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Pâte Feuilletée/Puff Pastry
Recipe type: Pastry
Cuisine: French
Serves: 12 3-inch pattty shells
Makes 12 3-inch patty shells or a large vol-au-vent.
  • 4½ cups (500 gr.) flour, unbleached, kept in freezer before using
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup or more iced water
  • 2 cups (450 gr.) sweet butter
  1. La détrempe: Sift the flour on an iced surface, marble preferably.
  2. Make a well and in the center, put the salt, 1 cup of iced water and 3 tablespoons of the butter, adding more water if necessary, depending on the quality of the flour.
  3. With the fingertips work the center part, incorporating the flour slowly.
  4. Do not knead.
  5. Shape the détrempe into a ball, neither too soft nor too hard, wrap it in wax or sulfurize paper and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  6. The Butter: Flour the butter, put it between 2 sheets of wax paper and beat it with a rolling pin until pliable but still firm.
  7. It should have about the same consistency as the détrempe.
  8. Shape it into a 6-inch square.
  9. The Turns: The purpose of the turns is to blend the détrempe and the butter by successive layers.
  10. At the end of the 6 turns, there should be 729 layers.
  11. Spread the détrempe on a cold surface.
  12. Keep the surface cold by putting a large flat pan full of ice between the turns.
  13. Keep the rolling pin in the freezer.
  14. With a rolling pin roll the détrempe into a 15 inch circle.
  15. The surface should be as lightly floured as possible.
  16. Set the square of the butter in the center of the détrempe and fold the détrempe over the butter like an envelope.
  17. Flatten with the rolling pin to bring the seams together.
  18. Roll this envelope into a rectangle about 8 by 24 inches.
  19. Fold this rectangle into three, smoothing corners to make a perfect rectangle.
  20. Turn the dough around to bring the open seams toward you.
  21. This is called a "turn".
  22. Roll the dough again in a rectangle the same size and make another turn.
  23. With your fingers mark 2 dots to remind you that 2 turns have been done.
  24. Wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
  25. Repeat the rolling and folding 2 more turns, mark 4 dots and chill 20 minutes again.
  26. Can be refrigerated for 24 hours at this point or frozen for a few months.
  27. The last 2 turns are done before using the dough.
  28. If using the same day, give it 2 more turns or a total of 6 turns.