Blitz: quick puff pastry.

ALRIGHT. Everyone loves puff pastry, but legend has it that it takes 12 hours to make, barefoot, uphill in the snow both ways, under the light of a full moon on the third Wednesday, and requires a single tear from a young male unicorn in order to properly rise.

Lies. All of them.

Fact: I don't make traditional puff pastry (I almost never remember that thing about the light of the full moon, and then it's ANOTHER WASTED UNICORN TEAR). If I'm making puff pastry, it's a blitz and it takes me maybe an hour to make, start to finish. Probably less. Depends on what else I'm doing.

I know, do you want to take a minute and sit down? It's ok, go ahead. I'll wait.

Ok. First thing I'm going to tell you to do is to get yourself ready. Mis that stuff out you guys, because you need to keep the butter cold, and your water ICE cold, so get your butter chopped then stick it in the fridge while you measure out your flour, salt and water.

these are your blitz players. from left: AP flour, lots of butter, fine crystal salt and ice cold water
Here's where I tell you something that might alarm you: I've taken to measuring ingredients by weight and so I only use a kitchen scale. I don't think in terms of cups, I think in terms of ounces and pounds, BUT you can do one of two things: convert this to cups (there are 8 ounces in 1 cup) OR get yourself a $20 kitchen scale. I'm going to talk your ear off one day about digital kitchen scales. Here's a preview: if you like to cook or bake, a kitchen scale is going to give you a much more consistent product since the size of a "cup" can vary, but 8 ounces of flour will always be 8 ounces of flour. This recipe will be by weight. If you're currently weeping over your keyboard, let me know and I'll convert the recipe. Otherwise, onward my brave little blitz makers!

I'm making half a recipe of blitz for this post, later, I'm going to actually MAKE something with it. So you're going to get a full recipe, start to finish. Ok, you ready? Blitz. Here we go:

17.5 oz flour
14 oz butter, chopped into small pieces
1/2 oz salt
8 oz ice cold water (give or take, you may not need all 8 ounces- you don't want this dough to be too wet)

This first part is incredibly complicated, so pay VERY CLOSE attention: in a mixer with the dough hook attached, dump everything into the bowl.

haha, just kidding, that's as easy as it gets in pastry!

Mix the flour, salt, butter and water on medium until they are just barely combined. The chunks of butter will be about grape size, like so:

DON'T OVER MIX, you want this dough to be a shaggy mess, just barely holding itself together. The rest of the blending you will do as you roll the dough. So, when the butter is about grape sized, and the flour is still pretty loose, go ahead and turn the dough out onto a floured surface.

look at that gorgeous hot mess!
Form a rectangle-ish shaped mound with the dough, and roll it out to a 1/4 in thick rectangle. Like so:

Then you're going to do one turn. Fold the bottom third up, then fold the top third down, and turn the dough so that the seam runs along the right side, like a book.

bottom third up

top third down

turn like a book
That is ONE turn. You're going to repeat this process five more times (for 6 turns total)- this is what gives you all of your flaky layers. So here we go, second turn: roll your dough into another long rectangle, about 1/4 in thick, fold the bottom third up, fold the top third down, and turn so that the seam runs along the right side.

it's starting to look more like dough I made on purpose, isn't it?
Do this a third time, and a fourth time, each time making sure that the sides and corners are lining up as straight as possible- these will be your layers- then stop. Wrap it in plastic wrap, put it in the fridge to give the butter a chance to cool again. If at any time you think your butter is getting too melty, stop and stick the dough in the fridge. I stopped after three turns, because my kitchen was warm and the butter seemed too soft (the dough was really sticky).

Take a break, mark how many turns you've completed so that you don't forget, then come back to it in about 20 minutes.

When you pull the dough out of the fridge, complete the remaining turns to get yourself to 6 turns. Then? You're done. You just made puff pastry.


In the next post, I'll show you what I made with this dough (hint: it involves pesto and strawberries).

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