This is such an amazing homemade puff pastry recipe. It is super easy to make and only requires 4 ingredients! I love how buttery, flaky, and delicious it is.
Puff pastry dough is used in a variety of desserts and other savory dishes. Time to stop buying those frozen sheets from the store and make your own. While it takes longer to make it, it is oh so worth it. And you will save a bit of money making it at home too.
After making puff pastry from scratch I doubt you will ever buy the frozen sheets again, it is that good! If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!
Different kinds of puff pastry
Did you know there are a few different kinds of homemade puff pastry (pâte feuilletée, the French word for it)? There is the traditional French puff pastry which is made with a lean dough and a butter slab, which is what I will show you how to do.
And there is what is called a “rough” puff pastry which can be made in less time but doesn’t quite make the perfect layers as the traditional kind. I will briefly describe how to make this version as well.
Step 1: Gather the ingredients
In order to make homemade puff pastry you will need the following ingredients:
- All-purpose/plain flour
- Cold water – I always use filtered water, because my tap water tastes gross. It is all in the details.
- Butter – No doubt the star of this dish.
- Rolling pin
- Dough cutter/scraper (optional)
- Ruler (optional)
- Plastic wrap
How to make homemade puff pastry
Begin by making the first part of the homemade puff pastry which is the lean dough. It is referred to as being lean, because it doesn’t have any fat in it.
In a large bowl mix together the flour and the salt. Then add in the water about a third of it at a time, mixing it until it comes together. Knead the dough a little bit, about 30 seconds or so, with clean hands, or use a stand mixer and dough hook.
Add additional water or flour as necessary to get a dough that is just slightly tacky.
Place it on a floured work surface and then dust the top with flour. Roll out the dough into roughly and 8x8 inch square, it doesn’t have to be exact. Wrap it with plastic wrap completely and then chill it in the fridge to allow the gluten to relax.
Step 3: Make the butter slab
Now it is time to make that awesome slab of butter. This is my favorite part of making homemade puff pastry. It is so satisfying.
Remove the butter about 20 minutes before you want to use it. Cut it up into smaller chunks and then place them together on your floured work surface or parchment paper. Dust the top of it with flour.
Now using the rolling pin or my favorite the meat tenderizer, pound and shape the dough into a nice square slab around 5x5 inches. A dough cutter really helps to square it up.
Next, wrap up the butter slab in some plastic wrap or parchment paper, and place it in the fridge along with the dough.
Step 4: Folding and rolling the puff pastry
Once the dough and butter have chilled we can finish making the homemade puff pastry. Remove each of them from the plastic wrap. Place the butter slab in the middle of the dough.
Make a mark with your finger around the butter. This just lets you know where to place the butter. It really isn’t essential to do that.
Remove the butter slab and take the rolling pin and roll out the corners of the dough a little bit, creating flaps. Place the butter back on top of the dough and turn it so looking down each flap as a side of butter it can fold over. Fold up the flaps over the butter and pinch together the seams.
Flip the dough over so the seam side is down. Then roll out the dough so it is about 18 inches long by 8 to 10 inches wide. Try and keep the sides as straight as possible.
Next, all you need to do is fold the dough into thirds. We completed the first fold. Now flip the dough over seam side down and roll it out again lengthwise. Fold it again which makes that two total folds.
This is called laminating the dough. It is the process that gives it those awesome buttery and flaky layers and causes it it to puff up when it bakes. Food science is awesome.
Chill the dough
At this point the homemade puff pastry dough will probably be too soft and warm to continue to roll it. Time to allow it to chill and rest for 30 minutes. Wrap it back up in plastic and into the fridge it goes.
Once chilled repeat the process getting to more folds. Then wrap it and chill it for 30 minutes and then repeat a final two times for a total of 6 folds. It is okay if it is only 5, don’t go too crazy if you forget how many you have done.
After the 6th fold roll it out flat to be used. And that is it, the homemade puff pastry is ready to go.
Step 5: How to bake puff pastry
Use the puff pastry in any recipe that calls for it and follow those instructions. A simple treat I like to do is just cut it into triangles, baste the tops with butter, and then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.
Then I bake the homemade puff pastry in a preheated oven at 375 F/190 C for 22 to 26 minutes. Until it puffs up and is golden brown on top. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes or so before biting into one. Delish!
How to store puff pastry?
Puff pastry can be stored in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for several months. Take a few small pieces of parchment paper and place them in between each fold of puff pastry. It is okay to lightly flour the pastry as well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and stick it in a freezer bag. Into the fridge or freezer it goes.
Can margarine be used instead of butter?
While butter is no doubt the best to use, you can make puff pastry with hard margarine, not the spreadable kind that comes in a tub.
Is there a Vegan substitute?
Sure! You can make it with vegan butter as well. For an awesome vegan puff pastry recipe visit this recipe.
Here are a few recipes you may like that use puff pastry:
Homemade Puff Pastry
- rolling pin
- Dough cutter/scraper (optional)
- ruler (optional)
- Plastic wrap
- 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour/plain flour plus more for dusting. (270g)
- 1/2 tsp. of salt 2g
- 2/3 to 3/4 cups of cold water 158 to 177ml
- 1 cup of butter 226g
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour and the salt. Then mix in the water about a third of it at a time. As the dough comes together knead it with your hands, adding extra water or flour as necessary to wind up with a slightly tacky dough.Then place the dough on a floured surface and a bit of flour to the top and knead until the dough is no longer tacky. Shape and roll out the dough into about an 8x8 inch square. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and chill it for 30 minutes.
- Set the butter out around 20 minutes before starting. Cut it into cubes/chunks and place on a floured surface or parchment paper. Pound and fold the butter and shape it until you have a 5x5 inch square slab. Wrap it with plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill it with the dough.
- Remove the dough and butter from the plastic wrap. Roll out the corners of the dough a little bit to created flaps. Place the butter slab in the middle of the dough with the edges of the dough pointed towards the corners or dough flaps. Fold up those flaps enveloping the butter into a nice pouch. Pinch any seams together.
- Flip the dough over, seam side down, and roll it out until you have roughly an 18x10 inch rectangle, it doesn't have to be exact. Then fold it into thirds. Flip it over, seam side down and roll it out again and then fold. That gives you two folds.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 30 minutes. Now just repeat the steps of rolling and folding and chilling, until you have done 6 total folds. Roll out the dough once again until it is flat and then use it for whatever recipe you want. Easy as that.
- To bake it, cut it into your desired shapes, baste it with butter or an egg wash, and place it on a silicone mat or parchment paper-lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 375 F/190 C for 22 to 26 minutes until it puffs up and gets nice and golden brown.
Do you like this recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.