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What You Should Know About Puff Paste

Basic Recipe for Puff Paste

Either bread or pastry flour may be used in the preparation of puff paste, but if pastry flour is used a 1 tablespoon or two more will be required.

The amount of cold water needed varies with the absorbing power of the flour. However, only enough should be used to make it possible to knead the mass of dough that forms so that it may become elastic. Kneading develops the gluten in the flour and helps to hold in the fat thus making the paste easier to handle.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • Cold water

  • Have the the cold butter, measured and ready; set aside.
  • Put all of the flour into a mixing bowl, except 2 tablespoons (which must be retained for flouring the board). Make the pastry on the same way as plain pastry, and chop a tablespoonful or two of the butter into it. Add cold water until a mass, that may be removed to a baking board, is formed.
  • With the butter ready, break off a tablespoon or two and mix it with all of the flour except 2 tablespoons, which must be retained for flouring the board, in the same way as for plain pastry. Then add the water, and, when a mass is formed, remove it to a well-floured board and knead it. When the mixture has become somewhat elastic, cover it with a towel, and allow it to remain covered for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Then roll it into an oblong piece, and place the butter on one end of it. Bring the opposite end down over the butter and press the edges together with the tips of the fingers. Then, with the rolling pin, make several dents in the dough mixture and the butter and begin to roll, being careful to roll in one direction and not to allow the butter to come through the paste. If it should come through, it will have to be refrigerated until it becomes perfectly cold and hard again before the making can go on. In case cooling is done once, it will have to be done each time the paste is rolled.
  • Continue to roll until a rectangular piece is formed, always being careful to move the rolling pin in the same direction and never to roll backwards and forwards.
  • With a long, narrow piece of dough formed, fold about one-third under and one-third over, turn the open end toward you, and roll lightly and carefully in one direction until another long, narrow piece of dough is formed. Fold this in the same way, turn it half way around, and roll again. Continue in this manner until the piece has been rolled about six times and, during the entire process, try, if possible, to keep the butter from coming through. This can be accomplished only with light, careful handling.
  • As soon as the rolling has been completed in the manner described, cut the puff paste into the desired shapes and place them in refrigerator or on the ice for about 1/2 hour or until they are thoroughly chilled. They are then ready to be baked. If time is too limited to keep the paste on ice for 1/2 hour, chill it as long as possible before baking.

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The best way to make puff paste is with the cold butter, because it can be handled more easily and rolled into the paste with greater success if butter, as well as the other ingredients, are cold. If the puff paste is made with the ingredients that are not cold, the mixture will have to be placed on ice at various intervals, for it positively must be kept as cold as possible. However, it is always preferable to make puff paste without the assistance of ice.
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