Instant Puff Pastry {ModBak}

The first recipe in the Puff Pastry section of The Modern Baker is the basis of all the recipes that follow. Sure, you could make these recipes with store bought puff pastry, but why would you? Especially since, like so many of Nick Malgieri’s recipes, the recipe for Instant Puff Pastry is so easy to put together.

The puff pastry has only four ingredients — flour, butter, salt, and water — and comes together quickly in the food processor. And unlike the typical puff pastry recipe, which requires multiple “turns” to fold and roll chilled butter into the dough, Nick’s recipe incorporates the butter into the dough from the beginning.

After combining the flour and salt in the bowl of the food processor, I added the butter (chilled and cut into pieces). I pulsed mixture, then added the water and finished mixing the dough. Then I turned the dough out onto a floured board, where I pressed and rolled it into a rectangle. 

I rolled and turned the dough, making sure it was well-floured on the top and underneath, until I had an 18-inch square. I cut the square in half, then rolled one half out to a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. I folded the rectangle in thirds, then rolled it into a cylinder and flattened it under my palm. I did the same thing with the other half of the dough. When I cut the dough in half, it exhibited the layers you expect to see in puff pastry.


 It took less than half an hour to put the dough together, and Nick says that it can be frozen for several months, so I decided that while I had the ingredients out and the food pro already messed up, I might as well make all the dough I would need for this section of the Modern Baker Challenge. I figured that I would need five recipes of instant puff pastry. Each batch came together faster than the one before, and I had all five of them finished, divided, bagged, and the kitchen cleaned in just over two hours.

I put them in the fridge while I cleaned, then moved all but the ones I was planning to use right away to the freezer.

If you’ve ever made puff pastry using a traditional recipe, you’ll understand how simple this recipe really is. And once you try it, you’ll wonder why you ever went to all that work before.

And whether you’ve made puff pastry before or not, I guarantee that once you try this recipe, you’ll never go back to store bought again.


  1. January 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

    […] Baker Challenge were among the easiest. They are also the best argument I can think of for keeping puff pastry in your freezer at all times. With puff pastry on hand, you can have these delicious snacks baked […]

  2. December 26, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    […] started with a baked puff pastry layer made using homemade puff pastry. I layered the baked pastry sheet with smoked salmon and a mixture of cream cheese, butter, and […]

  3. October 24, 2011 at 7:48 am

    […] I could live on spinach (I’ve loved it since I was a child); and anything made with puff pasty is OK in my […]

  4. October 21, 2011 at 8:02 am

    […] from the other end. Ox tongues are pastries, similar to elephant ears or palmiers, made by rolling puff pastry in sugar and baking until the sugar […]

  5. October 17, 2011 at 8:15 am

    […] with all the recipes in this section, this tart is built on a crust made of puff pastry. The full recipe makes a 12 x 15-inch tart. I wanted to halve the recipe, so I used a 6 x 7 […]

  6. October 10, 2011 at 8:05 am

    […] would mix things up a bit. Rather than the sweet elephant ears, made simply with puff pastry and sugar, I decided to make the savory version in The Modern […]

  7. October 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    […] from Bake!, and I was interested to see how these would compare. The Modern Baker version uses puff pastry, rather than a traditional Danish pastry. And the Danish are baked in a muffin tin, which helps […]

  8. September 19, 2011 at 7:30 am

    […] week’s recipe for the Modern Baker Challenge was a quick, easy dessert. It consisted of puff pastry with an almond paste filling and apricots. I decided to make this for dessert the other evening […]

  9. September 12, 2011 at 7:30 am

    […] covered the pan with puff pastry dough, which didn’t melt this time, as the pan wasn’t […]

  10. September 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    […] it was burnt. But, of course, I didn’t. I layered on the pineapple, covered the top with puff pastry dough, and baked […]

  11. September 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

    […] began by drawing an outline of my pan on parchment paper, then rolling puff pastry into a rectangle slightly larger than the […]

  12. August 22, 2011 at 7:56 am

    […] is French for “thousand leaves”, a reference to the many-layered puff pastry that forms the base of this dessert. Like the Napoleons that I made recently, the mille feuille is […]

  13. August 15, 2011 at 7:35 am

    […] is French for “thousand leaves”, a reference to the delicate layers exhibited by the puff pastry when it is […]

  14. August 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    […] that I know how easy it is it will be at my next Tuesday with Friends.Phyl has great process pics Making the Pastry Dough and making the Baked Pastry Layer. So if you need details please visit Phyl.The Napoleon is on page […]

  15. Sara said,

    August 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Realizing how easy it is to make puff at home is worth the price of the book, several times over. I also admire your methodical approach to the challenge! Reminds me I should get on that peach pie recipe while they are in season.

    • gaaarp said,

      August 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      I was just thinking I might need to go out of order to bake peach pie while the peaches are in season.

  16. Renee said,

    August 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    What a fantastic idea to do it in bulk!!! Too bad I don’t have quite the freezer space you do.

    • gaaarp said,

      August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      My freezer is jammed, especially since the grocery had chickens marked down to $0.69 last week!

  17. Pamela said,

    August 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Wow!! That is certainly an impressive stockpile of puff pastry! I just borrowed Modern Baker from the library and there are so many fantastic looking recipes. I do want to try the puff pastry, too. I think I am definitely going to buy this book. You guys always have such great posts for his recipes. Once again, nicely done! 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      August 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks! I hope you get a chance to try a few recipes from Modern Baker before you have to return it. You’ll definitely want to buy it.

  18. Melanie said,

    August 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Wow, that’s very impressive that you made all that puff pastry. I feel lazy now. And so organized, with all the bags labeled too! Gread job!! Definitely a time saver in the long run to have it all ready to go.

    • gaaarp said,

      August 2, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      I knew from past experience that making it was easy but kind of messy, so I figured I’d get it all out of the way at once!

  19. August 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    This is just the type of recipe I love! And the freezer shot was great. Must feel good to have all the puff pastry socked away!!!

    • gaaarp said,

      August 2, 2011 at 7:44 am

      It’s great to have it all premade. Now I just have to resist the urge to bake and eat it every day!

  20. Kayte said,

    August 1, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Looks great…am still in awe that you did all that in a couple of hours and now you are ready to go! Great start for this section of the book. Abby’s right, I need to get in gear as well!

    • gaaarp said,

      August 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

      It’s such a relief having this all done. The puff pastry is easy to make, but if I had to make it and, in some cases, the baked layer before I even started on a recipe, I don’t think I’d get to many of the goodies in this section.

  21. Abby said,

    August 1, 2011 at 8:08 am

    That stack of ziplocks is so impressive! I need to get in gear………

    • gaaarp said,

      August 1, 2011 at 8:12 am

      Thanks. It was my way of committing myself to making every recipe in this section.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: