No-Stress Homemade Puff Pastry


7 oz. water
1 tsp. salt
13 oz. (about 3 cups) all-purpose flour
13 oz. (1 pack plus 10 Tbsp.) unsalted European butter, softened and divided


• Pour the water into a small bowl and refrigerate.

• Sift the salt and flour together into a large bowl. Set aside.

• Place 10 ounces of soft butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Use your hands and a rolling pin to form the butter into a 5-inch square. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

• Take the remaining 3 ounces of softened butter and pinch it into the flour-salt mixture in the bowl. When the texture resembles cornmeal, dig a well in the center and add the refrigerated water.

• Using your hands, mix the ingredients until they form a coarse dough ball.

• Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead it a few times until smooth. Wrap the ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

• When the butter and dough have reached the same level of firmness, remove both from the refrigerator.

• Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough ball into a square on a lightly floured surface. Place the butter square in the center of the dough square, then rotate the butter 45 degrees so that the four corners of the dough are exposed.

• Fold the dough corners over the butter, encasing the butter entirely in a dough “envelope.” Use a pastry brush to dust away any loose flour on the dough as you work.

• Using a rolling pin, gently roll the “envelope” into a rectangle.

• Fold the rectangle into thirds lengthwise, like a business letter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

• Once the dough is completely cold, remove from the refrigerator and unwrap. Then, starting from the short end, roll into a rectangle again.

• Fold the dough into thirds lengthwise, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate a second time. Continue to fold, wrap and refrigerate three more times, for a total of five cycles.

• After the fifth refrigeration, your dough is ready to use. Defrost the frozen dough in the refrigerator before using.

Note: The dough will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days and in the freezer for 1 month.