Gluten-free puff pastry: can it be done?

It exists! Well, it exists if you make it.

This started out as an experiment to try to laminate dough (like most of my projects, I saw it on GBBO and thought “well it can’t be that hard”

The basics:

A lean dough to laminate. This consists of these ingredients added to a mixer in this order:

  • 1 3/4 cups GF flour (I use Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter (aka half a stick)
  • 1/2 cup water

Yes, butter in the dough. Make sure that one is grated or something, it should be cold when it goes in. Feel free to add more water, GF baking usually require a little bit more until the dough is formable. Or add more butter. Both probably work.

The butter block! This will get folded in to laminate the dough.

  • Unsalted butter (1 stick+4 TBSP)
  • 1/4 cup GF flour

I saw a technique where they grated butter, then added the flour before forming it. I just cut the butter into a couple pieces, did my best with the mixer, then got on with my life. Make it a 4 inch square by cutting it up and rolling it flat. Do this with parchment paper or saran wrap.

Chill these components for a good 45 min-1 hour. Then start the folding process.

The process:

Putting folds in the dough isn’t quite as hard as I thought. The recipe will demand that you do this when the dough is chilled, but I’ve had more success by waiting for the GF dough to soften just a little bit so i can bend it without cracking it.

Roll the dough into an 11 inch circle for this recipe, and put the butter in the middle.

I used this video as a pretty good guide for the initial way of forming a butter package, but my recipe recommended a fold into thirds rather than a meet-in-the-middle fold. The thirds fold works better with a less pliable dough, in my opinion, so I’d go with that one.

Do two folds, then chill for 30 min. Repeat this til you’ve done 6 folds total. Push two, four, and six fingers into the dough lightly to mark out how many folds you’ve done. I did Roman numerals made by a knife because I’m a pioneer in my field.

I accidentally made 7 folds because you can’t effectively store the dough in a crowded refrigerator overnight if it’s a huge sheet.

But hey, the featured picture is cookies!

Palmiers, to be exact! To make these, roll out the puff pastry til it’s in a rectangle shape, about 1/8th of an inch thick.

Then, heavily sugar the dough with regular granulated sugar. Once that’s done, you get to do even more folding. The process is surprisingly friendly to fragile dough. Wait a little for the dough to be more bendy.

Epicurious has a good example of the folding, but with a wheat recipe of course
  1. Fold the short ends to the center
  2. Fold the folded ends to the center
  3. Repeat step 2 until unfoldable
  4. Slice 1/8th of an inch slices. Actually slice them like this, with the dough log lying on its side. It helps make the heart shape

If I could editorialize, I’d probably chill in-between the 3rd and 4th step. Also, be careful about the sugar spilling out during the folding. Here’s mine before baking:editimg_8155




Bake in a 450 F oven on sugared parchment on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with a little bit of sugar too. Wait about 6-8 minutes, then flip them when the sugar on the sheet is caramelizing. The other side will take about 4 minutes. You want them crispy.

Once you’re done and the cookies have cooled, melt down some chocolate, add a little bit of coconut oil, and dip the cookies in. Put the cookies on a drying rack so they can drip post-dipping.img_8176

This recipe made about 40 cookies for me, and probably would have made more if I had sliced them thinner (mine were probably closer to 1/4th of an inch thick)

I also made a poached pear tart with the leftover pastry and topped that with dark chocolate and leftover poached pear slices. It disappeared very quickly, I should learn a lesson about photo documentation of pear tarts but I don’t think I will. Gluten free puff pastry? Yes you can.


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