How do you make a Quick Puff Pastry Dough?
What do you do when you want to make Puff Pastry Dough (pâte feuilletée) but don’t want to go through all the effort? Puff Pastry Dough is ideal for appetizers, quiches, and light desserts. It’s even on its own with a little flavored sugar drizzled on top. This is how I use up all the leftover bits of dough.
To make a genuine Puff Pastry Dough, knead some cold butter into rectangular slabs of dough. Fold the slabs over themselves several times. It’s not terribly difficult but does take a certain amount of patience and repetition. Many new bakers are intimidated by the effort needed and instead choose to buy store-bought Puff Pastry Dough for their preparations. I make no judgment about using store-bought dough. I even use it myself from time to time. Yet, why use a store-bought dough if it takes only minutes and minimum effort to make your own dough?
You can prepare this quick Puff Pastry Dough in minutes by hand or by food processor. In this recipe, I replace some of the butter with the Petits Suisses (or a fresh cream cheese). It’s this small change that makes recipe easier to prepare.
I used this Puff Pastry Dough recipe recently to make Tomato Tarte Tatin and a Leek Bacon Quiche. Below is a photo of the Puff Pastry Dough on top of the finished Tomato Tarte Tatin before and after I turned it over on a serving dish.
Next time you would like to use Puff Pastry, try this recipe and see how easy it truly is. Once you make it yourself you will hesitate before buying store-bought dough again at the supermarket. You will also enjoy having control over the quality of the ingredients used as well as being able to mix in herbs or spices to create your own inspirations.
Quick Puff Pastry Dough
- 300 g petits-suisses or equivalent of cream cheese or St. Môret cheese (see notes)
- 300 g all purpose flour
- 150 g butter
- 1 dash salt if using for savory dish.
By Food Processor
- Prepare the dough a little in advance since it must sit in the refrigerator about 30 minutes before rolling out.
- Cut the butter into cubes or about dice-size pieces. These pieces do not need to be perfectly square or the same shape.
- Put the flour, petits-suisses and butter (as well as salt if you are using) in the bowl of the food processor.
- Mix the ingredients using the food processor (about 10 seconds). If you want your dough flaky don't mix it until the texture is too fine. It's ok to see dots of butter or petits-suisses.
- Knead together gently to bring the dough together in a ball. Knead only to make the dough stick together and be smooth on the outside. If the dough is sticky, add a little flour until it does not stick to your hands or the surface on which you are kneading. If the dough is too dry, wet your fingers and knead a little more to bring the moisture to the dough. Continue in this fashion until you have a smooth dough that does not stick and is not too dry.
- Start by mixing the flour (keep about 1/4 cup for mixing/kneading stage) and salt (if you are using) in a bowl. Add the petits-suisses to the flour mixture. Cut the butter in small cubes and add them to the flour mixture.
- Mix all the ingredients together until you get a grainy texture such as cornmeal. If you want your dough flaky don't mix it until the texture is too fine. It's ok to see dots of butter or petits-suisses.
- Knead together gently with your hands on a clean surface with a little flour. Continue kneading gently just enough to make the dough stick together and be smooth on the outside. If the dough is sticky, add a little flour until it does not stick to your hands or the surface on which you are kneading. If the dough is too dry, wet your fingers and knead a little more to bring the moisture to the dough. Continue in this fashion until you have a smooth dough that does not stick and is not too dry.
By Food Processor and by Hand
- If you wish, cut the dough in half, making two balls of dough. You can flatten the balls into disks if you prefer as this will help the dough get cooler faster.
- Wrap each ball or disk of dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes. You can let the dough sit a few hours if you want to make it ahead of time. I've used dough up to 2-3 days after it had been made. See below for common instructions for hand and food processor.
- While the dough is in the refrigerator I usually prepare the filling (see below) and preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured smooth surface (I use a very large cutting board). Roll the dough until the desired thickness (about the thickness of a rim of a coffee cup). Try not to roll too thin.
- Use your dough according to the instructions of your recipes. Enjoy!