The Petite Palmiers are super easy to make using store-bought puff pastry, but if you’re feeling ambitious and have an entire day to spare you can make the dough yourself.
There are several things you must be aware of, though. First, this recipe calls for over an entire pack of butter. Not only is this good to know for the sake of preparation, it’s also a little heads up to those counting calories or cholesterol.
Second, and I’ve already hinted toward this, reserve an entire day. Making puff pastry involves a lot of rest time for the dough to become cold in the refrigerator in between repeated processes of rolling and folding the dough. I must emphasize the importance of the dough’s temperature as well; when the recipe instructs you to let it sit in the fridge for a specific amount of time, don’t expect to cut corners. If the butter in the dough softens, you won’t wind up with a light, airy, flakiness.
Finally, when you wake up the next day and feel as if you’re coming down with either a wicked flu or meningitis, don’t call the doctor. You’re sore because you used a crazy amount of muscle rolling out you’re beautiful, buttery puff pastry. I guarantee, though, whatever you make with it, be it savory or sweet, will be so delicious you can ask for back rubs from those lucky enough to snack on your puff pastry.
Food Processor Puff Pastry
From The Joy of Cooking
Pulse to combine in a food processor:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
Scatter over the flour:
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle over the dough:
¾ cup ice water
Pulse just until the dough begins to come together, 10 to 15 seconds. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a 5-inch square. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Cut into ½-inch slices and freeze for 2 minutes:
1 ¾ cups unsalted butter
Place in the food processor:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Distribute the butter slices over the flour and pulse just until the mixture looks like fine gravel. Scrape the mixture down from the processor sides and process just until smooth. Scrape onto a sheet of plastic wrap, cover and shape into a 6-inch square. Wrap and refrigerate while you roll out the dough.
Place the dough square on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 13 x 8-inch rectangle, with an 8-inch side facing you. Brush off the excess flour. Remove the butter package from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and center it on one half of the dough. Fold the dough over the butter, completely covering it. Press the dough together on the 3 open sides. Turn the dough so that the folded edge is on the left, with one of the sealed sides (where the dough was pressed together) on the right, to change the direction of the pastry for the next roll.
Roll the dough package into a 17 x 7 ½ -inch rectangle, keeping a short side facing you. Slide a metal dough scraper or spatula under the bottom third of the dough and fold it up over the center of the dough. Slide the spatula under the top third of the dough and fold it down on top of the first third, as though you were folding a business letter. This rolling and folding is called a single turn. Rotate the dough so that the folded edge is on the left, and roll the dough once more into a 17 x 17 ½ inch rectangle. This time fold the bottom end up and the top end down to meet in the center (do not overlap), then fold the dough in half, to make 4 layers of dough. This double fold is the second turn. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
With the folded edge on the left, roll the dough out again to 17 x 7 ½ inches. Make another double fold, for the third turn. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Roll the dough out and make another double fold for the fourth turn. Wrap and refrigerate for 1-hour, before using.