Puff Pastry Recipe

puff pastry dough


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon salted cold butter, divided
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour


  1. Combine 2 cups flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Cut 3 tablespoons of the butter into the flour mixture until small crumbs form.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, and ice water and mix with a wire whisk.
  4. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until a dough forms. You may need to add more ice water or more flour to make a firm but workable dough.
  5. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is perfectly smooth. This should take about 5 minutes.
  6. Press the dough into a round, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill while you prepare the butter.
  7. Cut the butter into 1/2" pieces and place in a food processor with 2 teaspoons flour. Pulse until combined. You can also put the butter on the kitchen counter and sprinkle it with the flour. Using a rolling pin, pound the butter and flour together until it is combined.
  8. Place the butter mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and form it into a 4" square. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  9. Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll with a rolling pin until it is 8" square.
  10. Remove the butter from the fridge and place it in the center of the square of dough.
  11. Fold the corners of the dough into the center to make a package. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal.
  12. You are now going to make "turns," which is what pastry chefs call folding and rolling out the dough. Turn the package of dough and butter over so the seam is on the bottom. Roll it to a 12" x 6" rectangle.
  13. Think of the dough as divided into three equal parts. Fold one third of the dough over the center, and then fold the other third over first third, just like you fold a piece of paper before you put it into an envelope.
  14. Turn the dough 45° and roll it to a 12" x 6" rectangle again. Fold it again. That's the second turn.
  15. Put the dough into a baggie, seal it, and chill for 1 hour.
  16. Repeat the rolling and folding twice, chilling the dough for 30 minutes after each second turn. You will have turned the dough six times, creating many layers of the butter and the dough. If some butter starts to come through the dough, just sprinkle it with some flour and make your next fold to enclose that spot.
  17. Now put the dough into a baggie again, seal it, and chill overnight. From there, you can proceed how your specific recipe dictates.

Serves 4 to 6

Variation and Tips

This dough can be used to make croissants, pastries, pie crusts, and to top pot pies.

  • Croissant
    In the morning or the next day, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • To make croissants with this dough, roll it out to a 12" circle and cut into 6 wedges. Roll the wedges, starting with the wide end, to a point. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the croissants are puffed and golden brown.
  • This dough can also be used to make a pie crust. Roll it out and fit it into a pie plate. Proceed as directed in the pie recipe.
  • To make pastries, roll out the dough to a 12" square. Cut into four 6" squares. Fill each square with 1 to 2 tablespoons jam or custard. Fold the corners of the dough over the filling to meet in the middle and press gently. Bake at 400° for 12 to 18 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.
  • To add a nice shine to your pastries, brush them with some beaten egg white before they go into the oven.
Puff Pastry Recipe