Puff Pastry: Basic Recipe


Puff Pastry: Basic Recipe

It’s true you can always buy frozen puff pastry at any grocery store. But, in less than the time it takes for the frozen puff pastry to thaw, you can make your own from scratch. I have a simple recipe I learned at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, that is the one I turn to time and again. I just adapted it to make a larger quantity and also to give you a bit of a more detailed description.

The key to making good puff pastry dough, or any flaky dough for that matter, is keeping everything very cold (well the flour and salt are fine at room temp!). You’ll want to cut your butter into chunks while being very cold.

Begin by simply placing your flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add your chunks of butter and pulse several times (about 10 times) until the butter chunks are reduced to pieces about the size of peas. Feel free to use your hands to feel the mixture to estimate the size of the butter pieces.

Next, slowly pour in the water, make sure it’s very cold (I even put it in the freezer for a few minutes), while pulsing the mixture until a very crumbly dough forms. Here’s a photo of what your dough will look like when it’s ready to turn out…

Puff Pastry 1

Turn the crumbly dough out onto a lightly floured surface and carefully gather it together with your hands. Do not knead the dough, as we are actually trying not to form gluten strands.

Puff pastry “puffs” due to a series of rolling, turning, and folding the dough. After you’ve gathered your dough into a single piece, lightly flour a rolling pin and roll it into a somewhat triangular shape.

Now fold the two bottom ends inward to meet, and fold the top end down to make the dough resemble an envelope…

Puff Pastry 2

Once you have your envelope, turn the dough a quarter turn clockwise. Roll it out, again; this time into a rectangular shape. And fold the top and bottom edges in lengthwise to meet in the middle…

Then, fold the whole thing in half…

Puff Pastry 4

Now you’ll just turn the dough another quarter turn clockwise and repeat the whole rolling and folding process one more time. Triangle, fold, rectangle, fold, fold again: and you have homemade puff pastry! Wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and it’s ready to use.

Puff Pastry

1 1/2 pound puff pastry
Pati Jinich
Keyword: puff pastry, Recipe
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
It’s true you can always buy frozen puff pastry at any grocery store. But, in less than the time it takes for the frozen puff pastry to thaw, you can make your own from scratch. I have a simple recipe I learned at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, that is the one I turn to time and again. I just adapted it to make a larger quantity and also to give you a bit of a more detailed description.


  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 3/4 pound very cold butter, (3 sticks), cut into chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 3/4 cup very cold water

To Prepare

  • Place flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Add the chunks of butter and pulse a few times, until the butter is incorporated in large pieces (about the size of a pea).
  • Slowly pour in the cold water while pulsing until a very crumbly dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a clean, lightly floured workspace and gently push it together with your hands – do not knead.
  • Rolling and folding the dough: 1. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough into a roughly triangular shape. Use your hands to fold the two bottom tips of the triangle inward and the top down, like an envelope.
  • 2. Turn the dough a quarter-turn clockwise and roll out, again, into a rectangle this time. Fold the two ends lengthwise into the middle to meet. Then fold the dough in half across.
  • Turn the dough another quarter-turn clockwise, and repeat steps 1 and 2 above one more time, turning the dough a quarter-turn clockwise each time.
  • Wrap the puff pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before using.

56 comments on “Puff Pastry: Basic Recipe

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  1. Dear Pati:
    Thank you so much for your wonderful program! Your food brings extra zest to our lives! We love it a lot!
    Also, it is nice that we could get acquainted with Mexico’s geography and history in such a details.
    I have a question: I could not find one particular recipe. Once I was watching your program – you was cooking some kind of fruit cake, using layers of dried white bread slices and chunks of yellow mango and some other fruits. What was the name of this pastry? Somehow my search on this site yields nothing so far.
    Thank you, Pati!
    I am looking forward for more of your programs.

  2. Dear Pati:
    Love your recipes, love your program!
    Can I use your puff pastry recipe to make croissants? I tried to make them with puff pastry from the supermarket, but I think I rolled the pastry too thin and they were raw in the middle.
    What is the right thickness to achieve nice ones?
    I am from Veracruz, my daughter is CHILANGA like you 😊!

  3. Hello Pati,

    I have always wanted to learn how to bake a few pieces of Pan Dulce, Campechanas are one of my favorites. I live in Kansas City, do you know of any place near that may teach classes. I will try your recipe, but I would love a hands on class to get it right.

    thank you,

  4. PattiThis question is not about puff pastry, but about your recipe for the chocolate tres leche cake (sp) you made with almond flour and everything was put in blender. I cannot find that recipe anywhere. Please help.

  5. Hola Richard

    The name is Campechanas and it is a typical flaky piece with caramelized sugar on top, it comes from Patzcuaro Michoacan

  6. I live in Overland Park Kansas and would love to see all your shows. If and when I see you on T.V. I am so happy and want to see you everyday! I never know when you are on so when I by chance watch you it is a treat. For a while on PBS I new the time you came on and tried to watch but it changed.
    Thank you for this recipe for Puff Pastry it is one of my favorite to work with and enjoy.
    Do you have a recipe using whole grains?

    Best Regards,


  7. At a Mexican bakery in Zillah ,Washington I used to buy a rather plain pastry I liked very much. It was very flaky and the only filling was a little sugar and maybe a little cinnamon. It was folded up the size of a small envelope with multiple layers and was more like fillo than puff pastry. I can’t find this anywhere. I wonder if you have a name for it and maybe have a recipe.

    I asked at La Glorias in Bellingham WA and they seemed to recognize it and said they used to make and sell them, but they were not popular and were discontinued.

    I appreciate your site very much.

    Thank You

    1. Richard, I think it may be Morelianas if they were super crispy and crucnhy or Moños if they were soft. Will try to blog about them soon so I can test a recipe for you!

  8. I know this is a silly question, but I don’t have a food processor and was wondering if I could make this without one.

  9. I have been wanting to make meat empanadas for my Argentinean husband and have tried thousands of recipes online for a good dough recipe and to no avail. Pero encontre la tuya!!! Voy a probarlo hoy mismo. Siempre compro la masa hecha en los supermercados latinos “empanadas” pero no me gustan mucho y ademas sale caro!!! Probare tu receta!! Gracias

      1. Patti!!!!! AMAZING RECIPE for puff pastry. It was a hit!! It was absolutely scrumptious! Thank you!!!! Gracias!!!! Ahora a superar la prueba maxima….hoy lo hare para mis suegros que nos visitan desde Argentina!!! Seguro que les va a encantar!!! Gracias mil!!!!

  10. Dear Pati-Looking through your cook book, we could not find your recipe for Carnitas. Is it listed under another name or in a new cook book. Love your book and recipes. Stan ana Barbara

  11. G’day! I LOVED this recipe, TRUE!
    I have made Puff pastry before, but was ALWAYS “an effort” to do!
    Your recipe was “easy, peasy” and came out GREAT!
    This recipe I HIGHLY RECOMMEND as it is simply GREAT!

    I made Sugarless Pear Jam and Brie Puff Pastry Bites On A Stick; blog post will go LIVE our time tomorrow, TRUE!
    Would love for you to stop by and let me know what you think too! 🙂

    Cheers! Joanne

  12. Hola justamente hace unos dias mi esposo me preguntaba si podia intentar hacer unos volovanes de atun. Ya ke somos de veracruz y como tu lo dijiste este tipo de comida es tipica de mi tierra. Asi ke esta receta me cayo como anillo al dedo. Solo ke tengo una duda. La masa para hacer croissants ke venden en el super es el mismo tipo de masa o es parecida a la ke preparaste. Espero ke me puedas contestar. Gracias. Nota: la verdad no tenia el gusto de conocerte pero con esta receta y la del pastel de tres leches la verdad me he convertido en una fanatica tuya.

    1. Saray: que bueno que me encontraste! La masa que yo uso es Hojaldre o Puff Pastry. La deben de tener en la parte del congelador del super, si no encuentras, si puedes usar de Croissant ya que es muy parecida y también te va a quedar riquísimo.

  13. Hola Pati.
    Gracias por esta maravillosa reseta,no sabe cuanto tiempo tengo buscando,esta reseta mi abuelito nos compraba estas galletas cuando iban a Puebla,
    Y tengo bellos recuerdos de estas galletas gracias

  14. Hola Pati!
    me encanta tu programa!
    soy de Monterrey y vivo ahorita en Iowa. Como vivo tan lejos de casa, el ver tu programa me trae muy bonitos recuerdos de nuestro hermoso país. Ayer prepare las empanaditas de masa de hojaldre y les encantaron a mis hijos y a mi esposo también!
    Te felicito! por tener un excelente programa de cocina.

  15. Patti, I always enjoy your show. Today we watched your chimmichanga recipe (just can’t spell it). I especially enjoyed your latin background music and watched for music credits but did not see any listed. It would be great if you could add that to your credit list… in the meantime if you know some of the general artist you use, please name a few so I can check them out on I-Tunes. Thank you

    1. Hi MJ, Thank you so much for watching the show! The theme song “Dame” is by Domingo Siete; maybe you will be able to find him on I-tunes.

  16. Hola Pati,
    I LOVE YOUR SHOW! I have always been a fan of watching cooking shows, and I,ve seen many chefs and cooks doing “Mexican Dishes”. As a true mexican I’ve always wondered, where or who taught them those recipes?, because they dont look like any I’ve ever eaten, until you came along, you have been the only one who truly cooks like an authentic mexican. I really enjoy all the history you teach us along with each recipe, muchas gracias,adios.

  17. Pati,

    I think I have fallen in love! I’ve made this puff pastry for the first time tonight and used leftover picadillo as filling…I’ve never had such a delicious dough as this.

    I’ve made many,many empanadas and tried many,many recipes for the dough, and this one is by far my favorite. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!

    And, by the way, your show is fantastic as well! 🙂

  18. This looks really good.

    Butter costs a lot. How would substituting a solid shortening or lard work?

    If I use a differnt (and wetter filling) should I cut small vent holes in the top with a knife?

  19. I can’t wait to try this….i’ve always been intimidated by trying to make dough…your recipe looks easy…i will let you know. caio!

  20. Please return your show to Houston, Texas. I’ve not been able to access it the past couple of weeks, in the evenings.

    Thank you for the background/history of your recipes, and making authentic Mexican food with simple, easy explanations of the process. Good Mexican food is usually time intensive but you make it seem so simple.

    Thank you,
    Nila Middleton
    Houston, Tx.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Nila! Have you tried reaching out to your local station? Maybe they changed the time or are planning on running Series again sometime soon. Wait for Season 3 soon!

  21. Pati,
    Thank you for all you do & please keep it up. I enjoy Mexican food so much but after having the same menu at cafes I very much enjoy your new foods eaten by Mexico some I’ve never heard of until you came in my home.
    Jeff & Kathy