Puff Pastry Dough

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Puff pastry dough is fast and easy to make by hand or with a food processor. One batch replaces 1 box frozen puff pastry sheets from the market. It bakes up light and flaky with a delicate crunch. Use it to make savory recipes and desserts. It’s money saving and delicious.

📌 Pin Puff Pastry Dough

Homemade puff pastry dough on a wooden board for homemade puff pastry sheets.

💚 Why We Love This Recipe

Making homemade puff pastry may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually incredibly easy. All it takes are just a few pantry staples you might already have on hand. Here are plenty of reasons to stop buying puff pastry sheets at the market, even when it’s on sale.

  • It’s an essential recipe. Rough puff pastry dough is the ideal option for quick, easy puff pastry sheets. Made with chopped up butter, it’s a faster, less expensive option compared to classic puff pastry which requires adding a large, flat slab of butter to the dough.
  • All you need are 4 basic pantry staples (flour, butter, granulated sugar, salt) plus ice-cold water. The puff pastry sheets bake up light, crisp and flaky with a delicate crunch.
  • The dough comes together fast – in just 15 minutes plus chill time. It’s how many bakeries create their own puff pastry sheets from scratch. Just roll the chilled dough into a rectangle and it’s ready to be sliced, cut or shaped for your various recipes.
  • 👉🏻 You can make this recipe vegan. Instead of dairy butter, use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks instead. The results are wonderful.
  • This is a money-saving recipe everyone needs. Especially right now with the skyrocketing price of groceries. Why buy puff pastry sheets at the market when you can make them at home for a fraction of the cost? At my local store, the price for 1 14-ounce box of Dufour all-butter puff pastry (with 1 pastry sheet in the box) is $10.99. At Whole Foods it’s $14. When you need several boxes at a time, it can be very expensive.
  • This recipe’s a real time saver. During the holiday season many supermarkets have trouble keeping puff pastry dough in stock. But when you make it at home, you eliminate the need to travel to multiple stores hoping to find this essential dough. And when you need a large quantity of puff pastry, just make multiple batches of this easy recipe.
  • Puff pastry dough is very versatile. You can use the puff pastry sheets as the base for making a variety of appetizers, dinners and desserts.
Puff pastry dough folded on a work surface next to flour, salt and butter.

🛒 Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides structure for the dough. When mixed with water, it develops an elastic gluten framework that stretches and gives the dough strength.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness to the dough.
  • Kosher Salt: Perks up and brightens the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Butter: It must be very cold. It’s the layers of butter throughout the dough that are responsible for that amazing rise we get in puff pastry. And because of butter, our delicate pastry has a light flaky texture and a rich delicious flavor.
  • Ice-Cold Water: This super-cold water helps prevent the little chunks of cold butter from warming. For puff pastry that’s delicate and flaky, the butter must stay solidified.
Ingredients for easy puff pastry dough recipe to make homemade puff pastry dough sheets.

📖 Recipe Steps

By Hand – Without a Food Processor

Many seasoned bakers prefer making puff pastry dough in a bowl with their hands to ensure the dough is not over-worked. Here’s how to do it in a large mixing bowl with a fork and your hands.

  1. Freeze the butter for 10 to 15 minutes. Grate cold butter on a box grater, or cut the butter into tiny pieces. Return the butter to the freezer for 5 minutes to get it super cold again.
  2. In a large bowl, stir or whisk dry ingredients together. Add butter to the bowl. Toss it with the flour until it’s well coated. Drizzle in water. Continue to mix with your hands until a crumbly dough forms.
  3. On a lightly floured board, knead the dough a few times with the heels of your hands to bring it together. Pat it into a square. Wrap it in plastic and chill it for 1 hour.
  4. Continue with the recipe instructions on this page for rolling, folding and rotating the dough. View the images below to see the process at a glance. Then follow the step-by-step instructions a bit father down the page – starting with Step 5.

Expert Tip: It’s important to keep the dough cold at all times. If your hands are warm, cool them off before working with the dough. Place them under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water just until they’re no longer warm. Dry your hands well with a lint-free kitchen towel.

How to roll, fold and rotate the puff pastry dough.

Using a Food Processor

RECIPE TIP: If you need twice the amount of dough, don’t double the recipe. Instead, make 2 separate batches. This is important as it will help prevent the dough from being over-worked.

  1. Add the flour, sugar, salt and half the butter to the bowl of the food processor.
  2. Pulse just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over-process.
  3. Add remaining butter and super-cold water to the bowl. Pulse just until a dough forms and comes together into a ball. Again, do not over-process. We need tiny chunks of butter throughout the dough. Those scattered little bits will make the pastry light and flaky.
  4. Transfer dough to a lightly-floured board. Quickly knead it a few times with the heel of your hands. Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thick square. Wrap it in plastic and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour.
How to make puff pastry dough step by step.
  1. With a lightly-floured rolling pin, roll the chilled square of dough into an 8″x10″ rectangle.
Homemade pastry dough being rolled out into a rectangle.
  1. Lightly dust both sides with flour. Starting from the shorter end, fold the rectangle into thirds – just like folding a business letter before placing it into an envelope.
Folding puff pastry dough into thirds, like a business letter.
  1. Rotate the dough a quarter turn. Repeat the process 3 more times: rolling, folding and rotating.
Homemade puff pastry on a work surface next to butter, flour and salt.
  1. Slip the folded rectangle of dough into a zip-top bag. Chill the dough in the fridge for 2 hours (or up to 2 days) before using.
Rectangle of puff pastry dough dusted with flour and folded in thirds.

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions when making puff pastry dough, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

What is puff pastry?

It’s a golden-colored pastry that’s light and crisp with delicate flaky layers and a bit of a crunch. The dough has no leavening. It gets an amazing rise from layers of butter-specked dough that’s shaped, folded and flattened several times as part of the easy preparation method.

What’s the difference between rough puff pastry and full puff pastry?

This informative article by thecommonscafe.com provides an excellent explanation about the difference between rough and full puff pastry.

Why good-quality butter for baking?

Good-quality butter has a higher fat content than low-quality butter which contains more water. Flaky pastries need a lot of butter fat to achieve a light delicate texture. When making puff pastry dough sheets or a homemade pie crust, reach for a good-quality butter from a brand you trust. For me, it’s Kirkland brand butter from Costco. I don’t use an expensive European-style butter for pastry, as it’s not necessary.

Salted or unsalted butter for puff pastry dough?

Either option is fine – salted or unsalted butter. When using salted butter we still add in a touch more salt to the bowl to make sure there’s enough. When using unsalted butter, we add in an exact amount of salt. If you’re not doing a lot of baking, it can be more cost-effective to buy just 1 type of butter – salted, as it’s more versatile for everyday use.

How to store homemade puff pastry dough?

Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and slip it into a zip-top freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month. Before using, defrost it in the fridge overnight rather than thawing it on the countertop.

Where to find puff pastry at the grocery store?

There are 2 distinct locations to look for frozen puff pastry at the market. Start by looking in the frozen section near the desserts. If it’s not there, look for it by the dairy section. If you can’t find it at the market or it’s too expensive, make it at home for a fraction of the cost.

Folded rectangle of puff pastry dough on a white wooden board.

🥣 Recipes to Make With Puff Pastry

Use puff pastry sheets to make a whole variety of different recipes. From breakfast and appetizers, to dinner and dessert. The ideas are endless. Below are a few of my all-time favorites. I know you’ll enjoy them too.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers gave this easy puff pastry dough a 5-star rating. They tested it against a store-bought brand and 2 online recipes. When baking the puff pastry sheets, the outcome was magnificent – buttery, flaky and delicious.

If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Homemade puff pastry dough on a wooden board for homemade puff pastry sheets.

Puff Pastry Dough


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Description

Puff pastry dough is quick and easy to make by hand or with a food processor. One batch replaces 1 box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry from the market. It bakes up light and flaky with a delicate crunch.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) salted butter (very cold), cut into tiny pieces
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water

 


Instructions

No food processor? No problem.  Many seasoned bakers prefer making this easy recipe in a bowl with their hands to ensure the dough is not over-worked. See the “notes” for how to make the dough in a large mixing bowl with a fork and your hands.

  1. Add the flour, sugar, salt and half the butter to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over-process.
  2. Add remaining butter and super-cold water to the bowl. Pulse just until a dough forms and comes together into a ball. Again, do not over-process. We need small chunks of butter scattered throughout the dough so our pastry is light and flaky with a delicate crunch.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly-floured board. Quickly knead it a few times with the heel of your hands. Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thick square. Wrap it in plastic and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. With a lightly-floured rolling pin, roll the chilled square of dough into an 8″x10″ rectangle. Lightly dust both sides with flour. Starting from the shorter end, fold the rectangle into thirds – just like folding a business letter before placing it into an envelope. 
  5. Rotate the dough a quarter turn. Repeat the process 3 more times: rolling, folding and rotating. Slip the folded rectangle of dough into a zip-top bag. Chill the dough in the fridge for 2 hours (or up to 2 days) before using.

Notes

Need twice the amount of dough? Don’t double the recipe. Instead, make 2 separate batches. This is important as it will help prevent the dough from being over-worked.

How to make the dough without a food processor: Freeze the butter for 10 to 15 minutes. Grate cold butter on a box grater or cut the butter into super tiny pieces. Return the grated butter to the freezer for 5 minutes to get it super cold again. In a large bowl, stir or whisk dry ingredients together. Add butter to the bowl. Toss it with the flour until it’s well coated. Drizzle in water. Continue to mix with your hands until a crumbly dough forms. On a lightly floured board, knead the dough a few times with the heels of your hands to bring it together. Pat it into a square. Wrap it in plastic and chill it for 1 hour. Continue with the recipe instructions on this page for rolling, folding and rotating the dough. 

How to store the dough: Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and slip it into a zip-top freezer bag (with the air pressed out) and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month. Before using, defrost it in the fridge overnight rather than thawing it on the countertop.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • 3 Hours: Chill Time
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American, French
Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

Puff Pastry Dough 👉🏻 Join the Convo

What recipes will you make with your puff pastry dough? Share your thoughts on this easy rough puff pastry recipe in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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46 Comments

  1. Finally I’ve some hopes of being able to make pastry dough at home! For how many days can I keep it in the freezer?

    1. Hello Geetika! Tightly wrap the puff pastry in plastic wrap. Place it in a zip-top bag with the air pressed out, or in an air-tight container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. To use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling out the chilled dough. Do not refreeze. Enjoy!

      1. Hello Sandy. Yes, you can use unsalted butter for this recipe. Simply add 1/4 teaspoon fine salt to the flour. Gently mix the flour and salt together before adding in the butter.

  2. I made it last night. Came out great. I usually use frozen puff pastry sheets from the grocery store, but this recipe is very easy to make from scratch. And I love rolling out dough. I could do it all day.

    Instead of cutting the cold butter into tiny pieces, I just grated it on the coarse side of a box grater. That makes it even quicker.

    Denay, I’ll be sure to check out your other recipes.






  3. I’m wondering if I could just pulse the butter/flour right quick in my food processor? Your thoughts? Thanks!

  4. Would love to try your recipe but would you please translate the 10 tbs of butter into grams or cups as I tried a similar one before and when I baked it the dough was soaked in butter!

    1. The Tablespoon markings are on the butter stick of most butters but 8 Tablespoons is 1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons would be 1/8 cup. Hope this helps

  5. Thank you for this recipe. I am trying to make as much as I can from scratch and this recipe is right up there for me. I need simple easy recipes. Now that I have this is can make the strawberry cream cheese puff pastries I’ve been wanting ?






  6. I have never tried puffed pastry, but you make it look easy enough for me to give it a go!






    1. Hello Jessica! I promise that this puff pastry recipe is simple as pie! I think you’ll be completely amazed at how easy and delicious it is. :-)

  7. Great puff pastry dough recipe! I usually make most components of my dishes from scratch but puff pastry is one item I usually allow myself to buy. I forget how easy it can be, and your recipe looks like a great one to try!






    1. Marlynn, you are going to love this recipe! It’s not only easy to make but it’s super versatile to use too.

  8. I’ve never ever made or attempted my own puff pastry. I always felt like would TOTALLY screw it up. I’m not great with breads, doughs, or pie crusts, but this recipe looks easy enough to try! You are giving me some confidence over here Denay!






    1. Woo-hoo! Chrissa, I promise this will become one of your favorite little recipes! There’s so much you can do with puff pastry, especially when it takes such little time to prepare. :-)

  9. I love cooking and baking, but have always been intimidated by the idea of making my own puff pastry… this post has really inspired me to give it a go! Looking forward to this!






    1. Candy, I hope you try this recipe soon! Thank you so much for popping by for a visit and leaving a comment. I really appreciate it.