I've been yammering on and on about Brie en croute and Elephant Ears, offering recommendations for both store-bought puff pastry and homemade. Naturally, the store-bought variety hardly stacks up against the homemade real deal, but that doesn't mean you can't cut corners once in a while. If you're hosting a party with little time to prepare for it, by all means, buy the dough. It isn't expensive, anyway. But if you would like to make your own or perhaps even just have an understanding for how puff pastry dough is made, read on.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 cup (or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed (about 1/2″ cubes) Pinch of kosher salt 1/2 cup cold water 1 egg, beaten (for eggwash)
1. Sift the flour. Add to standing mixer with hook attachment, mixing on low. Slowly add the cubed unsalted butter. Add a pinch of kosher salt. Add the cold water. Let mix until most of the dough is clumped onto the hook. There should be visible chunks of butter in the dough.
2. Sprinkle your wooden board (or clean counter top) with flour. Gently roll out the dough into a rectangle, to about 1/4″ thickness.
3. Arrange the dough long-ways (like a placemat). Fold up the left and right sides to the center (like window shutters). Then fold it in half like a book.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to rest, about 1 hour or even overnight.
5. Roll it out into a rectangle again. Repeat Step 3. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to rest, about 30 minutes to an hour. Repeat once more.
6. It’s done! After you have rolled and folded your dough 2-3 times, it’s done. Allow it to chill and rest another 30 minutes to an hour before starting the Brie en croute.