Every serious home cook should have a reliable puff pastry recipe in his or her repertoire. This is not to say that puff pastry dough is esoteric dough that can only be replicated at home. No, on the contrary, most grocery store refrigerators are stocked with at least one commercial puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farm®. However, even the best, ready-made dough can’t compete with the taste and texture of homemade puff pastry, with its delicate, buttery layers.
Many people opt for ready-made puff pastry because of efficiency. Although puff pastry is time-consuming, it is not difficult to make and you’ll find that each time you make it, the process becomes easier and intuitive. Practice really does make perfect when it comes to making puff pastry!
The Daily Meal turned to The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine for puff pastry wisdom. In the book, chef Alain Sailhac, four star New York Times chef of Le Cygne, powerhouse behind Le Cirque, 21 Club, Plaza Hotel, and dean of the International Culinary Center, recommends always using butter when making puff pastry as opposed to other fats such as lard or goose fat because “butter has great plasticity and can be rolled into very thin sheets.” Sailhac reminds us that butter’s “melting point is very low, so it has to be handled quickly, in a cool environment on a cool surface.”
Other guidelines from the book are as follows:
Be quick and be chill, got it! Ready to get started? Click here for a recipe for The Best Puff Pastry Dough.
Once you've mastered the art of puff pastry, your culinary world will open up to innovative creations! Having puff pastry under your belt doesn't limit you to French cuisine. This recipe works for a base for classic and fusion dishes alike whether you're making o'dourves, desserts, or savory tarts.