Video from Otago Polytechnic on how to make puff pastry.

How to make puff pastry was a complete mystery to me whilst growing up, even though it is one of the few things I’ve always enjoyed in a myriad of foods from the savoury to the sweet. Puff pastry beef pie and chicken pie popped into the microwave oven was something I quite often had for lunch after school in Singapore. In Sweden smördeg as it is called with fruit and custard, drizzled with icing sugar is a relish to have at breakfast or at tea time.

Puff pastry dough with a cross on top.

The base dough for puff pastry, marked with a cross on top, ready for rolling out.

Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson and Cheryl M. Cordeiro Nilsson for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 2010

As I’ve discovered what many others who make puff pastry have known, it takes more patience and time to make puff pastry than skill. Puff pastry has a much higher fat content than other types of pastries, using an alternating folding and rolling technique to create the layers of dough with air trapped between them. The pastry puffs up during the baking process and generally makes anything you serve on it / with it look fantastic!

Sördeg recept, puff pastry, placing butter on dough.

Placing the butter on the rolled out dough.

The average time to turn out a batch of puff pastry is ca. 4 hours (some recipes call for 3 days) because of how long it takes to incorporate the butter into the layers of the pastry, with refrigeration time.

I use this simple recipe from BBC Good Food, one that uses lard because I like the eventual texture of the pastry that comes out. I also double the weight of the ingredients in order to get a larger batch of puff pastry, ready for freezing and use at any other time.


450g plain flour
pinch of salt
60g lard
300 ml oz cold water (this varies depending on the dough!
300g unsalted butter

Below are the rest of the pictures, step-by-step from the making of my batch of puff pastry.

Smördeg recept, enveloping the butter into the dough for puff pastry.

Enveloping the butter into the dough for puff pastry.

Smördeg recept, pinching the envelope close in puff pastry.

Pinching the envelope closed, so that the butter doesn’t seep out the sides of the dough when rolling.

Smördeg recept, first turn in puff pastry.

Marking the dough after first turn. You’ll need six turns to the puff pastry.

Smördeg recept, after several turns, a double fold in puff pastry.

From the second or third turn, you’ll be able to achieve a double fold.

Smördeg recept, done its final turn, ready for use. Puff Pastry.

Ready for final refrigeration and use.

Hemgjorde smördeg, recept. Puff pastry, ready for keeps.

The way I keep my puff pastry in the freezer, all wrapped up in plastic.

So now that we have the puff pastry here at home, we’ll see what comes out of it in the cooking and baking!