Besides giving up bread, puff pastry is one member of the gluten family I’ve sorely missed. Then I recently discovered Bob’s Red Mill GF-pie crust and had an aha moment. So I dusted the cobwebs from the rolling-pin. Donned the apron, and with visions of apple galettes (see recipe), beignets, palmiers, and flakey Napoleons dancing in my head, I set out to conquer two birds with one stone: kitchen-test GF-puff pastry and a vegan variation using coconut oil instead of butter. And these were my results. Both worked effectively in the baking process, although GF flour does present some challenges in rolling. Did it affect the structure of the dough? No. What gives puff pastry it’s magic is a combination of fat, regardless of what kind you use; so long as it shares a similar melting structure as butter, in addition to the rolling and folding; although I found the pastry made with coconut oil to be greasy. The cold fat incorporated, while baking, melts and expands, causing steam to hydraulically lift the air pockets and create the delicate layers.
Puff pastry is made in two parts that are integrated into the first stage of rolling. If you can roll pie crust, then puff pastry isn’t that far of a stretch. With puff pastry bear in mind that, although it appears delicate and fragile when baked, it’s just dough. It isn’t something you make in a day. I don’t plan my day around puff pastry. In between, it’s a 4-hour nap, I go about my day. I view rolling pastry as a Zen-like experience. Just me, the rolling-pin, and the dough. And if it takes a week to roll it, well, then that’s 15-minutes a day I dedicate to dough mediation.
Recipe notes: Because puff pastry contains a high-fat content, it’s best to keep it well chilled. When rolling, be sure the work surface and rolling-pin are well dusted with flour. If the dough becomes too soft too quickly, put it back in the refrigerator to firm. Active prep time 1-1/2hrs. Yields two 9″ pie sheets. Can be kept frozen for up to 6-months. Apple galette yields 8-servings. Difficulty level for puff pastry: Moderate/advanced
- 1-pkg Bob’s Red Mill GF-pie crust mix
- 12oz unsalted butter or organic, triple filtered coconut oil*
- 1-cup ice water
- 1 1/2-tsp lemon juice
For Dough Part:
- 1-pkg pie crust mix
- 4-oz ( 1-stick) cold (preferably frozen, unsalted butter cut into small pieces, or coconut oil*
- 1-cup ice water
- 1 1/2-tsp lemon juice
If using butter:
- While preparing the dough part, leave the remaining 8-oz (2) sticks of butter at room temperature, making it easier to form the butter part.
- Place softened butter on plastic wrap, cover, and shape into 4×6” flat rectangle. Refrigerate overnight.
*If using coconut oil reduce by half:
- Spoon 1/2-cup of coconut oil onto plastic wrap and form into a flat rectangle (as seen in picture (1) below for next day) approx. 6×4 inch.
- Measure the remaining 1/4-cup of coconut oil, spoon onto plastic wrap and form into a rectangular cube, like a cube of butter. Refrigerate both overnight.
- When ready to use, cut the 2-0z cube into small pieces, and freeze while you prepare other ingredients. Follow the directions below for assembling the dough part.
- In Cuisinart food processor combine flour mix and (1) stick (4-oz) cold butter or coconut oil, cut into small pieces.
- Pulse on-off till flour mix becomes pea-size crumbles.
- With the food processor running, slowly add ice water and lemon juice to form the dough.
- Scrape out onto lightly floured work surface and form dough into a ball.
- Cover with plastic wrap and shape into a square. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove butter and flour part from the refrigerator.
- Place dough part on a floured work surface, lightly dust dough and rolling-pin with flour.
- Roll flour part into 8×12” rectangle
- Place butter/coconut oil rectangle in the center of the dough and fold the dough over and seal ends.
- Re-dust work surface with flour, flip the dough over seam side down.
- Dust dough, rolling-pin, and roll out; periodically flipping and dusting with flour to prevent sticking.
- Continue rolling to 10×13″ rectangle. This step is called a double roll. The first roll is to stretch the dough, the second is to incorporate the butter. After this step, 4-single rolls remain.
- Once the double roll is completed, fold length ends of the dough into the center then fold again like a book. Don’t be concerned with ragged edges or get discouraged if your rectangle isn’t perfect; you can trim on the final roll.
- Rotate 180 degrees and fold one end to the center and fold the end over bringing the dough back to a square.
- Cover with plastic wrap
- press 2-thumbprints into dough marking the double and for each thereafter.
- Refrigerate dough at least 4-hours between rolls.
- On the final roll, using a ruler, trim edges of the pastry
If storing in the freezer, plastic, and foil wrap to prevent dough from drying out. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator. If using immediately, shape pastry and refrigerate for at least 30-minutes before baking.
FYI: Puff pastry performs best when chilled. For baking, preheat oven to 425 then reduce heat to 350 during actually baking time.