The Real Reason You Don't Need To Make Puff Pastry From Scratch

Just because you can make something from scratch doesn't mean that you have to. When things like your time and recipe steps relying on precision, skill, and temperature are factored in, sometimes it's okay to take a shortcut — and luckily for us, store-bought puff pastry is a scrumptious one.

We should mention: if making puff pastry from scratch is on your home baking bucket list, by all means give it a go. We believe in you! As BBC Good Food points out, you'll build your pastry-making skills and be able to make your own variations as you get the hang of it. Though it could be a fun project to try, in the end it may not make sense to do this every time you need puff pastry for a simple appetizer or to wrap around a wheel of brie.

Homemade puff pastry is a serious time investment. According to this puff pastry-making guide from The Kitchn, you're looking at a minimum of four hours if you're planning to make it from scratch, thanks to all the rolling, folding, and chilling. It can also be a tricky dough to work with as well. Keeping the butter cold at every stage is crucial, which puts a lot of pressure on you as you work with the dough. And if it's a really hot day in your kitchen? Maybe don't even try it.

Flaky and tasty: that's all we want

Serious Eats says the reason you can get away with not making puff pastry from scratch is because the store-bought dough is actually pretty good. What we want from puff pastry is a dough that tastes good and is easy to work with, that bakes up to a light and flaky vehicle for all kinds of fillings, from savory to sweet. And we want to be able to get it easily: especially on those nights when you only have an hour or so before your friends show up at the door.

Store-bought puff pastry, either refrigerated or frozen, comes through on all these points. Two brands Serious Eats' recommends are Pepperidge Farm (which they describe as flaky and well priced) and Dufour, for its buttery richness. Both brands ranked high for quality, taste, and texture. The Kitchn also recommends stocking up on Trader Joe's frozen puff pastry when you can find it, as it's made with real butter. Yum!

Will puff pastry made from scratch taste better? Probably, because let's face it: homemade goodies almost always taste better. Can you get away with store-bought and still have delicious flaky pastries and appetizers? Absolutely!