Organic Puff Pastry from Scratch
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- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, chilled (plus a little more for dusting)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons cider vinegar
- ¾ cup water, chilled
- 16 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
WARNING: Puff pastry needs at least 24 hours of advance work. Other than that, it’s not too hard.
- Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and toss in the butter, which should be softened slightly. Mix together gently with your fingers.
- Add the vinegar to the water; add the vinegar-water to the dough and mix it together.
- Put it out on the counter (with some flour to dust) and gently knead to make the dough smooth.
- Flatten the dough into a round flat ball and wrap it in plastic then put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Take the 16 tablespoons of butter out of the fridge and let it soften a bit.
- Get out some parchment paper and roll out the butter between the sheets to a half-inch-thick 4-inch square (or so).
- Get the pastry out and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to make a 4 x 8? rectangle. Put the butter at one end and fold it over to cover it. It’s like you are making/wrapping a butter present!
- Now the fun begins (the making a book part). Roll the dough out in a long 4 x 18? sheet. Fold both ends in toward the center as if you are making a “gatefold.” (I found that a spatula helps if it gets stuck.) And then fold it again so you have a “book.” Wrap it up in plastic and then put it in the fridge.
- Wait 30 minutes and then do it again, making sure that the “spine” of the book is always on the left (that’s how you know you are rotating properly).
- Now go to bed. Or whatever. Wait “24 hours,” give or take.
- Do this whole rolling, folding, and wrapping thing two more times (waiting 30 minutes between each). Let the dough warm up a tiny bit after you take it out from the long refrigerator rest.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before doing the final rolling and cutting for your pie lids.
- Roll out for the final time. Be gentle when you cut…don’t want to smoosh all those lovely layers!
- Make the lid slightly larger than your pie top because it might shrink a bit when you cook it.
- Use the egg wash (1 raw beaten egg and a bit of water) to glue it together and polish the top.