This homemade puff pastry recipe only requires four ingredients – flour, salt, butter & water. The best dough to have on hand for last minute desserts and easy baking!
This guide on making puff pastry is foolproof and always results in those signature flaky layers. With just a little muscle and a few simple ingredients, your freezer will stay stocked with buttery puff at all times. Hello savory appetizer bites (think: ham and brie), beef wellington, sweet hand pies, and so much more.
Homemade Rough Puff Pastry
Contrary to popular belief, puff pastry dough can be quite easy to prepare at home. This is especially true when you use the rough puff pastry (aka flaky pastry, blitz pastry or quick pastry) approach versus the traditional puff pastry method. It takes a fraction of the time because you grate the frozen butter into the flour – significantly speeding up the prep work.
Ingredients for Puff Pastry Dough Recipe
With just 4 ingredients you likely have already hanging out in your kitchen, you can make a puff pastry worthy of any French bakery.
- All-Purpose Flour – Regular, old-fashioned all-purpose flour is all you need. Ensure to sift it (especially if it’s been sitting around for awhile) to remove any lumps and clumps.
- Salt – Regular table salt will do the trick, but we usually use pink Himalayan salt for it’s full-bodied flavor.
- Unsalted Butter – For maximum flavor, use a European-style butter like Plugra or Kerrygold.
- Water – Ice cold water is a must. If you can, use filtered water to reduce any impurities from altering the flavor of the dough.
How to Make Puff Pastry Dough from Scratch
To get those essential flakey layers, all you need to do is follow the recipe instructions closely. Puff pastry is all about working with cold dairy and keeping the dough marbled.
- Sift the Flour & Salt: First, sift the all-purpose flour and salt into a large bowl and place it in a refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- Grate the Butter: Next, grate the frozen butter into the flour, stirring it in as you go.
- Add in the Water: Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the ice cold water, mixing until the dough is firm yet a little shaggy.
- Chill the Dough: Next, wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and pop it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Roll the Dough Out: Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out onto a floured work surface, kneading it to form into a smooth rectangle.
- Fold & Roll the Dough: Fold the top third down to the center, then the bottom third up and on top of it. Roll the dough out again to three times the length and into a rectangular shape. Place the parchment paper on top of the dough. Fold down the top third and then the bottom third over it.
- Chill the Dough: Next, wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it chill in a refrigerator for an hour. Bake away, friend!
Puff Pastry Video Tutorial
5 Tips for Nailing this Puff Pastry Dough Recipe
Making puff pastry for the first time may feel a little intimidating. Don’t fret! These useful tools will ensure you get the flakiest pastry possible.
- Avoid big clumps of grated butter. As you grate the frozen butter, continually mix it into the flour to prevent the butter pieces from sticking together. If the clumps of butter are too big, you’ll get too much concentrated in one area and the pastry will be less flakey.
- Use frozen butter and ice cold water. The two most important rules to follow when making puff pastry dough are to work with FROZEN butter and ICE COLD water. You need the ingredients to stay as cold as possible so the butter doesn’t melt.
- Do not over handle puff pastry. Try to minimize how much you shape the dough to prevent over mixing. The more you fuss around with it unnecessarily, the flatter the pastry will be.
- Thaw the dough in the refrigerator before handling it. Be sure to pop your frozen dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using it (an hour is preferred). Do not unfold it until it has completely thawed. This will cause cracks and breaks.
- Work on a well-floured surface. When you are ready to bake with your puff pastry, flour the service you are working on so the dough doesn’t stick.
Recipes Using Puff Pastry
While you can improvise and use puff pastry to make your own creation, here are a handful of our favorite ways to use this wonder dough.
- Puff Pastry Cheese Turnovers – Sweet cheese stuffed pastries
- Quick Apple Turnovers – 5 ingredient apple turnovers
- Angel Wing Cookies – A classic Polish cookie
- Poppy Seed Rolls – Spiral pastries with a sweet poppyseed filling
- Sweet Cheese Bourekas – Filled with a sweet farmers cheese filling
Storing Homemade Puff Pastry
For best results, store your puff pastry folded with parchment paper and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the freezer. It will keep for up to 2 months when stored properly. Once you thaw it in the refrigerator, be sure to use it within 2-3 days. Any longer and the pastry may fall flat in the oven.
Should puff pasty be baked cold?
Refrigerating your puff pastry before baking it is crucial. Baking puff pastry at room temperature will cause the dough to become floppy and flat. This makes the delicate layers stick together, causing the dough to be especially hard to work with. Cold puff pastry will take longer to melt in the oven, allowing the dough to rise beautifully and form light, pretty layers.
Can you make puff pastry the day before?
You can make puff pastry a day or weeks ahead! You can store the dough in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to two months as long as you seal it in an airtight container.
How do you keep puff pastry from getting soggy?
Puff pastry can become soggy in the middle for many reasons. Primarily, it becomes soggy when it is frozen and allowed to thaw on the countertop for too long. While some chefs approve this method, we think it is best to allow your frozen dough to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. It takes longer, but it saves you the stress of soggy dough!
Can you refreeze raw puff pastry dough?
Yes, you can refreeze raw puff pastry dough if you thawed it and decided you weren’t going to use it after all. It may change the texture slightly, but it’s essential that you keep the puff pastry stored in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.
Why did your puff pastry dough not rise?
Your puff pastry dough likely didn’t rise if you left it out at room temperature too long. This causes the butter to melt and the dough to become less flakey and airy. To avoid this, work with cold puff pastry and try to shape it as quickly as possible.
Other Homemade Dough Recipes
- Overnight Pizza Dough – Day-ahead pizza dough
- Yeast Pastry Dough – Universal yeast dough
- Pizza Dough – Quick pizza dough with a 2 hour rise
- Prepare all ingredients for the puff pastry dough.
- Using a fine mesh sieve or flour sifter, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and place it in a refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Next, grate the frozen butter into the flour, occasionally mixing it to prevent the butter from sticking.
- Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the ice cold water. Mix it until you have a firm, rough dough.
- Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, kneading it gently to form into a smooth rectangle. Keep the edges straight and even and don’t overwork the butter streaks – the dough should have a marbled effect.
- Fold the top third down to the center, then the bottom third up and on top of it. Do the same with the sides. Roll the dough out again to three times the length and into a rectangular shape. Place the parchment paper on top of the dough, folding it over the top and bottom of the dough. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it chill in a refrigerator for about an hour. Use the dough to your heart's desire!