Many puff pastry recipes are time-consuming. Here’s a puff pastry recipe that takes just 15 minutes to put the dough together. Check out this quick puff pastry recipe perfect for your next savory appetizer or to add a bit of buttery carb sweetness to your dessert (hello rhubarb tart!)
This recipe creates a buttery, flakey puff pastry equal to about 2 sheets of puff pastry. Use it to make the reader favorite Ground Beef Wellington.
Yes, this recipe totally works and I use it often! Don’t buy puff pastry from the store…homemade is SOOOO much better. And when you can make it as quickly and easily as this recipe does…why not?
What is the secret to puff pastry?
My friends, there IS a secret to puff pastry. Well, not really a secret. More like a YOU MUST DO THIS OR IT WON’T TURN OUT!
Cold Cold Cold Cold. Like, MN winter cold.
Every ingredient and bowl and ANYTHING you can be ice cold. And stay as cold as possible until it hits the oven. And the oven should be preheated and HOT.
Those cold ingredients, especially the butter, get blasted with the heat and create lovely pockets of air.
What You Need:
- Butter. Your butter needs to be very, very cold. If you only have salted on hand, reduce the amount of salt you add to the recipe to about 1/4 of a teaspoon to offset the salt in the butter. Cube your butter, in advance, and pop it into the freezer while you get everything ready.
- Water. Like all the other ingredients, this should be very, very cold. In fact, fill it with ice.
- Salt. If your butter is salted, reduce the amount of salt to 1/4 of a teaspoon.
- Flour. I like to put my flour, in the bowl, into the fridge while I am cubing the butter to get the bowl and flour as cold as possible.
What To Do:
1: Combine Flour and Salt
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Pop the bowl into the fridge while you cube your butter if you haven’t already done so. If you have…hooray! Let’s move on…
2: Cut in cold butter
If you haven’t yet done so, cube your cold butter (make sure you pop that bowl of flour into the fridge to chill while you work on the butter.
It is extremely important that your butter is very, very cold. In fact, I try to use frozen butter whenever possible. Keeping the butter very cold when it hits the oven is what gives puff pastry those lovely flakey layers.
Use a pastry cutter to cut in your butter. Work as quickly as possible and, if you are finding that it is taking longer than you like, put the bowl into the fridge to chill for a bit. Take it out and try again.
If you don’t have a pastry cutter, use two knives to “cut”. Cut the butter several times, rotate the bowl, and do it again.
If you have a food processor, puff pastry is a great recipe to pull it out for! Use it for step 2 (this one), step 3(adding the ice water), and part of step 4 (mix until it comes together.
Food Processor Instructions: For this step, simply pulse the flour mixture with the butter cubes multiple times until the dough is crumbly and the butter chunks are about pea size. Don’t over pulse.
3. Add Ice Water
Make a hole in the center of the dough and pour in all of the ice water. Stir quickly with a fork until combined. It will still be crumbly and dry. Don’t worry, it will work out. Put the bowl into the fridge while you get your board floured and ready.
Food Processor Instructions: Add the ice water to the butter mixture and pulse ONLY of COUPLE TIMES, until the water has been mixed in. It will still be very dry.
4: Roll and Fold
Flour a cutting board very well (this is going to want to stick on you, especially the first few times).
Dump the (very crumbly) dough onto your floured board and, working quickly, pat the dough into a rough square about an inch thick. Don’t be precise here, just quick. The dough will be dry and seem like it won’t possibly work…stay with it.
Working quickly, with a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a semblance of a rectangle about 12 inches.
Fold the dough… the bottom third over the middle third and the upper third on top of the middle, as well. Turn the dough one-quarter turn, and repeat the folding. Use additional flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to itself and the board.
Note: the first couple of times will be a bit ridiculous. Stick with it, move quickly, and it will work.
Repeat this process of folding and rolling and folding and rolling about 6 times until the last time you roll it out about 1/2 an inch thick and fold it up.
Tightly wrap the folded pastry in plastic wrap and put it into the fridge to chill for at least an hour. Overnight is even better! Guess what, just like the store-bought versions, this homemade puff pastry dough can go into the freezer until you need it. Simply pull it out of the freezer about 30 minutes prior to when you need it and you are good to go!
When you are ready to bake your puff pastry, take the dough out of the fridge and unwrap it. If it is in the freezer, give it about 30 minutes to hang out on the counter and become able to be handled.
Gently, and quickly, roll dough out to the desired thickness (make sure you use a bit of flour on surfaces to keep it from sticking).
Cut the dough into the shape you want. Or, like in the case of my tomato tart, simply use the whole sheet.
Give it a milk or egg wash to get a nice golden color, if you like.
You should heat oven to 425 degrees. Depending on the size you have cut your pastry into will determine the bake times you will need. Most recipes will need about 15 minutes. You are going for a nice golden brown. Do NOT open the oven to peek until at least 10 minutes into the cooking time.
Tips for homemade puff pastry:
- If you want thin, not puffy, pastry; poke holes all over your dough to allow steam to escape while baking.
- You should roll your dough not too thin so it can’t puff and not too thick so it squishes itself. About 1 1/2 inches is perfect.
- Always use a hot and preheated oven to cook your puff pastry so that the heat immediately hits super cold dough and does the magical puffing stuff.
- You can skip an egg wash, if you like (I usually do), or use a milk wash. An egg wash gives you that shiny crispy appearance, a milk wash gives you a pie pastry look.
15 Minute Puff Pastry Recipe
- 1 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt.
- Add the cubed butter to the mixture.
- Use a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the dough until very crumbly. You want the butter to be similar sizes, about the size of a pea.
- Make a hole in the center of the dough and pour in all of the ice water. Stir with a fork until combined. It will still be crumbly and dry. Put the bowl in the fridge while you get your board ready.
- Pour out the dough onto a well floured cutting board.
- Pat it into a rough square. The dough will be dry and seem like it won’t possibly work…stay with it.
- Working quickly with a well floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a semblance of a rectangle about 12 inches.
- Fold the dough… the bottom third over the middle third and the upper third on top of the middle, as well. Turn the dough one-quarter turn, and repeat the folding. Use additional flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to itself and the board. Note: the first couple of times will be a bit ridiculous. Stick with it, move quickly, and it will work.
- Repeat the process of rolling and folding about 6 times or until the dough feels smooth and well mixed.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.
- You can also pop the dough into the freezer.