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Nancy Silverton and Carolynn Carreño's puff pastry tips

From what style of butter to the best surface, tips from Nancy Silverton and Carolynn Carreño on making rough puff pastry.

By Nancy Silverton and Carolynn Carreño

December 22, 2012

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There are lots of little tricks that will help you make a great rough puff pastry. Here are some of the most important ones:

Use European-style butter (I use Plugrá), which has a lower water content.

Make sure the butter is at the right consistency before you begin folding it into the détrempe to make the puff pastry.

Work in a cool kitchen on a cool work surface.

Make sure your work surface is big enough for the task.

Ideally, your work surface will not be too high, as you will need to apply firm, even pressure to the dough as you roll it out.

Marble is ideal for making puff pastry. Using a marble slab on your dining table could be more effective than your kitchen counter.

Have a bowl of flour nearby for continually dusting your rolling pin and work surface.

Have a bowl of ice water nearby to dip your fingers into as you work, in order to keep the butter and dough cold.

Square off the edges of the dough every step of the way.

Handle the butter and the dough as little as possible.

Make sure the dough is at the called-for temperature and pliability before moving forward with the next step.

If at any point the butter begins to poke through the dough, patch it up with flour.

If the butter pokes through, make sure there is none on your rolling pin, and dust the rolling pin with more flour before using it again.

Make sure you always have a well-dusted rolling pin and work surface so the dough doesn't stick to either.

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