Remember back in the spring of 2010 when I made croissants? Me neither. I was almost too embarrassed to give you the direct link. I cringe at my food
Sometimes I forget what recipes I've blogged about. I was fairly certain I had already written about making puff pastry, but it was croissants. Both are similar in that it calls for insane amounts of butter (not that there's anything wrong with that) and requires a lot of rolling, folding and chilling. It's the folding process that results in the flaky layers this pastry is known for...but is time consuming.
With Quick puff pastry, the butter is cut into the flour like pie dough, making it different from the traditional puff process. This resulted in a tender, flaky pastry that went well with all the chocolate I stuffed in it :)
Quick Puff Pastry
from Not Without Salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 1/2 sticks (3 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, chilled
1 cup cold water
(If you don't have a food processor, like me, you can cut the butter into the flour by using a fork or bench scraper).
Sift together the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
Add chilled, diced butter and pulse three to five times, until the butter pieces are about the size of lima beans. Add water to the mixture and pulse again about three times. Invert the crumbly mass onto a lightly floured work surface.
Using a rolling pin and bench scraper, shape the mass into a long rectangle. Use the bench scraper and carefully flip one third of the rectangle toward the center. Then, flip the other end to the center, like folding a business letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees.
Reshape and roll the dough into a rectangle. Repeat the folding and rotating process three more times for a total of four turns. If the dough becomes soft or sticky during this process, immediately refrigerate until firm.
After four turns, wrap the dough in plastic wrap. With your finger, make four indentations in the dough — one for each time the dough has been turned. This is a reference point for how many times the dough has been turned. Refrigerate the dough at least 45 minutes or until firm.
After the dough has been refrigerated for 45 minutes, unwrap it and discard the plastic. Keep your work surface and rolling pin well floured. Press down on each of the four sides of dough to seal its shape.
Start with the rolling pin at the center. Roll away from you. Return to the center and roll toward you. Repeat the folding and rotating process of the dough two more times for a total a total of six times.
After the sixth turn, wrap the finished dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate to make sure it is well-chilled before baking. The dough can be refrigerated up to three days or frozen for several months.