How to make puff pastry from scratch

pies with puff pastry

Blanche Clark

Posted June 17, 2022

RACV City Club's puff pastry recipe helps you rise to the challenge of making your own delicious sweet and savoury dishes, with this step-by-step guide.

What’s the secret to a delicious caramelised apple tart or a creamy chicken and mushroom pie? It’s the beautiful, buttery puff pastry and it starts with this dough.

You can buy puff pastry from a shop, but if you’re in the mood for a real baking challenge, like making your own Braised Beef and Guinness pie or sausage rolls, you can make it yourself at home with this step-by-step guide.  

RACV City Club's recipe for the perfect puff pastry will give you a flaky light pastry with a golden buttery top - but how? Well, the butter is put inside the dough, which is repeatedly folded and rolled out before baking to create hundreds of layers of dough and fat, it's as easy as that. 

The gaps that form between the layers left by the fat melting are pushed (leavened) by the water turning into steam during the baking process. 

And if you're still in the mood for some top shelf pastry goodness after you've created your own, head out on the weekend and try some of the best pies in regional Victoria, or stay in Melbourne and try some of the city's best bakeries - they won't disappoint. 

puff pastry

The secret to a great puff pastry is the layering. Image: Getty.

Puff pastry recipe


1.5kg block

Time to make

7 hours (including rest)




  • 650g plain flour
  • 325ml water
  • 15ml white vinegar 
  • 15g salt
  • 15g castor sugar
  • 500g butter to fold in 


  1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar together, followed by the water and vinegar. Mix until it forms a dough. Do not over mix. Rest in the fridge for two hours.
  2. Form the 500g of butter into a rectangular sheet half the size of an A4 sheet of paper.
  3. Flour your bench, roll your rested dough into a rectangle the size of an A4 sheet of paper. 
  4. Place the butter sheet on half of the dough then fold the remainder of the dough over to make a sandwich. 
  5. Roll the dough and butter until it is 45cm long and about 15cm wide.  
  6. Mark the dough into three 15cm sections. Fold one 15cm section to the 30cm mark and then fold the opposite end over the top to form three layers. Cover with plastic and allow to rest in the fridge for two hours.  
  7. Repeat the above step two more times, ensuring you rest the pastry in the fridge for a further two hours each time. 
  8. Once the puff pastry has been folded and refrigerated three times it is ready to use. Roll the pastry into desired thickness and cut into desired shape.  

Puff pastry tips

  • The dough and butter must be the same temperature. If the dough is cold and the butter is at room temperature, the butter will be pushed out the side instead of being incorporated.  
  • Ensure the work area is cool to avoid melting the butter.  
  • Resting the dough is essential, otherwise “shrinkage” occurs during rolling and baking. 
  • Puff pastry is best baked at a high heat (180°C) to ensure the pastry can lift before the butter melts.  

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