I truly love flaky, buttery pastry wrapped around something delicious. However, I have an allergy to any kind of hydrogenated vegetable oil like shortening or margarine. That eliminates most store-bought desserts. As it happens I’m not adverse to
For years I trusted Pepperidge Farms puff pastry sheets. Their ingredients are pretty straight forward. Then came a holiday season when I went to the store too late both of my local grocery stores were out. What I did have on hand was plenty of butter and plenty of flour.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups cake flour
1-1/4 cups ice water
1 pound or 4 sticks of unsalted butter (I’m told European Butter works best.)
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of table salt or sugar. I prefer to go without.
Making the dough is relatively easy if you have a food processor. With an S blade attachment, blend the flours together and slowly pour in the ice water. Add in either salt or sugar depending on your personal preference. Let the processor blend until a ball forms. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before using.
- When you feel ready to make the pastry sheet, unwrap 4 sticks of butter and press together to form a block. I prefer to work with room temperature butter wrapped in plastic wrap to keep its shape.
- Roll the dough into a square shape with the middle part a bit thicker than the edges. Unwrap butter and place in the middle. Fold the edges of the dough over the butter so no butter is showing.
- Roll the butter pouch into a rectangular shape. Fold over and roll again.
- At this point, I’ll put the dough back in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to firm up the butter a bit. Then roll and fold over again twice more.
- Divide the dough, wrap it separately. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze to keep longer.
Now you have pastry dough and the possibilities are endless!