Puff pastry is extremely popular in Spanish cooking. It’s used for desserts and with meat or fish fillings for main courses or tapas.

The recipe below is from one of my Spanish cookbooks by Penelope Casas, The Foods and Wines of Spain. It’s an easy and foolproof method adapted by the one and only Julia Child. (One of my favorite chefs of all time!) This is a recipe that can be made and stored in your freezer.

Hojaldre, (Puff Pastry)
Makes 2 3/4 pounds

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 cup iced water
  1. Mix together the all-purpose and cake flours. Stir in the salt
  2. Cut the sticks of butter in half lengthwise, then in half again, lengthwise. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the flour mixture.

  3. Rub the cubes of butter between your fingers to flatten them into flakes, combining them at the same time with the flour.

  4. Refrigerate the mixture 10 minutes. The butter must be kept firm throughout the process.
  5. Add the cold water and stir until the dough roughly holds together. (The dough will still be chunky and by no means look like a tightly formed ball of dough.)
  6. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
  7. Pat into a rectangle about 18 inches long and 8 inches wide.
  8. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and fold one side over the top, then fold over the other side.

  9. Lift the dough, flour the work surface again, flour the top of the dough, then roll out with a rolling pin to the previous size, making the folded sides the width and the open sides the length.
    Remember, all of this must be done rapidly – if the butter softens, refrigerate briefly.
  10. Fold up a second time in the same manner, roll out again, then repeat 2 more times, flouring surfaces as necessary and ending with the dough folded.
  11. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate for 40 minutes.
  12. Roll and fold twice more, and the dough is ready to use or to store for future use in the refrigerator or freezer.


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