created: 2004-10-27 00:27:40
This is a bit of a cheat, since apparently real puff pastry involves lots and lots of folding. But it comes out all nice and flaky and no one will know the difference. By Nick Malghieri from my class at the Peter Kump Cooking School
2 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced 1/2 cup cold tap water 1 tsp salt 2 cups all-purpose flour Dissolve salt in water; stir and set aside. Using your hands, rub the butter into the dry ingredients by breaking it into tiny pieces, continuously pinching and squeezing it into the dry ingredients (there are a couple of tricks to this: 1. Use only the very tips of your fingers to handle the fat. You don't want it to get too warm. 2. Keep scooping up from the very bottom of the bowl to ensure you're getting at ALL the flour AND fat. 3. When you've scooped up some flour and fat, pinch it from fairly high above the mixture. 4. Pinch HARD. 5. Do it fast.) Continue rubbing the fat into the dry ingredients until the mixture has all become pea-sized lumps and no butter remains visible. The pieces don't have to be completely uniform in size (in fact it's good if they're not), but none of them should be bigger than the tip of your baby finger. Scatter a small amount of water on the mixture and stir gently with a fork - the dough should begin to hold together. If the mixture still appears extremely crumbly and unlikely to cohere, add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it holds together when you press it. Flour work surface and scrape dough from work bowl. Mold into a ball or disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm.