To make puff pastry

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes enough for a

    24 cm

    pastry case

Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

Puff pastry is magic, and like most magic, there are a few rules to remember to make it look like sleight of hand. (Use the thumbprint method described - it really works.)


  • 225 g (8 oz) butter
  • 225 g (8 oz) plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 ml ( fl oz) cold water
  • few drops of lemon juice


Melt 50 g ( oz) of butter and allow to cool. Leave remaining butter out to soften. Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl, and make a hole in the centre. Add water, lemon juice and cooled, melted butter to the well, and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is amalgamated. Let rest for 20 minutes. Reserve an area of the kitchen for the next few hours so you don’t have to keep cleaning up each time you work the pastry. Flour the bench well and roll out the pastry into the shape of a cross. Place remaining softened butter in the middle and fold over each pastry flap. Pat into a rectangle and chill for 10 minutes.

Roll out pastry until it is long and skinny, about 50 cm (20 in). Fold each end in, to meet in the centre, then fold once more into a double turn. Press your thumb marks into the left and right corners as it faces you, then cover in plastic and let rest for 15 minutes. Turn pastry so that your thumb imprints are both on the right hand side of the pastry, and roll out again, fold in again, mark with thumbs and chill. Repeat process twice more, then leave to rest for an hour or so before using. Roll out on a floured bench and trim to the shape you want.