Tips for Working with and Storing Puff Pastry

Frozen puff pastry dough is available in sheets or individual shells. It has dozens of paper-thin layers of dough separated by butter. As the pastry bakes, steam created from water in the dough makes the layers rise up and pull apart, resulting in a crisp, flaky pastry. Here are some tips for working with and storing frozen puff pastry:

Thaw pastry at room temperature for about 20 minutes before handling. Handle as little as possible to avoid stretching and tearing.

Preheat the oven as directed.

Cut pastry with a sharp knife or cutter to get a clean edge.

Only brush an egg wash on the top of the dough, not the edges. If the edges are brushed, the layers of dough will stick together and the pastry won't rise during baking.

Unbaked puff pastry dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Baked filled pastries are best enjoyed the day they are made and don't refrigerate well.

Baked unfilled pastry may be frozen in airtight containers for up to 6 weeks.