Light and flaky with a deliciously buttery taste - that’s what this gluten free puff pastry recipe promises... and delivers! With only 4 ingredients, it’s simple to make and can be used for all kinds of different appetizers, dinners, and desserts.
Forget searching for a gluten free puff pastry in the freezer section of your grocery store - make this one instead!
What is puff pastry
Puff pastry is a type of dough that’s made by creating layers of butter and flour. It’s easy to make and bakes up as light, flaky layers with a rich buttery flavour.
How does that light, flaky texture happen, you ask? The water that’s present in the butter vaporizes/steams from the heat in the oven, causing it to expand. This separates the layers of dough and...tada! A puff pastry is born.
Puff pastries are a versatile dough and can be used for either sweet or savoury dishes. Everything from beef wellington, turnovers/popovers, sausage rolls, and mille feuille use puff pastry. You could even use it as a pie crust, for a sweet apple pie or savoury chicken pot pie, or make your very own handmade pizza pockets. The uses are endless!
Traditional vs. Rough Puff Pastry
Two ways to make a puff pastry are the traditional method and the rough method. The recipe here is a rough puff pastry, since it’s much easier to make and work with.
Traditional, or classic, puff pastry involves enveloping butter in pastry dough, followed by a lot of rolling and folding that creates thousands of layers of dough and butter.
Rough puff pastry, on the other hand, doesn’t need a “butter envelope” to create those layers. Instead, cold butter is mixed with flour and it's rolled and folded just like traditional puff pastry. You’ll still get those light, flaky layers with this method, but it’s much less complicated.
- Gluten free flour: If you’re using an all-purpose flour that has xanthan gum added, you’re all set. If your preferred mixture doesn’t have it, consider adding it separately to add more elasticity to your puff pastry.
- Salt: enhances the buttery flavour and can help make dough more elastic
- Butter: gives the puff pastry that delicious flavour, is the fat that brings the dough together, and creates that beautiful flakiness when the water inside steams during baking
- Water: used to make the dough ‘stickier’ for handling/combining
How to make this recipe
To make this recipe, start with COLD butter and water. I can’t stress this enough - your butter needs to be chilled (either in the fridge or frozen for a few minutes) in order to get those flaky, tender layers characteristic of puff pastry.
Add your gluten free flour and salt into a medium-sized bowl and mix to combine. Next, grate the cold butter into the mixture, tossing the bits of butter lightly to coat them with flour. After grating, tossing, and mixing the butter into the gluten free flour, drizzle water by the tablespoon into the dough - just to bring it all together. It’ll start as a loose crumble and end up slightly sticky when you’re done. Combine into a loose ball.
On a well-floured surface, roll (or pat with your hands) the dough to create a ½ inch thick square. Wrap the dough and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.
On your well-floured work surface, roll your dough into a rectangle, about the size of a piece of paper - 8” x 11“. Fold the dough into thirds, as if you’re folding a letter to put into an envelope. Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll out again. Fold into thirds again and repeat the process for a total of 4 folds.
Wrap the dough and chill it for a minimum of 1 hour. Afterwards, roll your puff pastry out to ¼ inch thickness and then cut into your desired shape (whatever your recipe is calling for).
If baking the pastry as-is, put in a oven heated to 425℉ for approximately 20-25 minutes. The puff pastry is done baking when it’s lightly golden and puffy!
Tips for making gluten free puff pastry
- Grating the butter is an essential part of making a rough puff pastry, so it can be distributed in the dough in small pieces. If you want to cut the butter into small pieces, you can. I wouldn’t recommend using a pastry cutter in this case, since there’s a chance you’ll overwork your dough - making your puff pastry tough and chewy.
- If your puff pastry is really crunchy it means you’ve either overworked your dough (too much handling or folding), added too much water, not chilled the butter and dough enough, or the pastry is overbaked.
- If your puff pastry is oily it means the temperature of the butter was off prior to baking. Making sure your butter is chilled (not frozen or warm) ensures it will vaporize properly during baking.
- If your puff pastry isn’t puffy it could mean your situation is similar to a very crunchy puff pastry. Check that you’ve added enough water to make the dough slightly sticky, your butter and dough are chilled at each proper step, and you haven’t handled the dough too much with warm hands.
Unbaked dough can be wrapped and stored in the fridge for a few days, or frozen for a month. If your dough is frozen, defrost it overnight in the fridge to get it to the correct temperature before rolling it out.
Baked puff pastries are best enjoyed the day they are made. You can try storing them in an air-tight container in the fridge for a few days, but the flaky texture might become a bit chewy.
Gluten Free Puff Pastry
- 2 cups gluten free flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter cold
- 10-12 tablespoon water cold
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour and salt. Mix to combine.
- Grate cold butter into the flour mixture, tossing it with flour to lightly coat.
- After grating and tossing the butter in the flour, drizzle the cold water onto the mixture one tablespoon at a time. Add water until the dough becomes a loose crumble, then becomes slightly sticky. Roll the dough into a loose ball.
- On a well-floured surface, roll the dough (or pat with your hands) to create a ½ inch thick square. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.
- On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle, approximately 8 inches by 11 inches (about the size of a piece of paper). Fold the dough into thirds, as if you're folding a letter to put into an envelope. Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll it out again. Fold into thirds and repeat the process for a total of 4 folds.
- Wrap the dough and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
- On a well-floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a ¼ inch thickness and cut into desired shapes (whatever your recipe calls for). Bake as per your recipe directions.
- If baking the puff pastry as-is, bake in an oven preheated to 425℉ for approximately 20-25 minutes. The dough is done baking when it's lightly golden and puffy.
- Unbaked dough can be wrapped and stored in the fridge for a few days, or frozen for a month.
- If the dough is frozen, defrost it overnight in the fridge before rolling it out.
- Puff pastries are best enjoyed the day they are baked; however, you can try storing them in an air-tight container in the fridge for a few days. The flaky texture might become a bit chewy, though.