How to make puff pastry

Skip the ready-made supermarket block and have a go at making your own flaky, buttery puff pastry to use in sweet and savoury dishes.

Points to remember

  • Blitz the flour and salt in a food processor and add the water. Work into a ball, cover with cling film and chill for 1 hour. This rough dough is called the detrempe.
  • Soften the cold butter between two sheets of baking parchment by pressing with a rolling pin. Cut in half, lie on top of each other and repeat until pliable. Reshape into a rectangle.
  • Flour your work surface, roll the pastry into a circle and put the butter in the centre. Fold the pastry sides in to cover the butter.
  • Roll out a little and mark the dough into thirds. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down. Make a quarter turn, seal the edges by pressing with the rolling pin.
  • Roll the dough out again and mark into thirds. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down. Seal the edges again, give the pastry a quarter turn and repeat.
  • Cover with cling film and chill for 20 mins until firm and cold.
  • Roll and fold four more times, chilling after two.
  • Chill for an hour before using.

Leftover trimmings should be stacked up and chilled or frozen for another use. Don’t scrunch them together in a ball or you will lose the layers. To re-roll, allow to come back to room temperature.