There are some recipes where it really is better not to know what is in them – Probably naïve on my part but when I first made puff pastry I was astounded by the volume of butter involved. While making your own is in no way, shape, or form a low calorie or healthy equivalent, you do at least skip some of the nasties added to some of the pre-made brands. The only difficult thing I find about making your own is controlling the temperature of the dough (you want it to stay nice and cold and my kitchen gets warm quite quickly), but if you keep an eye on that the pastry is very easy to do, and freezes well too. Step by step below – This particular one was destined for my chicken bacon and leek pie (recipe here). S
Ingredients (makes around 600g):
250g unsalted butter
250g plain flour
125g ice cold water
Step one: Cut the block of butter into cubes and return to the fridge
Step two: Place the butter, flour and salt in a food processor and pulse 10-15 times until just combined
Step three: Gradually add the iced water and continue to pulse until just combined – You should still see chunk of butter in the mixture and it will feel slightly sticky.
Step four: Remove from the processor and, on a lightly floured surface, gently shape into a rectangular block. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour
Step seven: The double turn/book fold – Fold both ends into the middle to meet, then fold in half again
Step eight: Rotate the dough 90 degrees, roll again and repeat the double turn as above. Take care not to over work the pasty, you should still be able to see chunk of butter as below when it has been rolled. Wrap in cling film and return to the fridge for at least half an hour.
Step nine: Remove from the fridge and press down with a rolling pin until c. 2cm thick. At this stage I cut my pasty into sections (so for a pie I cut the dough into two, then work with the base and top separately so the dough stays very cold). When you cut the pastry you should be able to see the individual folds in the dough as below. Keep in the fridge until ready to use. Cook in a very hot preheated oven (200°C) – if your pastry isn’t cold enough and/or your oven isn’t hot enough this can cause the pastry to “melt” instead of cooking (another reason can be if your dough was too wet, which shouldn’t be the case on the ratios above).