Recipe: Puff Pastry

Puff Pastry
by Melissa Graham

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup cake flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3-1 cup water

8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter (recommended: PastureLand)

METHOD:  Combine the flours onto a clean surface in a mound and, with your fingers, make a well in the center.

Cut 1 tablespoon from each stick of butter and melt those two tablespoons.

Put the salt, 2/3 cup water and melted butter into well.

With the fingers of one hand, mix the liquid ingredients until the salt is dissolved.

Mix in the flours slowly with a plastic pastry cutter – make sure that you don’t break the walls of the well. Mix until well-blended, adding more water as necessary. The dough will be slightly sticky.

Cut an “x” ½-inch thick into the top of the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap, parchment paper or a lightly-floured towel and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Tap the remaining 14 tablespoons of butter between 2 sheets of parchment paper into a square ¾-inch thick. Wrap in the parchment until you’re ready to move to the next step.

Set the flour dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out four arms from the center outward. The final product should be mounded in the center. This is critical to make sure that there is enough of the flour dough to cover the butter without breaking through.

Put the butter square on top of the center mound. Cover with each of the arms and tap with a rolling pin to seal.

Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 7-inches wide and 21-inches long.

Fold up the bottom third to the center and the top third to meet the bottom seam.

Wrap in floured parchment and refrigerate for 30-minutes.

Turn the dough a quarter turn to the left and roll out to a rectangle. Make another quarter turn and roll it out again. Refrigerate for a half hour. Give the dough another quarter turn. The dough can now be frozen for later use. Before using, give the dough two more quarter turns. The pastry is now ready to be rolled out and cut.

For pictures, visit http://having-company.blogspot.com/2008/01/puff-pastry.html

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