Quick Whole-Wheat Puff Pastry


From the story Stylin’ Pie in Niles by Katie Yen

This quick puff pastry from Niles Pie in Union City, California, has a great butter flavor, and the whole wheat lends its own flaky, nutty quality. It won’t puff up as high as regular puff pastry, but that’s just as well for these recipes: Sweet Potato, Onion, and Gorgonzola Tart; Apple Almond Free-Form Tart; Chicken Apple Almond Tart.

  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound very cold unsalted butter (preferably “European-style,” which is high in butterfat), cut into small chunks (do this ahead if you can and refrigerate so it’s cold.)
  • 1 cup very cold water (Either put the measuring cup in the fridge at least 30 minutes before you start, or pop in some ice cubes a few minutes ahead.)

Put flours and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter all at once and pulse about 15 times until the butter is the size of baby peas or smaller. Dump the flour-butter mix into a very large mixing bowl and add the water. Using a plastic scraper, mix the dough gently but thoroughly. If you need more water, add by the tablespoon, until dough comes together and is not crumbly. Pat into a neat square, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a nice clean space on your counter and sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough out into a 12- by 18-inch rectangle that’s about 2 inches thick. Fold in thirds like a letter. Then turn the dough 90 degrees and fold again. Repeat this 3 times. If it gets too warm in the kitchen and it seems like the butter is getting greasy, put the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes. After you’ve completed the 4 turns, refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.