I made this batch of puff pastry for the kids to use as the base for their Giant Cheese Straws. The recipe called for ready made patry but we can't have that around here!! The horror. I can just see my Granny with her rolling pin asking me why I would give my children inferior pastry. This recipe comes from her cookbook - published in 1932, when she was 10 and doing more than an equal share of the food prep for her family. Note that this vintage cookbook refers to puff pastry as 'puff paste'.
*Did I mention this book was published by The Procter & Gamble Co? Ha! Use butter or Becel!
First, sift the flour and salt together, then using two butter knives (or a snazzy pastry cutter), to cut in 2 tablespoons of the butter/Becel and add enough water (just a few drops at a time) until it holds together. Knead for a few minutes, cover and chill for about 10 minutes.
Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
...in a rectangle shape...
Put the rest of the butter/Becel 'softened and shaped into a circular piece' in the middle of half of the rectangle. Whoops! I spread it out without reading the recipe.
So, with the Becel in the middle of half of the rectangle of dough....
...now you cover it with the other half of the rectangle. Yup. Scared yet? I was.
Now, the recipe says to press the edges firmly to enclose as much air as possible and fold the right side over and the left side under. So you've got a folded blanket of otherwise normal dough - with a cup of butter mushed in the middle.
It doesn't say how long to chill it and since my Granny passed last summer I can't call with questions, so I assumed half an hour. Then take it out and roll, roll, roll. It's a little messy and a little squirty, so you may want to leave yours chilling a little longer!
The rest of this adventure doesn't photograph very well. As you're rolling it out, try to keep it shaped like a rectangle, and always roll it away from you. Now fold the ends toward the center, origami style, making three layers. Chill again. Roll out again. Chill again, and repeat the process 4 times. The recipe ends on this note: paste is better made the day before it is baked and should be icy cold when put in the oven. Phew.