So fabulous is this quick puff pastry, that I thought it deserved its own post! Yes folks, this is puff pastry made in two minutes thanks to one of mankind’s greatest inventions – the food processor! When I first saw this recipe (from Chef Nick Malgieri on Martha Stewart.com) and video demo on YouTube, I had my doubts as to how good it really was, but having now tested it out on my Steak, Guinness & Cheese Pie, I can absolutely verify that it’s a good’un. Unless you’re needing your pastry to rise particularly high, there’s really no need to undertake the daunting task of making a classic puff pastry.
A couple of things you need to observe as you’re making this recipe. Firstly, it’s imperative that you use cold butter. It’s got to be cold from the fridge and when you work with the pastry, you’ve got to handle it as little as possible to ensure the butter remains cold – you should be able to see defined chunks of butter within the mixture all the way through the process. Secondly, when the recipe says to ‘pulse’ the mixture, it means literally pulse for a second at a time. All up, you’re only pulsing the mixture for about 10-12 seconds – incredible, I know! And lastly, don’t worry when you see the pastry sizzling as it cooks – that’s simply all that delicious butter doing its thing. I’m sure you’ll love this recipe – I’m a convert as you can tell!
QUICK PUFF PASTRY
Makes about 1 1/2 pounds (680g) dough
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks or 283g) unsalted butter, chilled (this will be divided)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup cold water
- Cut 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) butter into 1/4-inch cubes. Place in an even layer on a plate and transfer to refrigerator to chill.
- Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Dice remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57g) butter and add to food processor; pulse once or twice to combine.
- Add 1 cup chilled butter; pulse 3 times, 1 second each pulse (it’s important here not to over-mix).
- Add half of the water and pulse once; add remaining water and pulse twice. Dough will not form a ball.
- Remove blade from processor by lifting up with the handle. Scrape dough from bowl onto a lightly floured work surface – you should see lots of chunks of butter in the mixture.
- Lightly flour dough and, using your hands, squeeze and shape dough into a cylinder. Press down to flatten into a rectangle. Starting at the narrow end furthest away from you, use a rolling pin to press the dough firmly in parallel strokes close to one another. If there are sticky pieces of butter on the surface, cover with a large pinch of flour and press with the rolling pin to combine. Clean off the rolling pin as you go to make sure nothing sticks to the dough. Continue pressing with the rolling pin, working towards the narrow end closest to you.
- Roll dough into a 10-by 20-inch rectangle. Fold the 10-inch ends over the middle (like a letter) to make three layers. Position one of the (about) 6-inch ends to face you and roll up dough like a jelly roll (see image below). Place dough on a lightly floured work surface, seam-side down. Sprinkle top of dough lightly with flour and press down using your hand to form a rectangle.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days before using.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting