Puff pastry is laminated dough, a reference to the layers folded into the buttery mass. Traditional puff pastry uses nothing but flour and butter, the butter beaten flat and then folded and rolled and folded and rolled and reworked four times, each called a “turn.” Here, in the quick version of traditional puff, the dough is made in the mixer, the folds and turns happen all at once, and it’s much less work. (If this seems difficult, it’s worth making real puff pastry once to see what a joy this version is.) I like to make a double recipe, and then cut it into two portions, freezing one for later.
I make puff with regular American-style butter because that’s what is usually in my freezer, but you can use lovely fancy butter if you wish. This pastry is all about buttery flake and flavor. In this recipe you’ll be most successful rolling and portioning if you remain obsessively diligent about keeping the dough very very cold, never never never smeary, and the edges of the dough block and the rolled dough very squared and even. Use the bench scraper to make those crisp edges.