Pâte Feuilletée (Puff Pastry)

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Pâte feuilletée (traditional puff pastry) is light, flaky, and irresistibly decadent. What could be better than a recipe that starts with a butter block?!

pâte feuilletée sliced

Puff pastry is really unique because all of the rise comes from thin layers of butter-not yeast. The butter is encased in pastry dough and goes through 6 sets of folds-resulting in 729 layers of butter.  In the oven it steams, puffing up the pastry.

For the longest time it was one of my baking bucket list projects. I know it may seem intimidating, but trust me, you can make this at home!  This recipe requires lots of chilling time, so it is a great weekend baking project.  Patience is key!

What you need:

pâte feuilletée ingredinets

Butter –  The star ingredient!  This pastry is all about the butter, so use the best kind available.  I prefer unsalted European style butter.  I leave it out overnight to make sure it is totally at room temperature for the butter block.

Flour –  This recipe uses two kinds of flour- All Purpose Flour is used in the butter block and Bread Flour is used in the pastry dough.  The bread flour makes tender, flaky layers of dough.

Salt – A little salt is added into the mix to help balance the flavor.  Like usual, I use my favorite Mortons Coarse Kosher.

Cream –  Heavy cream is what brings the pastry dough together.  It makes the pastry even more rich!

How to make the Pâte Feuilletée:

The night before you are going to make the pastry, take the butter out of the refrigerator so that it is totally at room temperature when you are ready to begin.

Make the butter block (beurrage)

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, whip the butter for 1-2 minutes.  Add the all purpose flour and mix for another 1-2 minutes, just to combine.  Scrape the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper with a 6 x 9” outline drawn on the reverse side.  Use an offset spatula to spread the butter to the outline, keeping the sides and top as even as possible.

pâte feuilletée butter block

Pro Tip:

A bench scraper is a great tool to get really sharp edges and to smooth the top.  Making sure that the butter block is as even as possible is a crucial first step.  This ensures that all of the resulting layers of butter will be even!

Fold the extra parchment paper over to cover the butter and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Make the pastry dough

After the butter has chilled, pull it from the refrigerator and set it aside on the counter.  In a stand mixer with a hook attachment, mix the bread flour and salt.  Slowly pour in the cream as you mix on a medium speed to form a shaggy dough.  Turn it out onto a work surface and knead several times to smooth out the dough.

pâte feuilletée dough

Roll out the dough to a 10 x 15″ rectangle (slightly wider and a little more than twice the length of the butter block).  If the dough feels resistant, let it rest for a few minutes.  Use a bench scraper to shape and sharpen the corners.  Just like the butter, try to get this as even as possible.

pâte feuilletée dough rolled

Encasing the Butter

Place the butter block on the left side of the dough, with a 1 inch border on the sides.  Bring the right side of the dough over the butter block and press tightly along all of the edges to seal the dough.  Try not to trap any air inside.  Flip the package over and fold the excess dough over.

pâte feuilletée encasing butter

 

pâte feuilletée encasing butter 2

Pro Tip:

Use a rolling pin to press the folded dough flat and to make sure it is completely sealed.  This will help to ensure that the butter is completely encased in the dough.  If the seams are not completely sealed, the butter may start to seep out during the rolling process.

 

Laminating the dough

Now that the butter is encased, it gets rolled out and folded six times.  This process creates flattened the butter into thin layers, allowing for the iconic puff!  It is really important that the butter doesn’t warm up too much, when in doubt-place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill!

Fold #1

Press down on the dough with a rolling pin, the begin rolling out in one direction to make a 9 x 20” rectangle.  This is the first layer of butter!  Bring the top edge down 1/3 of the way.  Bring the bottom edge up, completing the first simple fold (like you are folding a letter).  The dough package will be about 9 x 6”.  There are now 3 layer of butter!

pâte feuilletée fold

Fold #2

Rotate the dough 90º, press down with a rolling pin and roll out again to 9 x 20”.  Complete another simple fold.  Now there are 9 layers of butter!  Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  This step will ensure that the butter doesn’t soften too much.  If it does-the final pastry will not have well defined layers.  Again, patients is key!

Fold #3

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a well floured work surface.  With the folded edge of the dough facing you, repeat the folding process again.  There are now 27  layers of butter!

Fold #4

Rotate the dough 90º, repeat.  There are now 81 layers of butter!  Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Fold #5

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a well floured work surface.  With the folded edge of the dough facing you, repeat the folding process again.  There are now 243  layers of butter!

Fold #6 

This is the final set of folds!  By now, you know what to do!  Rotate the dough 90º, roll out to 9 x 20”.  Trim the short edges of the dough (these areas will not have the most even layers of butter).  Simple fold the dough one last time, then trim the long edges of the pastry.  There are now 729 layers of butter!  Completely cover in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using.

pâte feuilletée fold 6

How to use the Pâte Feuilletée:

When you are ready to bake the puff pastry, divide the dough into four pieces and roll each out to 12 x 16″ (the size of a half sheet tray).  The dough will be about 1/8″ thick.  Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper and roll out slightly larger than the dimensions.  Trim the edges with a pizza cutter and my favorite ruler.

At this point, you can pop the pastry in the freezer for a few minutes to chill before using to make favorites like: palmers, mille-feuilles, vol-au-vents, or use it as a crust for delicious tarts!

pâte feuilletée shells

Pro Tip:

Freeze extra portions of pastry for later use!  Line the pastry with another sheet of parchment paper, then fold in thirds.  Wrap the package tightly in plastic wrap or seal in a zip top freezer bag.  I love having these in these stored in the freezer so I can quickly pull together an appetizer or dessert!  Just defrost in the refrigerator until the dough is soft enough to easily unfold.

pâte feuilletée freezer

However you use it, the final bake is crispy, flaky, and unbelievably buttery!  Enjoy!

Pâte feuilletée recipe

Pâte Feuilletée (Puff Pastry)

Pâte feuilletée (traditional puff pastry) is light, flaky, and irresistibly decadent. What could be better than a recipe that starts with a butter block?!
Prep Time: 1 hour
Chilling Time: 1 day 3 hours
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keyword: pastry
Makes: 4 12x16 sheets of pastry
Author: Corey Grimsley

Ingredients

  • 454 grams butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 70 grams AP flour
  • 454 grams bread flour
  • 14 grams salt
  • 430 grams heavy cream

Instructions

  • The night before you are going to make the pastry, take the butter out of the refrigerator so that it is totally at room temperature when you are ready to begin.

Make the butter block (beurrage)

  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, whip the butter for 1-2 minutes.  Add the all purpose flour and mix for another 1-2 minutes, just to combine.  
  • Scrape the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper with a 6 x 9” outline drawn on the reverse side.  Use an offset spatula to spread the butter to the outline, keeping the sides and top as even as possible. Fold the extra parchment paper over to cover the butter and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Make the pastry dough

  • After the butter has chilled, pull it from the refrigerator and set it aside on the counter.  In a stand mixer with a hook attachment, mix the bread flour and salt.  Slowly pour in the cream as you mix on a medium speed to form a shaggy dough.  
  • Turn it out onto a work surface and knead several times to smooth out the dough.  Roll out the dough to a 10 x 15" rectangle (slightly wider and a little more than twice the length of the butter block).  If the dough feels resistant, let it rest for a few minutes.  Use a bench scraper to shape and sharpen the corners.  Just like the butter, try to get this as even as possible.

Encasing the butter

  • Place the butter block on the left side of the dough, with a 1 inch border on the sides.  Bring the right side of the dough over the butter block and press tightly along all of the edges to seal the dough.  Try not to trap any air inside.  Flip the package over and fold the excess dough over.

Laminating the dough

  • Fold #1
    Press down on the dough with a rolling pin, the begin rolling out in one direction to make a 9 x 20” rectangle.  This is the first layer of butter!  Bring the top edge down 1/3 of the way.  Bring the bottom edge up, completing the first simple fold (like you are folding a letter).  The dough package will be about 9 x 6”.  There are now 3 layer of butter!
  • Fold #2
    Rotate the dough 90º, press down with a rolling pin and roll out again to 9 x 20”.  Complete another simple fold.  Now there are 9 layers of butter!  Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  This step will ensure that the butter doesn’t soften too much.  If it does-the final pastry will not have well defined layers.  Again, patients is key!
  • Fold #3
    Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a well floured work surface.  With the folded edge of the dough facing you, repeat the folding process again.  There are now 27  layers of butter!
  • Fold #4
    Rotate the dough 90º, repeat.  There are now 81 layers of butter!  Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Fold #5
    Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer to a well floured work surface.  With the folded edge of the dough facing you, repeat the folding process again.  There are now 243  layers of butter!
  • Fold #6 
    This is the final set of folds!  By now, you know what to do!  Rotate the dough 90º, roll out to 9 x 20”.  Trim the short edges of the dough (these areas will not have the most even layers of butter).  Simple fold the dough one last time, then trim the long edges of the pastry.  There are now 729 layers of butter!  Completely cover in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using.

How to use the Pâte Feuilletée:

  • When you are ready to bake the puff pastry, divide the dough into four pieces and roll each out to 12 x 16″ (the size of a half sheet tray).  The dough will be about 1/8″ thick.  Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper and roll out slightly larger than the dimensions.  Trim the edges with a pizza cutter and my favorite ruler.
  • At this point, you can pop the pastry in the freezer for a few minutes to chill before using to make favorites like: palmers, mille-feuilles, vol-au-vents, or use it as a crust for delicious tarts!
  • You can also cover the pastry in another layer of parchment paper, fold in thirds, and freeze for later use!  I love having these in these stored in the freezer so I can quickly pull together a treat!  Just defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
Did you try this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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About me

Corey Grimsley

I’m an artist and art restorer who spends an equal amount of time in the kitchen. Follow along as I put an artisanal touch on all of my bakes!

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