Mary Berry's Puff Pastry Secret You Never Knew About

While there are those of us that see Nigella Lawson as Britain's domestic diva, there is only one queen of baking, and that title goes to Mary Berry, who even Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is a fan of. Berry also has a range of cookbooks and was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire at Windsor Palace (via Forbes). Apart from her incredible baking talent, one of the other reasons we love Berry is because she is pragmatic. 

While she is a trained chef, she's not about kicking up a fuss because, as she put it to Wise Living, "I cook what the family enjoys – and what doesn't take too long. I don't really want to spend hours in the kitchen. I'm not actually going to stuff a courgette flower – I'll leave that to the restaurants." To Berry, adapting shortcuts to trim hours in the kitchen means adapting smart cooking and baking hacks, like buying pre-made puff pastry instead of making her own from scratch, because as she put it once, "I can buy it for £2 in a packet and buy a good one. I don't want to spend hours on one thing" (via Daily Mail). 

Making puff pastry at home is time consuming

To anyone who hasn't made puff pastry from scratch or doesn't know how to, The Kitchn has helpfully laid out a set of ingredients and instructions on how to get the job done. While you only need butter, flour, salt and lemon juice, the process that turns the ingredients into the base for airy-light and crisp dough is a labor of love that can take hours. It also involves a cycle of folding butter into dough that is rolled out and then folded over itself — the way you might do when you're trying to fold a letter so it fits into an envelope. 

The folding process, also known as lamination, is meant to give you a layered dough that puffs up when it bakes, hence the name, puff pastry (via Food 52). While there are many home cooks out there that think making them is well worth the effort, there are others that believe a store-bought version will save you both time and heartache. After all, if Berry can do it, you can too.