A delicate, crisp pastry made up of many layers, puff is made with butter and dough, which is rolled and folded so that the butter becomes trapped between the layers, causing it to puff up as the layers separate. Making your own pastry is very rewarding, but you can substitute ready-made block or sheets of puff pastry if preferred.

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Method

  1. Mix 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) chilled water, 75 g ( oz) butter, melted, and 2 teaspoons salt to a rough dough and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Put 300 g (10½ oz) butter between two sheets of baking paper and flatten with a rolling pin to a 20 cm (8 inch) square.
  3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to form a cross shape, with a 20 cm (8 inch) centre.
  4. Put the butter in the centre and fold in the sides. Seal the pastry edges with your fingers to completely enclose the butter. The butter and dough should be the same consistency.
  5. Roll out the dough to form a 20 × 45 cm (8 × 18 inch) rectangle.
  6. Fold the bottom third of the dough up towards the middle, then bring the top third of the dough over the folded thirds.
  7. Turn the dough through a quarter turn, gently seal the edges and roll out to a 20 × 45 cm (8 × 18 inch) rectangle.
  8. Fold in thirds again, keeping the edges straight, then chill.
  9. Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling a total of six times. Mark the side of the dough each time so you remember how many you have done. After the final roll and fold, leave it folded. It is now ready.

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