Suggested timeline for making puff pastry
- Making the dough – 5 to 7 mins
- Making the butter block – 5 to 7 mins
- Chill – 30 mins
- Combine the flour and butter block – 10 mins
- Folding the dough six times with 15 mins intervals 6 x 15 minutes – so, 90 minutes
- The process of rolling and folding itself takes only 5 minutes each time so 6 x 5 = 30 minutes
- Final chilling – 60 mins
- Total time 230 minutes of which 180 minutes is the chilling time (inactive time) while the actual work (active time) is only 50 minutes
Tips for working with puff pastry
- Always keep puff pastry cold at all times. This is the best way to create and preserve those layers of flour and butter. If the dough warms up too much, then the two will combine together and blend into a single dough ruining any layers you may have created.
- Don’t skip the resting time – This is important not just so the butter stays cold but it also helps the gluten in the flour relax, making it easier to roll again. The un-rested dough will shrink and not roll making it difficult to keep those layers separated.
- If you live in a hot humid country – work on a chilled large baking tray rather than on a countertop. Place the baking tray in the fridge with the dough so it stays chilled. Then, bring the dough out – flip the baking tray, dust with flour, and roll the dough to create the fold.
- Each half can be rolled to a thin sheet of minimum 12 x 12 or a maximum 16 x 16 square.
- Rolling the sheet thin gives pretty well defined puffed edges. While rolling it thick will give you very bulky edges, which don’t look as elegant.
- And yet, rolling too thin will squash the layers ruining all your hard work.
- If you live in a hot and humid country – work in small batches. For example, if you have divided the sheet into 16 squares – work with 4 squares at a time – keeping the rest in the fridge. This will make sure you have beautiful puff pastry treats no matter what the weather is.
- Pre-heat your oven before you place your puff pastry in to bake. Laminated doughs must be baked at between 200 C to 220 C (400 F – 425 F). If the oven is not hot enough, the butter between the layers will melt away and the layers will fuse together ruining all the hard work you did.
You will need to work in batches. It is OK to slice the entire log at once and place slices on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan in the freezer. Bake straight from the freezer about 12 at a time.