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Oct 18, 2006 04:49 PM

Homemade puff pastry! You can too!

This all started while I was standing in front of the freezer case at the grocery store pondering the puff pastry options. Option 1: Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, 16 oz for $5. Option 2: Classic Puff Pastry, $13 for 14 oz! WHAT THE HEY?!?!?! $13!!!!! I won't buty the Pepperidge Farm brand because it's made with hydrogenated veg oil. I mean the whole point of puff pastry is THE BUTTER, besides I haven't eaten anything with hydrogenated veg oil since my college organic chemistry class. The classic puff pastry is made with butter, but $13 just seems a bit crazy, so I'm standing there pouting and staring blankly at the freezer case, hoping maybe a third option will magically appear. Enter my most awesome SO. He has completed our grocery shopping while I'm trying to make this monumental decision and says casually, "let's just make it ourselves." What? I'm skeptical. I didn't think actual mortals made puff pastry. Isn't it super-difficult? Isn't puff pastry best left to professional pastry chefs? Can't you just tell me that it's justified to spend $13 on this packet of frozen pre-made puff pastry?

I am here to tell you that real people CAN make incredible puff pastry and if we can do it, you can too.

Sure, it's a little time-consuming, but it's a lot like making bread. Most of the time is just waiting, and the actual work/prep steps are minimal and pretty straightforward. The dough is magical - supple, smooth, just downright lovely.

It was THE BEST puff pastry I've ever had. The final cost? $5 for 2.5 pounds (using Plugra butter). Now I know that we never have to buy puff pastry again.

My culinary world just got a lot bigger!

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  1. Ok, you got me. Can you point me to the recipe you used?

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowetta

      Puff Pastry recipe from Baking with Julia. I'd be happy to post the recipe later tonight when I get home if you'd like.

    2. You just inspired me to make another batch now that the stash in my freezer is just about gone... That stuff is made for freezing.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Ida Red

        just remember to freeze it in usable size chunks - I was being lazy one time and froze a whole block. Trouble was I kept needing small quantites of the stuff afterwards.

        1. re: ali patts

          how long can you keep it frozen for and maintain peak buttery deliciousness?

          1. re: funkymonkey

            I have frozen puff pastry dough for 6 months and it handled and baked perfectly. Your freezer must be very cold (below 0 F) and the pastry should be wrapped in saran, and doubled bagged in zip bags. Fats have a incredible ability to suck weird flavors out of a freezer, and puff pastry is very much a chameleon, so any off-flavor is extremely noticeable.

            Be sure to thaw it on a tray, and in a zip-bag in the fridge, or you will create a unusable mess when the layers stick together.
            I have a classic puff pastry recipe, and a 2 hour quickie recipe that works fine for savory dishes.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              can you post the quickie recipe? thank you!

              1. re: funkymonkey

                Funkymonkey, The quickie recipe that I have is very close to what Coconutz posted below, from the Fine Cooking website.

      2. YES you CAN make your own puff pastry! I don't know why so many people are intimidated by pastry. Homemade is so much, much better than anything from a store. I don't make puff as much as others, but I usually do it in big batches because it freezes so well.

          1. I make it myself too. It's really not that hard, and I love knowing exactly what's going into it. I'll post a recipe when I get home today. :)