Use this home made puff pastry recipe for pie lids, sausage rolls and favourite desserts. The effort that goes into this puff pastry is worth it.
135g unsalted butter, cut into 1.5 cm cubes, chilled 675g plain flour 20g salt 20ml vinegar, chilled 300ml water, chilled 500g unsalted butter, extra, for laminating, chilled
Remove the cubed butter from the refrigerator 20 minutes before you start mixing.
Using an electric mixer, put the butter, flour and salt into the bowl of the mixer and pulse on high for about 30 seconds or until the mixture resembles sand.
Combine the vinegar with the chilled water and add to the bowl, pulsing in about 3-4 bursts until you have smooth dough.
Flatten the pastry into a round, flat disc about 2 cm thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
Before laminating, or folding, the pastry, remove the extra butter from the refrigerator — it should be cold but malleable.
Use a rolling pin to gently pound the butter between sheets of baking paper into a 20cm flat square about 1cm thick.
Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to make a 20 x 40 cm rectangle. Place the butter at one end of the pastry and fold the other end over to completely enclose the butter.
Turn the pastry 90 degrees and begin to roll it away from you in even strokes.
When you have a 20 x 90 cm rectangle, fold in both ends to meet in the middle.
Fold the pastry in half again to close it, as if you were closing a book
Dust the pastry lightly with flour, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This completes the first fold.
Repeat this folding process three more times to make four folds in total.
Each time you roll the pastry, place it on the bench with the 'book spine' edge running at 90 degrees to the front of the bench on the left-hand side; this will ensure you are rotating the pastry 90 degrees each time you roll and fold it.
Refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes between each fold to allow the gluten to relax.
Remove the pastry from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you wish to roll it.
Sprinkle a little flour on the bench and over the rolling pin. Working from the centre of the pastry, gently roll it away from you, then turn the pastry about 45 degrees and roll out again.
Repeat this process until you have a flat rectangular or square disc about 5mm thick.
Refrigerate the pastry for at least 30 minutes before cutting into the desired shapes.
When cutting, drag a sharp knife across the pastry rather than using a downward action.
note Any unused pastry can be rolled out, cut into the desired shapes and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months, covered in plastic wrap. Bake directly from the freezer