Making puff pastry at home doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating! My easy puff pastry recipe and method is simple enough for anyone to make.

look at puff pastry dough folded together

I get it, it’s tempting to buy frozen puff pastry from the grocery store. I do it all the time too! But if you’ve never made homemade puff pastry, it’s definitely something to try, and it’s absolutely something you can do.

Homemade puff pastry has so much more flavor than what you’ll find at the store. And the treats you can bake will have the most delicious flaky layers, with crispy edges and moist buttery centers.

Using my shortcut puff pastry recipe means you get all the benefit of homemade, without feeling like you need to go to pastry school first. I promise, anyone can make puff pastry!

What is Puff Pastry?

So what exactly is puff pastry? It is a light and very flaky pastry made through the process of lamination, where dough and butter are layered together, then rolled and folded over and over again before baking.

For this easy puff pastry we skip the step of folding dough around a block of butter, and instead cut the butter into the dry ingredients (similar to making pie crust). This cuts down on time, effort, and simplifies the whole process. Once the butter is broken up into the dry ingredients, add water to make a shaggy dough, then proceed with folding and rolling.

Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through all the steps below!

puff pastry ingredients

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Water

Remember to Keep Things Cold

In order to create all those flaky layers, the butter must stay separate from the flour. We cut it into and distribute it among the dry ingredients, but it’s the pieces of the butter within the dough that creates rise and flaky layers.

To keep the butter from mixing into the flour, keep everything as cold as you can. Start with cold butter and water. Even chilling the flour, salt, bowl and pastry blender before starting will help.

It is possible to make this puff pastry in one sitting, as long as the butter doesn’t get too soft or appear melted at all. I usually pause somewhere in the process to put the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to get the butter cold again before resuming with the folding and rolling.

cutting butter into flour for puff pastry

How to Make Easy Puff Pastry

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Cut butter into dry ingredients. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and toss with the cold cubed butter. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into smaller pieces into the dry ingredients. Cut until smallest butter pieces are about the size of peas, it’s okay if some large butter pieces remain.

2. Add water and form dough. Add ½ of cold water to the bowl and mix until incorporated, then add remaining water. Use a spatula/spoon and then your hands to bring the dough together. It will be very crumbly and shaggy. Dump dough out on a clean surface and continue to work it together.

mixing puff pastry dough

3. Shape and roll. Shape dough into a rectangle, then use a rolling pin (I prefer to use a french rolling pin) to roll out to about the size of a sheet of legal paper (8×14 inches). No need to be exact. Try to keep it in the shape of a rectangle as much as you can.

Lightly flour counter and rolling pin as needed, but try to avoid adding too much extra flour or the puff pastry will absorb it and lose some of it’s delicacy. A bench scraper is also handy in keeping the dough from sticking to the counter.

forming dough for first turn

4. Fold and Turn. Fold the bottom third of the dough up onto the middle third, then fold the top third over on top, like you would fold a letter. Then flip the dough seam side-down, and rotate it 90° so the short edge is facing you. This is whole step completes your first “turn”.

Use these photos as a guide, and notice how shaggy my dough still is during this first turn (maybe even a little too shaggy), but you’ll see it will all come together by the end.

making first turn

5. Complete 5 more “turns”. Once you’ve completed your first turn, roll the dough again out to about the size of a sheet of legal paper. Fold into thirds, then flip and rotate again. Repeat this process until you have rolled, folded, and rotated 6 total times.

The photos below are of my 4th turn. You can see that the dough is almost completely smooth, though a few pieces of butter are visible.

Remember, if at any point your butter starts looking too soft, or sticks to the counter or rolling pin, stick it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before continuing.

rolling dough for 4th turn
making 4th turn

And look! After 6 turns the dough is smooth. You can’t see it, but there are 18 layers of butter in there that will rise and flake in the oven.

finished puff pastry dough on table

Chill Before Using or Freeze for Later

The final step is to chill the puff pastry dough completely before using, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days in the fridge.

Puff pastry also freezes really well! Double wrap in plastic or a ziplock bag and freeze for up to a month or more. Thaw the in fridge overnight or at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

What to Make with Puff Pastry

You’ve made easy puff pastry, now what? Try one of these simple and delicious recipes!

folded easy puff pastry

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Easy Puff Pastry

Making puff pastry at home doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating! My easy puff pastry recipe and method is simple enough for anyone to make and master.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups cold unsalted butter , cubed (2 ½ sticks, 283 grams)
  • ½ cup cold water (118 grams)

Instructions

  • Combine flour and salt in a bowl and toss with the cold cubed butter. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into smaller pieces into the dry ingredients. Cut until smallest butter pieces are about the size of peas, it’s okay if some large butter pieces remain.
  • Add ½ of cold water to the bowl and mix until incorporated, then add remaining water. Use a spatula/spoon and then your hands to bring the dough together. It will be very crumbly and shaggy. Dump dough out on a clean surface and continue to work it together.
  • Shape dough into a rectangle, then use a floured rolling pin to roll out to about the size of a sheet of legal paper (8×14 inches). No need to be exact.
  • Fold the bottom third of the dough up onto the middle third, then fold the top third over on top, like you would fold a letter. Then flip the dough seam side-down, and rotate it 90° so the short edge is facing you. This is whole step completes your first “turn”.
  • Roll the dough again out to about the size of a sheet of legal paper. Fold into thirds, then flip and rotate again. Repeat this process until you have rolled, folded, and rotated 6 total times. Pause to chill dough as needed (see Notes).
  • Chill the puff pastry dough completely before using, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days in the fridge.

Notes:

  • Puff pastry freezes really well. Double wrap in plastic or a ziplock bag and freeze for up to a month or more. Thaw the in fridge overnight or at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.
  • It is possible to make this puff pastry in one sitting, as long as the butter doesn’t get too soft or appear melted at all. I usually pause somewhere in the process to put the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to get the butter cold again before resuming with the folding and rolling.
  • In addition to using cold butter and water, chilling the flour, salt, bowl and pastry blender before starting will help keep things cold.

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 120mg, Potassium: 34mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 709IU, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a review below or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.