Ingredients for 1kg puff pastry:
375g de beurre slab (250g butter + 125g flour), which is 50% of the weight of the détrempe (flour+water)
This détrempe is quite soft and has very little gluten development at first, making it perhaps a little more difficult to work with. However this method is much quicker than the traditional one, as the dough does not require rest times, because the gluten is underdeveloped.
Prepare the flour. Incorporate a bit more than half the flour’s weight in water, without forgetting the pinch of salt.
With your fingertips, incorporate the flour, making it fall little by little into the water with a circular motion.
Once the starches start to give the mixture some texture, while remaining liquid, fold in the remaining flour with a dough cutter. Fold the dough onto itself with the dough cutter. It will be very liquid and have no development. Keep folding it onto itself until it takes shape.
The dough cutter allows the dough to take shape without developing the gluten or heating the dough. It will be sticky and cold, proof that it was not kneaded.
If you added too much water or flour, simply compensate with the other and fold the dough onto itself until it has the ideal consistency.
Divide the total weight by two, which gives you the weight of the butter slab required.
Flour your surface (preferably stone, or something cold).
Work the butter slab to a consistency similar to that of the détrempe, either by beating it with a rolling pin, or malaxing it by hand.
Shape the détrempe into a cross or 4-branched star, with a thicker center square than the branches.
Roll out each tongue/branch. If the détrempe does not retract, no need to let it rest. Otherwise, allow to rest 15 minutes for the gluten to relax.
Put the butter slab on the central bump. The consistency of the détrempe and of the butter slab must be fairly identical.
Fold each branch onto the butter slab, seal each seam with the rolling pin to make a perfect gift wrap. The last branch will be a bit stretched to fold all the way underneath the package.
Pat this neat package down gently with your rolling pin, into a regular and neat rectangle. Do not insist too much, you don’t want the grease to break through the dough. It’s still quite fragile.
Start rolling it out with regular motions, bottom to top. Roll it out regularly but not too thin the first two turns, lest you tear the dough. Sprinkle with flour, brush off the excess.
Visually divide the rectangle of dough into three equal segments, lengthwise. Fold one of these segments onto the middle segment, then fold the other extremity’s segment onto the first two. Turn the dough so that you can see all three segments’ edges, press them together with your rolling pin. That’s it for the first turn!
Roll it out again, making sure that you have the three segments’ edges toward you (so if you were rolling out lengthwise previously, roll out widthwise this time). Each turn, the rolling pin’s pressure and the folds are enough to develop the gluten. You need to do 6 turns total. Cover with plastic wrap, keep refrigerated.
I had a few difficulties making this dough, then again it was my first time, and the end result was rather good. When in doubt, allow the dough to rest 30minutes in the fridge between each turn. This is more like the traditional method, and takes longer, but it does help.