Ham & Cheese Puff Pastry
I love laminated dough. Croissant, tart, puff…you name it. There is something special that happens when you lovingly fold the dough over the butter and roll them into one. Once made, these kinds of creations are the perfect canvas for culinary creativity. Sweet. Savory. Both. None. the world is wide open. When you see the layers bloom in the oven so will your heart.
We’re packing up the house and getting ready to move. Daunting. Exciting. Lots of work to do, so of course I procrastinated by making a bunch of puff pastry while I was supposed to be washing windows. (You have to leave something to do during the bake time, right?) It was my ode to the oven that has kept us fueled on roasted roots all winter. It was my sendoff to the counter tops that have held our coffee cups, soup bowls and caught a few tears.
Here they’re packed with red onion, ham, sharp cheddar and pickles, but fill them with whatever you’re craving.
P U F F // P A S T R Y
*5 cups of flour (I only use Carolina Ground pastry flour!)
* 2 cups water, or as needed
* 2 cups butter at room temperature
*2.5 teaspoon salt
Combine flour, water and salt to make the dough. Press into a square. Allow to rest, chilled, for 20 minutes. (You may need more of less of the full 2 cups of water depending on your flour.)
While the dough is resting gather your butter, a piece of parchment paper and your rolling pin. Place the butter in between 2 sheets of parchment and pound in to a flat disk. Chill for 20 minutes.
When both the dough and butter are rested and ready lightly dust your working surface with flour and put your favorite song on. (It helps, I swear! Here’s mine: I’m On Fire ) Place the dough down and roll to about a 1/2 inch thick. Place the disk of butter in the center and fold the dough over so the butter is completely encased. Roll out the dough, careful to not tear it and expose the butter. Fold into thirds, bringing both ends to meet in the middle. Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll out again. Repeat this process up to 6 times. It’s a good idea to stop at 3 “turns” and allow the dough to rest and chill.
Once chilled your dough is ready for any kind of puff pastry expression. For most creations, roll the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness and have your oven heated to at least 400 degrees.