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How to make a perfect puff pastry

It is generally thought that pastries are difficult and time cosuming to make, but their richness is so superior to the ready both ones that it is easily worth the effort. Puff pastry, in particular, is harder to handle, and normally only the more experienced baker attempt to it. However,there is no reason why also the less experienced ones should try this easily explained, step by step guide to the traditional homemade puff pastry.

The basic method

In order to make a good puff pastry, always bare in mind that it is based on a careful balance of ingredients: follow the recipe accurately.

Ingredients:

350 g plain flour

175 g butter

8 tbsp water (cold)

In a mixing bowl, sift the flour and rub in 1/4 of the butter

Add the water, mixing gently with the fingers

Knead briefly to as mooth dough, put in a freezer bag and chill for 30 minutes

Roll out the remaining butter to about 1 cm in thickness, then roll outt he dough to a square 4 times larger then the butter

Lift the butter and place it in the middle of the dough, then fold each side of the dough over it

Now you have a first block of dough with butter inside: roll it until it's a rectangle 3 times as long as it is wide, then fold one third over the middle, then the remaining one third on top of it

Repeat the process 6 times: roll out into a rectangle, fold as above, chilling when needed- don't let the dough get warm

After the last set of rolling and folding, leave the dough to rest for half hour before using. Remember to crimp along the sides, to prevent the layers from flaking all of the way to the edges.

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Make it, store it

Now that the puff pastry is ready, it can be made into a variety of ways, both sweet and savoury. After a good two hour of hard work, though, it is good news that homemade puff pastry can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, and frozen for a month.

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