Cheese Pastry

 This is the easiest puff pastry recipe that exists.  I've tried and experimented so many different recipes and ways to make puff pastry dough that was not so time consuming.  I finally got it!  There is no other shortcut to make a great pastry dough that has layers and flakiness.

Pastry dough is different from bread dough as it has higher fat content which is why it creates flaky light airy texture.  When making pastry it's important to blend the butter and flour thoroughly before adding any liquid.  But over-mixing can result in long gluten strands that will toughen the pastry.  

To achieve many flaky layers pastry dough needs to be rolled and folded repeatedly (with the butter inside).  It's not a complicated as people imagine and you can make so many different things from the same dough that you'd love it!!!  You can make a big batch and freeze it up to 3 months.  Just take the dough out from the freezer to thaw it overnight in the fridge, and bake these amazing pastries to wow everyone.  It is so worth it!

If you need help, please let me know:)

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                                     

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (cubed)
2/3 cup ice-cold water
2 cups flour
1 teasp of salt

1 egg (for egg wash)

Cheese Filling:

2 cups of crumbled Feta
1/2 cup of mozzarella

Making the dough:

1.  Cut up 2 sticks butter (very cold) into cubes, place them evenly on a plate and chill them in the refrigerator.  I chill the flour in advance too.

2.  Sift flour and salt in a large bowl.  Cut up 1/2 stick cold butter into cubes and add to the flour.  Start squishing the butter with your fingertips with the flour, until breadcrumb consistency.  Avoid over mixing, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm.  You can use a food processor pulsing flour, salt and butter for about 20 seconds.  Then add the remaining 2 sticks of cold butter cubes, pulsing only twice, and water into the bowl of a food processor, again pulsing only couple of times.

3.  Scrape dough, using a rubber spatula from bowl onto a lightly floured surface.  Sprinkle with a little flour, and using your hands quickly gather and shape the dough into a cylinder.  Press down to flatten into a rectangle.  Fold it like a busyness letter and start rolling it up from one end to the other (forgot to take a picture of rolling part).  Wrap tight with plastic and chill it for an hour.

4.  After that repeat the same process of rolling out into a rectangle, folding and rolling up one more time and refrigerate again for another 30 minutes or so.

5.  Roll out the pastry dough into a rectangle (about 13 inch long and 12 inch wide) and cut into square pieces.  Spoon the cheese filling in the center and follow the steps in the pictures.    Brush with egg wash and bake at 375 F for 15-20 min, until golden brown.

Note: if you choose to make triangle shapes, cut the edges with a pizza cutter to seal, also for the layering results.  Enjoy!

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