This one from Crate & Barrel is great, or go visit your local countertop shop and ask them how much a scrap piece costs.
Tips for Flaky Puff Pastry
- The key to the flakiest, most delicious puff pastry is keeping everything COLD. The layers are created by the layers of butter releasing steam as they bake, so if the fat has melted into the dough you won’t get the flaky puff that you’re looking for.
- If you have it, a marble or granite slab are the best surfaces for rolling your pastry. Those stones hold a lower temperature than other surfaces, which will help keep your butter from melting.
- For the best flavor, I recommend using a high quality, European style butter. They have a higher fat content than American butter and taste so good! Kerrygold, President, and Plugra are both great options that are carried in most stores. Trader Joe’s also has imported butter from Brittany that I love!
- If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times–you can absolutely bake by volume with cups and spoons. However, you’ll get a much better, more consistent result if you bake by weights. So break out that baking scale if you’ve got it and get weighing!
Storing and Using Puff Pastry
- A standard pastry sheet (like the ones you buy from the store) measures 10″x15.” You can obviously make yours any size you want to though!
- Store the puff pastry in the refrigerator for up to ????? You can also freeze it for up to a month. Simply wrap it well with plastic wrap and place it in a freezer zipper bag.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy (click on caption to view):
T%his is puff pastry, ya flake
- 350 g (2 1/2 cups) bread flour
- 6–9 g (1–1/2 tsp.) salt
- 350 g (about 1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter
- 5.3 oz. (2/3 cup) cold water