Food Processor Puff Pastry

This puff pastry’s texture is shorter than that of Classic Puff Pastry with a more tender flake and a lift that is almost equally high. This puff pastry is similar to both Jack Lirio’s and the late Jean Troisgros’ recipes. M. Troisgros called his Warm-Weather Puff Pastry because he assembled both the dough and the butter package by hand, using very soft butter (about 75 degrees). It worked perfectly.

Ingredients

Dough Package

  • 2 ¾ cups (330 grams) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) ice water
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk

Butter Block

  • 1 cup (120 grams) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 13 ounces (3 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled

Method

Advance Preparations

At least 12 hours before making puff pastry, prepare the dough package. Pour cups (330 grams) flour into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Cut the 3 ounces chilled butter into ½-inch cubes and scatter them over the flour. Process with on/off bursts until the mixture resembles cornmeal (about 10 seconds).

Combine the ice water and salt in a liquid cup measure; stir briefly to dissolve. Add the egg yolk and stir until blended. Turn on the processor and pour the liquid ingredients down the side of the feed tube in a steady stream. Process just until mixture begins to come together but not completely (about 20 to 25 seconds).

Shaping the Dough Package

Pour the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and after enclosing it, manipulate the dough with fingertips into a 6-inch square. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight. (Since the ingredients are more finely dispersed together, this dough package will appear smoother than one made by hand.) After refrigeration it will be firmer than when you wrapped it in the plastic wrap.

Making the Butter Block

Pour the 1 cup (120 grams) flour into the bowl of food processor fitted with the steel blade. Cut the 13 ounces of chilled butter into ½-inch-thick slices on a baking sheet, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Then scatter the slices over the flour in the food processor bowl. Process with on/off bursts just until mixture appears crumbly like a streusel (about 17 to 20 seconds); it will look like small pieces of gravel stuck together. Do not allow mixture to form a ball, or the butter will be too soft and a pastelike dough will form. (Should this happen, wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.)

With the aid of a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and pull edges together to enclose the butter. Work the butter through the plastic wrap with your fingertips into a 7-x-6-inch shape. (Working the dough through the plastic rather than directly by hand reduces the chance of warming and softening the butter; plastic wrap also restricts the dough and aids in forming the exact shape specified.) Refrigerate briefly while rolling the dough package.

Enclosing the Butter Block in the Dough Package

Dust the work surface lightly with flour; then place the dough package on it. Beginning in the center of the dough package, roll it out, using firm, evenly pressured strokes and stopping short of the edges, until the dough is less than ½ inch thick and measures 10 inches square.

Unwrap the butter package and place it on half of the dough; you may have to move some of the butter so it covers only half of the dough package. Then lift the other half of dough over the butter package until the edges meet. Press them together with fingertips, enclosing the butter completely.

Creating the Layers

Rotate the package 90 degrees counterclockwise, and lightly dust the work surface under dough with flour. Beginning in the center, roll out, using the same firm, evenly pressured strokes and stopping short of the edge. Return the rolling pin to the center, and roll the other section of dough similarly, again stopping short of the edge.

Roll into a rectangle 7 × 16 inches and less than ½ inch thick. Square the corners by rolling carefully over the thicker edges, and push the rolling pin up against its sides to keep edges straight. Should the butter break through the dough at any time, sprinkle the area with flour, pat gently with fingers, brush away excess flour with pastry brush and continue layering the dough.

Turns 1 and 2

At this point, a short end of the dough is closest to you. Fold the bottom third up over the center; then fold the top third down over the bottom until it resembles an envelope. This fold is called a single fold. You have just completed the first turn. To complete both turns will take only 2 to 3 minutes.

Rotate the dough 90 degrees counterclockwise (its position on your surface now resembles pages in a book). Lightly dust the work surface and dough with flour if necessary. Roll out as before until dough is less than ½ inch thick and measures 7 × 16 inches. Brush off any excess flour and square the edges and straighten the sides with rolling pin.

With the short end closest to you, fold it into the center of the rectangle. Fold the other short end so that the two shorter ends meet in the center. Now fold dough in half again, forming a double fold consisting of four layers. This is the second turn.

Wrap the dough in foil, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Turn 3

Lightly dust the work surface with flour and position the refrigerated dough so that the last fold is perpendicular to you, its top flap opening like a book.

Roll as previously directed until dough measures 7 × 16 inches. (You will notice it rolls beautifully and easily.) Brush off any excess flour; then, with the short end closest to you, fold it into the center of the rectangle. Fold the other short end so that the two shorter ends meet in the center. Now fold dough in half again, forming a double fold, consisting of four layers. Rewrap in the foil and return to refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Turn 4

Position the dough so that the double fold is perpendicular to you and opens like a book. Repeat the rolling and double folding technique as directed in Turn 3. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Shaping the Pastry

Roll the dough to a 6-x-11-inch rectangle for future convenience. Now you may wrap the puff pastry in plastic and refrigerate it for up to 2 days. Or cover the plastic-wrapped package with foil and freeze it for up to 2 months; label the package, indicating the contents and date.

Rolling and Baking Puff Pastry

See Rolling and baking puff pastry.