Bernard Michael Tostanowski III

Pâte Feuilletée Inversée (Inverse Puff Pastry)

In Breads, Puff Pastry, Techniques on August 24, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Inverted Paton

It’s time to tackle one of the most versatile pastry doughs in a bakeshop: Puff Pastry, better known to some of you Francophiles as Pâte Feuilletée. But this one’s a little special because it’s going to be ‘inside-out’ [PâteFeuilletée Inversée (Inverse Puff Pastry)].

If you aren’t familiar with puff pastry, it’s very simple to explain. The pastry consists of two separate parts, the dough portion called the ‘détrempe’ and the butter portion called the ‘beurre manié.’ Traditionally the dough portion is completely wrapped around the butter portion, folded numerous times, rolled out and baked as desired. In this inverse method the beurre manié will be on the outside, switching places with the dough. Sounds silly to put the butter on the outside because it will start to melt and cause a huge mess, right? Well, not entirely.  Inverse Puff Pastry actually yields better results than classic Puff Pastry, but first: a lesson in lamination.


Lamination is the processes of creating multiple layers in a dough to achieve a flaky, layered pastry. Laminating butter and dough to create a paton of puff pastry creates hundreds of layers, which are responsible for puff pastry’s classic “puff.”  Butter is only about 85% fat – the remaining 15% is water, which vaporizes to cause steam and raise the layers above it.  The same goes for the water in the détrempe (30%+); the dough begins to bake and releases steam acting just like the butter portion. This type of physical leavening is very efficient and very strong. Chances are if you’ve ever eaten a true croissant, danish or those… ahem… Pillsbury Pull-Apart Rolls, you have also eaten another type of laminated dough.

Puff, the Magic Pastry:

The Détrempe
  • 400 grams Water
  • 500 grams Bread Flour
  • 250 grams Pastry Flour
  • 100 grams Melted Butter
  • 25 grams Salt

The Beurre Manié:

  • 800 grams Butter, Unsalted
  • 100 grams Pastry Flour
  1. Détrempe: Combine all ingredients for the détrempe in a mixer with a dough hook attachment for 4-5 minutes on low speed. Gluten formation is not necessary. This dough just needs to be smooth and homogenous.
  2. Beurre Manié: The butter needs to be very cold and pliable before mixing. Hammering the butter with a rolling pin usually does the trick. When pliable, move to a mixer with a paddle attachment, add the flour, and mix on low speed until homogenous.  Low speed is critical: higher speeds will incorporate air, and mixer friction will begin to warm the dough.  Remember to keep the beurre manié very cold. If you need to, chill the bowl and paddle in the freezer before mixing.
  3. Flatten each portion into a square and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 15 minutes.

Détrempe & Beurre Manié

Folding & Turning:

When the two doughs have rested, remove both from the fridge and flatten the butter block in a 1 cm thick disk. Place the détrempe in the center and fold the arcs of the butter disk over the détrempe, sealing it fully. Start flattening this square by banging all over its surface with your fist or rolling pin. Then, using the rolling pin and starting from the center, roll gently towards the borders to form a rectangle three times as long as it is wide. Give it a double turn (fold in four, each side folded to the middle then the whole thing folded like a book… if you need more explanations let me know, but there are lots of illustrations on the web). Turn the rectangle so the fold is on your left, press down gently and wrap in film. Place for one hour in fridge.

After the hour has passed, flatten the dough again with your fist or rolling pin, then roll gently (again) into a rectangle that is three times as long as it is wide. Give it a double turn, flatten slightly, wrap and store in fridge for at least one hour (dough can stay overnight or for up to two days in fridge at this point).  The last turn is a “simple” turn, and is given shortly before you use the dough.  Again roll the dough into a long rectangle, and this time fold it in three, like a letter. Wrap and let it rest for half an hour in the fridge.

Repeat with another four-fold and refrigerate or freeze until use. After all of the folds have been completed you will have attained a beautiful dough with over 700 layers.

Pâte Feuilletée Inversée (Inverse Puff Pastry)


Puff pastry is extremely versatile and can be used in both savory and sweet applications. I made palmiers from this batch, but a simple Google search will get your mind jogging with alternative possibilities.


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