~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Friday, February 6, 2009

Quick Puff Pastry (Martha Stewart)

"Quick" Puff Pastry (Martha Stewart)...I usually make this "quick " version of the puff pastry quite often. I keep it in the freezer and it works great for a variety of sweet and savory dishes. You will find that I use this recipe for many dishes...very handy to have around the house.

I often use this dough to make little appetizers filled with various fillings. You may want to brush it with a beaten egg for a more golden color before you bake it. You can cut the dough in 5x5 inch squares placing wax/parchment paper in between them to ensure they don't stick together. You can easily grab one or two from the freezer.This eliminates defrosting a big sheet of puff pastry... if you just want to use a small piece. Hope you enjoy...


Adapted from:Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook by Martha Stewart and Susan Spungen.

Ingredients: Makes 2 pounds, 11 ounces of dough

3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1 cup ice water ( I usually put it in the freezer before I get my flour ready)

1. Combine the flour and the salt in a large, chilled stainless-steel bowl( I used a regular glass bowl).
2. Slice the butter into paper-thin pieces.
3. Using a pastry blender, or working with your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of peas, about 1/2 inch in diameter. (Do not use a food processor.) (I use a knife for this as I find that it works better as I don't want to make the butter pieces too small.)
3. Using a fork, stir in the water gradually, pressing the dough together with your hands as it becomes damp. ( I usually just mix it with the fork and then turn the dough unto my counter top...I then use my hands to bring the the dough together in clumps. I want to minimize how much I handle the dough with my hands. I don't want to melt the butter, since the hands can be quite warm.)
4. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a rough rectangle with a short side facing you. The dough will be very crumbly.
5. Fold the dough into thirds, and turn it a quarter turn to the right.
6. Roll the folded dough into a large rectangle, 9 X 16 inches, and fold into thirds again. This completes the first double turn.
7. Brush away any excess flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
8. Repeat rolling and folding 2 more times, chilling for 30 minutes after each double turn. ( I sometimes do the folding 3 times instead of 2...I find that the initial folding is quite crumbly and therefore I opt to add another fold). You can put a fingertip indentation on the dough to remind you how many folds you made between chilling.
With each turn the dough will become smoother and easier to handle.
9. Roll out and bake as instructed in the recipe [generally 35 to 40 minutes at 400°F (205°C)]. I usually like to freeze it before I use it...this way I know that the butter will not be soft and that I will get the flaky layers.)
10.The dough can be stored, wrapped well in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
11. To thaw place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.( I don't always have time to let it thaw in the refrigerator... I find that thawing it on the counter top until just thawed works just as well....you just don't want to let it thaw too much as the dough can get warm and the butter soften in the dough... thus not producing too many flaky layers.)


Anonymous said...

This seems like a brilliant recipe, especially for someone who has never made puff pastry before:) Love things that can just sit in the fridge or freezer until you need it! Thanks for sharing.

Ellie said...

Yes...it really is a neat recipe! That's how I started out before venturing out to try the "real" puff pastry. Thanks for stopping by...~Ellie

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this recipe. I have a lot of food allergies. Instead of wheat flour I use spelt so I love finding recipes for bread products that I can make at home. I am truly enjoying looking through your other recipes. I have found many things I will be trying. Thanks so much!!

Ellie said...

Anon, I am so glad I could be of help...I have just recently started using spelt flour...
My sister uses spelt quite a bit...I know she makes the flour tortillas, no knead bread and other recipes using it.
I sure hope you can modify some of the recipes so that it works for you...
So glad you are enjoying the blog...and thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it! Have a great day...

Harmony said...

Well, I've been using puff pastry lately and I'm always asked "did you make the pastry too?" and I always have to say no. I thought it would be difficult to make but this version seems do-able. I'm going to give it a try.

Ellie said...

Harmony, I sure hope you enjoy the recipe and that you will soon be able to say that the pastry is homemade as well:).
It really isn't difficult to make...just make sure the butter stays cold...if in doubt and you notice the butter softening, just place it in the fridge to firm up again. Hope you have success with it...thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

i am doing this school cooking project where i have to bake a pie from scratch, and i think your recipe is pretty much perfect for me, since i have never made pastry. i was just wondering if u could pls tell me how much pastry this recipe makes? i need about 375 g.

Ellie said...

Anon, At the bottom of the post, I wrote how much pastry the dough yields. 2 pounds 11 oz. You will need to store some of it away...or cut the recipe in half as you will have over 1000 grams of pastry...well more than your required 375 grams.
Hope that helps...and success with your cooking project.

Anonymous said...

thanks, that helps a lot. i must've just read over that part without really thinking. sorry bout that

Nora said...

I was wondering if cubing the butter would also work? I tried the chopping but it didn't work out so well (some of my butter was too big and some was too small)

Ellie said...

Nora, you can try cubing the butter, if that helps. As you can see in my photos my butter was all sorts of sizes when I started using the knife to cut through the butter and flour mixture.
The thinness of the initial slices were basically the same....and when I cut through the butter with my knife, the butter pieces ended up being all sorts of sizes. It didn't affect the overall product in any way.

Now, if you feel more comfortable cubing the the butter, then you can do so. I've never made it that way, so I am not exactly sure how it would come out. The only thing about cubing the butter is that if you handle it too much with your hands...it will melt and therefore the product in the end will not work. You want the butter to remain intact as much as possible without melting....this will give you the puff layers. If the butter melts in the flour mixture, then the puff layers won't be as evident and actually will come out looking like a pie dough. So it is always good to make this in a cool house or refrigerate the dough whenever you see any sign of butter melting in the dough.
Hope this helps a bit...and I hope it comes out for you.

Helen said...

I love you technique for making this quick puff pastry. I just watched Martha Stewart Show yesterday and I am sure it was a re-run, but she had Nick Maligieri on making a quick puff pastry in a food processor, and he made it look so easy and did not take long either. He cubed his butter, but he was also putting it in the processor, I actually like your technique better with the butter not being cubed.
Oh Ellie, thanks for being such a sweet person and making this blog. Will you also post recipes on your blog? Thanks so much Helen from New Jersey.

Ellie said...

Helen, I am so glad you stopped by...and for your sweet, kind words of encouragement. I am glad you like the blog...
I love using this technique...initially it was out of trial and error... but then I noticed how well it worked. And I've used it ever since. I find the processor can heat the butter a bit too much...though not that it doesn't work...you just need a light hand... and the butter has to be bigger than pea size in the end. I find the sliced butter works quite well...I slice it when it is still a bit frozen, otherwise, it will melt too fast.
I've posted a couple of recipes using the quick puff pastry....the beef wellington, puff pastry cheese straws, tomato puff pastry bites....all in the recipe index.
But I also love using it to make apple turnovers(see apple turnovers using phyllo dough post) except I substitute the phyllo dough for the puff pastry.
You can also make mini quiches by cutting out a small circle placing it in a mini muffin tin and adding a bit of the quiche filling...baking it at 400 deg until set. They are wonderful!
Helen, I so appreciate you stopping by...Hope you have a wonderful day!.