Learn how to make inverse puff pastry from scratch with an easy to follow video tutorial! My inverse puff pastry makes the flakiest, most buttery pastry imaginable. The results will be better than store-bought!
Flakey layers rich with butter! Le sigh of joy
A bit of work and patience will yield almost endless possibilities. Think of inverse puff pastry as the ultimate social distancing technique!
Well until you start the baking and then all your neighbors will be lining up at your door (6 feet apart, of course) for your buttery, crispy goodness.
But what are you going to do with all this perfectly laminated puff pastry?! In two easy steps you can ensure you always have perfect puff at the ready!
Step 1: Freeze it in sheets between parchment paper and wrap it really, really well.
Step 2: Pull out one sheet at a time whenever a need arises.
What kind of need? Thank you for asking! You could use it as a topping for chicken pot pie, make fruit turnovers, cheese straws, tarte tatin, fruit tarts, savory stuffed cheese and vegetable bites, mille feuille, and the list goes on!
Fear not, I will be using up all the puff pastry in my freezer (and there is a lot) over the next few months and will be taking you guys along for the ride!
Let’s talk nerdy details for a minute! (You know this is the part that makes me all giddy!)
BUT WHAT MAKES IT PUFF?
All the flakey layers in puff pastry are made by lamination. Through a series of folds you create individual layers of butter and pastry dough. When the puff pastry hits the hot oven the butter melts, the water in the butter evaporates and creates steam, and that steam pushes the pastry layers apart. Voilà! Layered, buttery awesomeness.
So, your deductive powers are right, and all that flakiness is hinging on two things: creating those layers and maintaining them.
The layers are initially created by folding a butter square (beurrage) around dough (détrempe), to create one tidy packet (pâton) before rolling it out and folding the dough. The inverse part is because in this recipe the butter is on the outside and the dough is inside, whereas traditional puff pastry has the butter inside.
Inverse puff pastry can be a little tricky during combination and the first fold but after that it is much easier to work with than traditional puff. The resulting pastry is generally flakier and more consistent.
In inverse puff pastry the beurrage is made by combining a lot of butter with a little flour, which will keep the butter from melting as quickly particularly in creating the pâton and your first several folds. Think of it as cheap layer insurance.
After the butter and dough are combined, they go through a series of folds. There are two types of folds in the pastry world: single (envelope) folds or double (book) folds. In terms of laminated doughs, folds are often referred to as “turns”. The total number and types of folds will determine how many layers your resulting puff pastry has. This is often a highly guarded secret because without this key, you will never get the same results even with the recipe.
For puff pastry I like to use 6 single folds done in batches of two.
Never try to do more than 2 turns at a time. The gluten in the dough will contract and make getting the pastry thin enough difficult or impossible, and the butter will get too soft and warm and will work into the dough rather than maintain its integrity. Integrity in pastry is just as important as in life. You heard it here first.
Both creating and maintaining the layers depends on keeping the butter cold yet pliable. If you roll cold butter, it will break and sad, uneven layers will result; however, if you do not chill your dough, the dough will become unyielding and uncooperative.
The most important thing in pastry, and this especially holds true with laminated doughs, is to pay attention to your dough. You need to know it intimately, understand its struggles and frustrations, so that you can react immediately and give it what it needs. Dough can never be forced, but you can learn the tricks to controlling it so that it remains cooperative and happy. If the dough is shrinking, chill it letting it relax in the refrigerator. If the butter is hard, wait or learn how to manipulate it at each stage so that it works closer to your timeline. (My video can help)
If I could distill everything into one snippet of advice, it would be: Do not rush and keep it cold and flat! If not, the lamination will suffer and then you just put all that work in for nothing. And that is truly sad. We don’t do sadness at AHC. We do butter. Loads of butter.
Disclaimer: This recipe is by weight and before I get a million angry comments, I want you to know that it took me months of testing minute changes in a dank, hot prep kitchen to arrive at this recipe. The tiniest adjustments of butter in the dough or in the beurrage do make all the difference. You can convert it to volume, but it won’t be as accurate.Print
So you like making dough? Try my flaky pie crust!
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE:
- KitchenAid Stand Mixer: https://amzn.to/2xMFCx8
- Clear Ingredient Bowls: https://amzn.to/34P3qwF
- My Favorite Bench Scraper: https://amzn.to/2VKDNZE
- My Favorite Bowl Scraper: https://amzn.to/3buhgXW
- Parchment Paper Sheets: https://amzn.to/2XWM3IZ
- Half Sheet Pans: https://amzn.to/2VNiHd4
- French Rolling Pin: https://amzn.to/3cvG95q