Normally I start a post by writing a little background story about the shared recipe but today I will not say much! Puff pastry is something I thought I would never be able to make, as it looks pretty much impossible to be recreated by someone as inexperienced as I am! I had put puff pastry at the very bottom of my to-do recipe list (if I have one!) until I saw a couple of fellow Instagramers make croissants using homemade puff pastry from scratch. This was a huge inspiration and I decided to make some myself!
Living in hot weather for 8-9 months, it is always difficult to work with butter. So, taking advantage of the winters I decided not to put making puff pastry off until next year! I feel very happy to share a recipe for puff pastry which can be used to make a lot of different yummy pastries. You can make sweet as well as savory fillings whatever you fancy! I am making croissants this time around!
As I was researching the internet for some easy recipes I realized that all of them were making huge batches and then freezing 2/3 of the pastry for future use. As it was my first attempt so I didn’t want to waste huge quantities of ingredients if something was to go wrong with the recipe. Being the one to rely on my instincts, I made up my own recipe with the basic ingredients that go into a puff pastry. So, I will suggest a few changes to the quantities as I explain the process. The pictures will be a little different than the written process because I don’t want you to make the mistakes that I did! By this explanation I don’t mean to say that it is a very technical recipe but it is as easy as it can get!
So lets start!
Ingredients for pastry dough:
All purpose flour 2 cups & some for dusting
Salt ¼ tsp
Sugar 1 ½ tbs
Instant dry yeast 1 tbs
Unsalted butter 2 tbs
Chilled water ½ cup or as needed
Unsalted butter 180 grams to go in dough while layering
1 egg + 1 tsp water for egg wash
Select a cold day for making puff pastry otherwise the butter will be runny and will get absorbed by the dough instead of giving the pastry flaky layers. The key is keeping the butter solid all the time.
- Mix all dry ingredients for the pastry dough. Add butter and mix in with fingers so it gets incorporated in the flour. Now add chilled water a little at a time until a pliable dough is formed. Give a knead at the work surface until smooth. Add a sprinkle of dry flour if needed. Don’t over-work the dough. Make a rectangular slab instead of a ball as it will make it easier to roll it out to a rectangular shape. Now wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 5-6 hours or overnight preferably. (yep I made a ball!)
- Press 180 gms butter into a half an inch thick roughly 5″x8″ rectangle shape and put it the freezer covered with cling film. Or even better to flatten the butter in a rectangular zip lock bag and freeze. Then cut the bag and you get a butter slab!
- Now take out chilled dough and roll out to a 10″x12″ dimension. Take out butter slab from freezer and place on one side of the rolled out dough. Fold the other half over the butter. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge for 20 minutes. I put the butter in the middle and pulled the sides over one another but its better to do the above process as it gives the butter even layers on both sides.
- Take out the dough after 20 minutes and roll out into a rectangle about a quarter of an inch thick. Try to keep even thickness throughout without compromising the shape much. I trimmed the edges to make it look perfect but I don’t think it was needed! Fold just like in the picture. Wrap and refrigerate for 20 mins. Repeat this procedure 4 more times while resting the dough in fridge for 20 min in between.
- On the last roll out make the rectangle into 3 mm thick and 14″x24″ approx. Using a chef’s knife or pizza roller cutter, cut just like in the picture making wider end of triangles about 5″ wide. I made 4″ wide and found them out to be smaller than what I would have liked. It will make about 10-12 croissants.
- Roll them up by keeping the wide side towards you and rolling away from you. Place the croissants on lined baking sheet keeping 2 inch distance in between them.
- Give an egg wash with soft brush and keep it on kitchen counter (away from heat and air) for proofing for at least 2 hrs or until you see that they are puffed up a little. These won’t double in size but you will be able to see the puffiness at the edges.
- Give a second egg wash just before you place these in oven. Bake at 200 degree C for 10 minutes and then at 180 degrees for another 12-15 minutes or until you see the desired colour at the edges.
- Keep the croissants on wire cooling rack until cooled. Eat right away or keep in an air tight jar and consume within 2-3 days.