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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Homemade Puff Pastry Dough

Puff pastry is the basis of croissants as well as  appetizers like filled puff pastry shells and desserts such as napoleons.  The pastry dough is comprised of dozens of layers of chilled butter rolled between sheets of pastry dough.  It is labour intensive and time consuming to make.  I have always used store bough puff pastry dough because of this.   A few days ago I was browsing through my much used Betty Crocker's Cookbook (1969) and came across an recipe for puff pastry dough that really looked easy to make without a lot of work.  The only time involved was mixing then refrigerating the dough.  I don't know how I missed this recipe other than thinking this would not be the same as real puff pastry dough,  So I decided to try it and compare to store bought puff pastry dough.

homemade puff pastry dough
I honestly was quite doubtful about this dough as to whether it would give similar results to store bought puff pastry dough.  The dough was quite easy to make using the stand mixer but could easily have been made by hand.  Once the dough was made I gathered it into an oblong log shape and wrapped in wax paper for the refrigerator (1).  The instructions said to divide in half but I didn't.

The following morning I cut about a quarter of the dough from the dough log to run a test batch.  The dough was surprisingly  easy to work with.  I rolled the dough to about ⅟16 -inch thick (2) and cut with a mini cookie cutter.  I re-wrapped the scraps and baked the prepared tray (3) as per the recipe instructions.

Streamlined Puff Pastry Dough
source:  Betty Crocker's Cookbook (1969)

1 c butter
1½ c unbleached flour
½c sour cream

Cut the butter into the flour until thoroughly mixed.  Stir in sour cream and blend well.  Divide the dough in half.  Wrap each half.  Chill at least 8 hours.  Roll dough and cut as desired.  Bake at 180ºC (350ºF) 20 minutes or until golden brown.

homemade puff pastry baked
Anytime I am making a homemade version of a store bought food item, I am rather critical.  The homemade version is judged based on how closely it resembles the store bought version, how it tastes and the cost.  In this case the homemade version of puff pastry performed quite nicely!

The homemade version took less than 5 minutes to mix and form into a log for refrigeration.    Store bought puff pastry contains enriched wheat flour, water, unsalted butter, vegetable oils (canola, modified palm and palm kernel), salt.  I liked that only 3 common ingredients were used for the homemade version greatly reducing additional fats and salt.  Rolling the dough out was not difficult or time consuming.  The dough despite being in the refrigerator for over 8 hours was still a bit sticky but was easy to handle on a well floured board.    The pastry did puff and brown much the same as store bought if not a bit better.  The baked results were light, flaky and had a wonderful flavour.  I was extremely impressed!

The homemade puff pastry passed the taste test and excelled at being slightly better than the store version so the next test was the cost.  I usually pay $3.99 for PC brand butter puff pastry for 450 g (.99 lb).  The homemade version made just a little over a pound of dough so is quite comparable.  The homemade version cost 12¢ for flour, $1.15 for butter and 25¢ for the sour cream for a grand total of $1.52.  This is a savings of $2.47 that could be increased if butter and sour cream are on sale.  This is one more product I will not buy store bought again!

3 food lovers commented:

Donald said...

just wondering here, as I don't have the upper body strength that I used to for rolling, do you think that this could be put thru a pasta machine roller to get it thin?

Donald said...

just wondering here, as I don't have the upper body strength that I used to for rolling, do you think that this could be put thru a pasta machine roller to get it thin?

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Donald and thanks for visiting. I'm sorry I don't know the answer to your question. My only suggestion would be to try it and see what happens.