It's Sooo Good! | Hungarian Puff Pastry (Pâte Feuilletée)

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Puff pastry dough (Authentic hungarian recipe)

I'll tell you what you can put there :
  • 200g unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 150 mL cold water
  • 200g of butter + 50g more flour
  • 1 Tbs rum or vinegar
Click to enlarge
Puff pastry recipe example of variety of shapes
Puff pastry can be cut into a variety of shapes to make sweet desserts like my turnovers, or savory snacks like my burekas!

I'll tell you what you can do:

This is the recipe for the puff pastry dough that I used to make both savory snacks like my shitake-feta burekas, but also for desserts like apple turnovers or sour cherry strudel. Puff pastry is really an English euphemism; the French call it pâte feuilletée but the German word “butterteig” gives you a better idea of its main ingredient! The recipe here based on my Hungarian mother-in-law’s recipe but is supplemented by some measurements from Rick Rodgers’ excellent Kaffeehaus book. The secret is the rum, which gives the dough more flakiness!

In a large bowl mix the flour and salt together, and make a well in the center. In a cup, mix the rum and cold water. Now incorporate this liquid mix into the well, a little at a time, to make the dough. You can add a little more water if necessary to incorporate all the flour. Knead the dough briefly to make it even, but realize that the dough will still be a bit sticky and rough-looking. Roll it out into a 15cm (6 in) square and cover well with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

For the butter mixture, cut the butter into little ½-inch cubes. Combine it well with an extra 50g of flour. Then place the mixture in plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin, shape it into a square a bit smaller than the dough (about 12cm or 5.5in). Stick this in the refrigerator if necessary. Remember, we want the dough and butter to be about the same temperature (60ºF) when we work with them.

With your dough cool and rested, roll it out onto a flour-dusted surface, making a 20cm (8 in) square. Place the unwrapped butter-square in the center, as a diamond inscribed in the dough square.

Puff pastry butter inscribed in dough

Mark the perimeter of the butter-square on the dough and remove the butter square. Now roll out the dough from each mark using a rolling pin, making “petals”.

Puff pastry recipe 'Petals'

Replace the butter-square in the center of the dough and fold the petals over, covering it completely. If some butter seems to be peeking out, throw on some flour to cover it up.

Puff pastry recipe 'Butter wrap'

Rolling & Folding

Read these instructions and study the photos a couple of times until you can visualize it in your head:

Single turn: Roll out the dough into a tall rectangle, twice as long as it is wide (about 36x18cm or 14x7in).

Puff pastry recipe 'dough rolled out'

Brush off any extra flour (extra flour hardens the dough) and keep a proper shape with nice right-angled corners. Now fold the dough like a business letter: fold the top third down and the bottom third up, making a three-layer rectangle about 12x18cm (4.5x7in).

Puff pastry recipe 'Business letter fold'

Turn the dough to the left, so that the long side is now top to bottom.

Puff pastry recipe 'turn'

Double turn: Dust the dough with flour and roll it out again into the long rectangle (36x18cm or 14x7in). Brush off the extra flour and fix the right angles. Now fold the dough in this manner: fold the top quarter down, and then the bottom quarter up. You’ll have a crease in the center where they meet. Fold the dough one more time at this crease creating a 4-layer rectangle 9x18cm (3.5x7in).

Puff pastry recipe 'double fold'

Flatten the dough a bit with your hands and make it even. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Once your dough is rested and cooled, dust it again with flour and perform another single turn and another double turn. Finally, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator (or at least 4 hours).

Using your puff pastry dough

When you’re ready to use the dough (within 3 days), pull it out of the refrigerator and let it thaw a little bit so that you can roll it out easily. Your dough is still in its folded brick form, so you’ll need to roll it out into a giant rectangle, making the dough as thin as your recipe calls for (usually 1/8” thick).



If you can use European-style butter, it will come out better because there is less water content.

You have to keep the dough and butter cold at all times, around 60ºF is supposedly ideal—that’s warmer than the refrigerator, but less than room temperature. If it’s too warm, the butter melts into the dough and if it’s too cold, it breaks the dough apart.

The dough’s shape is very important because you need to keep folding it evenly, so keep the edges at right angles throughout as best you can. Remember that puff pastry “puffs” because you are creating tens of layers of dough and butter by folding. In the oven the butter boils, creating steam and raising the successive layers.



Best of luck,


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