Homemade puff pastry requires a bit of commitment, but when time is on your side it's well worthwhile. This recipe makes quite a large quantity, but the raw pastry freezes very well and is a great stand-by to have on hand. Be sure to dust off any excess flour during the rolling and folding process because it toughens the pastry, and don't skimp on resting time between turns. If you're short on time, Carême all-butter puff pastry makes a fine substitute.
- 500 gm (3 cups) plain flour
- 125 gm chilled butter, diced
- 2 blocks chilled butter (250gm each), each sliced lengthways into 10 even slices
- 1Process flour, diced butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add 250ml iced acidulated water (see note) and process until mixture just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth, form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- 2Roll out pastry on a floured work surface to 25cm x 60cm, ensuring it’s an even thickness. Dust off excess flour with a dry pastry brush. With a short edge facing you, arrange half the butter slices in a single layer to cover middle third of pastry, then fold down top third of pastry to cover. Arrange remaining butter slices over folded pastry and fold up bottom third to cover. Turn clockwise so the “spine” of the pastry parcel is to your left, then turn pastry over, keeping spine on your left.
- 3Roll out pastry to 25cm x 60cm with a short side facing you, fold down top third, then fold up bottom third. Turn pastry clockwise, flip over and repeat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (2-3 hours).