Crispy, melt-in-your-mouth layers of buttery pastry. Perfect for delicate pastries, topping for chicken pot pie, or turnovers. Having never made puff pastry before, I was a bit daunted – gluten free pastry can be crumbly and hard to roll at the best of times! But I have to say, this rolled out like a dream! It didn’t crack, it was uniform, and rolled out perfectly!
To get started, shape the butter into a 4″x4″ square, mix the flour, salt and water together to form a ball (my butter square seems a bit lumpy in the picture, only because I started with a hard pound of butter and had chopped it into small pieces to try and soften it faster. Then I mushed everything together into the square shape).
Use your hands to pull and shape the dough into a cross shape, with flaps at least 5″ long, and the center area at 4″x4″. Make sure the flaps are the same thickness (the center can be thicker).
Place the butter in the center, then fold over the flaps. Pressing the all the edges together to completely enclose the butter, so it doesn’t get squished out when you start rolling.
After you seal the butter up in the pastry, firmly ‘pounce’ (press) the rolling pin on the packet about 10 times all along its surface. Rotate the packet, and pounce it again. If you just started rolling the packet, you might break the seal on the edges. Pouncing it squishes everything down, and gets the butter adhering to the pastry around it.
On a well floured (tapicoa starch) surface, roll dough out to 18″x8″ and 1/2″ thick.
Fold into thirds (like folding a business letter), brushing the flour off the dough as you fold.
Pinch and press together all the edges, to make it a single packet again. Then rotate it 90°, and roll out again to 18″x8″. Rotating and the folding is what is going to create the buttery layers in the pastry. After rolling the dough out a second time, you should chill the dough for 15 minutes to prevent the butter form melting.
After rolling out, folding and rotating a total of six times, your dough should look this this. Smooth, crack-free, and beautiful. Now its ready to use!
Gluten Free Puff Pastry
- 2 cups less 2 Tbsp GF Flour Blend* I used our Cup4Cup-Style GF flour blend
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- ½ cup ice cold water or more as needed
- 1 cup butter cold but not hard
Additional tapioca flour for rolling dough
- In a large bowl, mix flour and salt together. Stir in the water until a dough forms, as more water if needed. Use hands to form a ball, if dough is too met and sticky and a bit more flour. Wrap ball in damp towel and place in fridge while you prepare the butter packet.
- Shape butter into a a 4"x4"x1" thick square. Chill so it is cold and firm, but not hard.
- Flour work surface with come tapioca flour. Flatten dough, and using hands, pull out and shape so each side has a 5” flap, and center is still 4”x4” – will look like a cross.
- Place butter packet in center of dough, and fold flaps over butter to create a package. Press corners and edges together to completely enclose butter.
- Use rolling pin to press down a few times in each directions. This will help butter to set in place. Flip packet over, dust with some tapioca flour.
- Press/roll out dough to roughly ½” thick and 18”x8”, pressing dough back together if breaks. Fold the top third to the center, then fold over on itself again (like folding a business letter). Brush off any flour and you fold, to reduce the amount of flour that’s gets incorporated.
- Press together edges, turn dough 90degrees, then roll out again to 18x8. Fold into thirds again and repair edges. Turn dough 90degrees then make a mark so you know which way to start rolling. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill dough for 15 minutes.
- Repeat the entire folding/rolling/rotating process four more times for a total of 6 turns. Chilling the dough after every second turn, this is to ensure the butter doesn’t get too soft and make the dough stick to the surface.
- Your dough should have gone from streaky looking (from the butter), to completely smooth and even colored/textured.
- Shape the dough into 8"x5"x1", then roll/cut out according to the recipe you're needing the puff pastry for. If you don't need it right away, cover with plastic wrap (I don't recommend rolling it up) and refrigerate. To use, remove from fridge and allow to soften for an hour at room temperature (easier to roll and doesn’t crack).
-If you aren’t going to use the dough that day, freeze it for later use: roll dough out to ¼” thick, place on a plastic lined baking sheet. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze flat. Once solid, remove from baking sheet and tightly wrap again. To thaw, unwrap and allow to warm on a floured surface. Make sure you don’t cut the dough when it’s frozen, as it will crimp the edges and prevent good rising.
Tips for Success:
- Use a very sharp knife or pizza wheel to cut the edges. The more the edges are squished, it will prevent the layers from rising up at that point.
- Do not re-roll your pastry. It will cancel out the layering effect (it will still be flaky, but not as flakey as before).
- After cutting for use in your recipe, freeze pastry on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes before baking (use a different baking sheet when ready to bake).
- Bake pastry on an ungreased cookie sheet, and sprinkle with a bit of cold water. This prevents the pastry from burning.
- If you are using small strips or shapes, once you have rolled out and cut the pieces, flip the pieces over and place on the baking sheet. This will give a better rise.
- To ‘glue’ to pieces of dough together, brush edges with water.
- For a shiny golden brown finish, brush with an egg wash. Don’t let it drip down the sides, or it will prevent rising.
- A hot oven is need for good rising. Preheat oven to 425°F, then reduce to the recipes’ temperature once you put the pastry in the oven. If you are cooking for longer than 20 minutes, reduce heat to 300°F and bake further to completely cook the dough.