Gluten Free Puff Pastry Recipe

I have had many requests for a gluten free puff pastry recipe that does not take 3 days to make. This one can be made in one day and used for pastries like Danish as well as savory dishes such as beef wellington. One of my cookbook recipe testers stated, “Some things are worth waiting/working for.”

Phyllo Dough is very thin sheets of dough. Even though both recipes are actually gluten free puff pastry, it is the closest thing we can use in gluten free baking. There are differences between the two recipes. Some of the differences in this gluten free puff pastry dough recipe is that it contains butter in the dough, more flour in the butter block, less butter for the butter block, much more yeast in the dough, and the addition of eggs. Once the butter is added and folded, there are only three rolls and folds to perform. You only have to fold in half or in thirds, no fancy envelope folds. Be sure to read the Tips section and the entire recipe prior to making it. I used this gluten free puff pastry recipe in my Gluten Free Danish Recipe and more.

UPDATE: Look for this recipe in my upcoming cookbook, Carla’s Best 125 Gluten-Free Recipes.

VIDEO: Watch me make half a recipe in this four-part video: How to Make Gluten Free Puff Pastry.

SMALLER RECIPE & DAIRY-FREE: Also, find a Small Batch Gluten Free Puff Pastry Recipe and a Small Batch Dairy Free Puff Pastry Recipe.

Gluten Free Puff Pastry Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 12 (5 1/2-inch) danish pastries

Gluten Free Puff Pastry Recipe

Use this gluten free puff pastry for all of the recipes you used to make using gluten-filled puff pastry.

Ingredients:

    For the Butter Block:
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold, unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons Carla's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend recipe
  • For the Dough:
  • 3-1/2 cups Carla's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend recipe
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder (omit for Baklava and Flaky Croissants)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 6 tablespoons water, heated to 105 - 110°F
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Potato starch, for dusting

Instructions:

    To Make Butter Block:
  1. Combine 1-1/2 cups of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour using the paddle attachment of your mixer. Beat on low speed until creamy. (Use the whisk attachment, if that is all you have and your mixer can withstand the effort.)
  2. Wrap in plastic and form into a rectangle, about 7 x 5-inches. Freeze for 5 minutes, turn over, freeze an additional 5 minutes, and then refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. To Make the Dough:
  4. While the butter block is chilling, sift together the flour blend, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a clean mixing bowl.
  5. Add 4 tablespoons of butter. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the butter is evenly distributed and small pebbles form, about 2 minutes. (Again, use the whisk attachment, if needed.)
  6. In a cup, add yeast to warm water, stir, and allow to sit until small bubbles begin to appear, approximately 2 minutes.
  7. Lightly whisk together the yeast mixture, milk, and eggs. Add them to the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed just until blended, 20 - 30 seconds. (If there is a little flour stuck to the bowl, it is alright. You do not want to over mix the dough.)
  8. Heavily dust a silicone baking mat or sheets of plastic wrap with potato starch. Scoop the dough onto to it, shaping it into a rectangle. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes. (Do not knead. It is okay if it the dough is not smooth.)
  9. Remove the butter block from the refrigerator and unwrap. Heavily dust a rolling pin and silicone baking mat (or sheets of plastic wrap) with potato starch. Dust the butter with potato starch. Using the rolling pin, pound the butter, keeping its rectangular shape. Roll it out to a 9 x 9-inch square. Place the butter on a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 10 - 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap, and place a glass of water nearby for sealing any cracks. Heavily dust a silicone baking mat or sheets of plastic wrap with potato starch and transfer the dough to the rolling surface.
  11. Roll No. 1: Dust the dough with potato starch and roll out to 20 x 10-inches, dusting with potato starch as needed. Dip your fingers in the water and dab onto any cracks in the dough, around the edges, or elsewhere. (Do so throughout the recipe.) Place the chilled butter 1/2-inch from the edges of one-half of the dough. Using a pastry brush, dust away any excess potato starch. Fold the dough in half, over the butter, and pinch the edges closed with cold water. Dust the entire block with potato starch. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. At any time that the dough becomes cracked or dry, baste with cold water. (Keeping ice in the glass helps.) Just be sure to dust heavily with potato starch afterwards.
  12. Roll No. 2: Roll the dough out to a 22 to 24-inch rectangle. While attempting to roll it out length-wise, it will become wider than 10 inches, but this is okay. Fold it into thirds, towards the center. Pinch the edges closed with cold water, dust the entire block with potato starch, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  13. Roll No. 3: Repeat step 11. Be sure to pinch the edges closed with cold water and dust the outside of the dough.
  14. Roll No. 4: By now the width is very wide. Instead of rolling it in the same direction as you have been, turn the dough sideways, and roll it out in a different direction, repeating step number 11.
  15. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap. Store in a resealable storage bag or 9 x 13-inch baking dish covered with plastic wrap or a lid. Using the dough immediately is recommended. However, you can refrigerate it for up to 1 day or freeze up to 2 weeks. Defrost in your refrigerator overnight prior to using. Then leave it at room temperature, 5 - 10 minutes or until it is soft enough to pound with a rolling pin and roll. Roll as instructed in your recipe.
  16. After rolling out the dough, trim the edges so that the dough is uniformly shaped. In addition, the edges tend to be without butter; therefore it is preferable to remove them. Use this pastry dough in recipes such as Danish, croissants, or savory dishes. Commercial, pre-rolled puffed pastry is about 1/8-inch thick. Use this as a guide when substituting this dough for traditional puff pastry.

Tips

When rolling the dough out to make your recipe, be sure to use plenty of cornstarch or potato starch. Cornstarch makes things crisper than potato starch. Therefore, judge which one to use depending upon your desired effect.

Using a marble rolling pin helps keep the dough chilled and prevents it from softening quickly. You’ll need a heavy rolling pin no matter which type you use.

Prior to folding the dough, dust away any excess starch using a basting brush. Otherwise, the dough will not stick together well.

It is helpful to use the silicon mat or plastic wrap to help you fold over the dough. Also use the mat or plastic wrap to transfer the dough to the refrigerator. You can place it on a baking sheet and then refrigerate.

You will notice each time you roll out the dough, it becomes smoother and less puffy.

Refrigeration dries out dough. Freezing and defrosting at room temperature is best if you need to store it. However, refrigeration is sometimes necessary. If your dough dries out too much, pat it lightly with water and dust with potato starch prior to rolling.

49 Replies to “Gluten Free Puff Pastry Recipe”

  1. My dough (before chilling and before the butter) is the consistency of frosting. Should firmer? I am chilling the butter and the dough now nut am not sure if the dough should be stiff enough to handle. Please respond today so i can finish making the dough. Thanks

  2. Puff pastry is a thing of the past for me. I’ve tried this twice and I failed miserably both times. It was too dry to roll and just got worse even with the butter. I now have a gallon freezer bag full of something other than puff pastry. LOL

    1. Carole,

      I am so sorry to hear that. I can only assume that you used something other than my recipe for all-purpose gluten-free flour. Please let us all know which flour your used so that others can learn from your experience.

      Carla

  3. I’m afraid your recipe rather confirms for me why with coelic disease I can’t sensibly make puff pastry for myself like I used to do. In no way can a recipe which involves 10 different ingredients and involves no fewer than 22 separate stages in the process be regarded as an appealing alternative to what I used to do before my diagnosis which could be easily summarised in just one sentence: mix plain flour and butter knobs in a 2:1 ratio, add cold water, fold a few times and then fridge it before use. Unless the gluten-free version is not too much more complicated than that, life is going to be far easier if I just accept I can’t make puff pastry ever again.

  4. I want to try the recipe but I can’t have egg yolk. Will it effect the dough if I just use egg white or egg beaters?

  5. Hi Carla,
    First off, I never write reviews but needed to for this recipe. My mom is British and making pastry has been in the family for years. About five years ago, my husband became gluten intolerent and after many attempts and mushy pies I gave up and stuck to cakes. I gave this recipe a try, and I’m so very thankful. It’s a beautiful recipe and it handle and tastes just like a puff pastry should. A huge thank you. No more grief during the holidays. Thank you for coming up with something that I couldn’t and for helping keep a family tradition alive :)

  6. Hi Carla, im in the UK so we have different flours here, can you advise what flour i can use for the pastry please

    Thanks

    1. Jill,

      I am sorry, but I don’t know what you have available in the U.K. I can only suggest that you use the flours in the link “Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend” and change the “superfine” rice flour to regular grain. It may turn out very similar since the dough rests for so long.

      Carla

    2. Hello Jill
      Doves Farm do a plain flour blend available from Sainsbury’s and Holland & Barret. Asda also do their own blend which is good. I am from the UK their are products that are available. I hope this helps

    1. Jane,

      Sorry I couldn’t have answered your question earlier. I have never run across this before. Are you using instant yeast? You can always add some of the milk to the mixture. Just be sure to heat the milk to the same temperature as the water. I have never had that occur. So, I’m at a bit of loss. I will have to go mix up the same amounts to make sure there isn’t a mistake in this recipe.

      Carla

      1. Carla, I changed the amount of instant yeast to 2 1/2 teaspoons and it worked out great (could it be a typo)? The pastry is incredible! I used it to make pigs in a blanket; they were puffy and light with just the right amount of crunch. The pastry is as good as if not better then regular gluten puff pastry and it’s so easy to handle. I used Cup 4 Cup flour because that’s what I had and potato starch for dusting. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

        1. Hi Jane,

          I think you are right. In reading the intro paragraph, I see that I mention that this recipe contains more yeast than mine phyllo dough recipe. I checked that recipe and it calls for less than 2 teaspoons. I went ahead and changed the yeast to “teaspoons”. Thanks so much and sorry you had to waste your yeast.

          Meanwhile, thanks for taking the time to leave me feedback and let me know about the yeast amount. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe.

          Thanks,
          Carla

          1. The solid block of yeast happened to us too. We cut it down to 2 1/2 teaspoons and it worked much better. The recipe above still states Tablespoons so the typo is still there

            1. Tara,

              Can you explain more about what you mean by “solid block of yeast”? Are you using dry instant yeast.

              I had changed the yeast amount to 2 1/2 teaspoons, but recently one person stated that theirs did not puff up at all. Then one of my trusted recipe testers stated that her pastries did not puff up enough. I sometimes make mistakes when I post my recipes, but adding teaspoons instead tablespoons is extremely rare. I use uppercase T’s on tablespoon to prevent that error for both me and the reader. Meanwhile, I reverted back to tablespoons as this is what I recall. I had used teaspoons of yeast on my croissant recipe and it only puffed up a little bit. That’s why I believe I used tablespoons in this gluten free puff pastry recipe.

              I look forward to hearing from you.

              Carla

  7. Would this dough work for making Beef Wellington? My sister is GF and I’m trying to come up with substitutions for the fancier dishes, lol.

    1. Yes, Kimmi. This gluten free puff pastry recipe should work for beef wellington. Just be sure not to overwork the dough and keep it refrigerated when not working with it. I find using a marble pastry board and marble rolling pin extremely useful when rolling phyllo dough or puff pastry as it keeps the dough cool.

      Good luck and enjoy!
      Carla

  8. Carla: Thanks for your quick response. I actually meant flour not cornstarch. Normally pastry calls for rolling out butter but adding the flour was something new and I was wondering if it was done to improve absorbing the butter. I think that is why you add it.

    I love the texture of this dough, but I may have slightly over done the cornstarch during the rolling process.

    My results do not look as flaky and light as your own. :( I may have to try it again because your looks awesome.

    1. Dennisse,

      Yes. The flour is used to absorb some of the butter. When not used, it tends to leak out all over the place.

      I hope you are using my superfine rice flour blend. It makes all the difference in the world. Regular ground rice flour won’t do this recipe justice.

      Take care,
      Carla

  9. So excited to try this recipe. Curious as to the butter block process. Why do you add cornstarch? If I rolled my butter out on cornstarch would it potentially have the same result?

    1. Hi Dennisse,

      The butter block calls for my super-fine rice flour blend, not cornstarch. If you click on the link to the flour blend recipe, you’ll see it calls for tapioca starch. I suggest for those allergic to tapioca, like me, to use cornstarch as a substitute. I hope this clears things up for you. If you use cornstarch instead of my flour blend recipe in the butter block it will not be as absorbent. Rice flour contains some fiber which makes it more absorbent than starches.

      Carla

      Carla

  10. Facebook Comment – April 11, 2014,

    “I’m in the UK and Genius [does] a puff pastry that I now use but used this recipe before all [the] time and it’s great. I [use] a very hard dairy free margarine block and find it works just as well but it has to be hard not a spreadable thing ”

    ~K.B.

    1. Hi Karina,

      I haven’t tried it in this recipe, but here is the same reply I sent someone else on Facebook,

      “You can always give Earth Balance dairy-free buttery spread However, it may not turn out exactly the same due to the water content. Perhaps try a mixture of shortening and Earth Balance.”

      Hope this helps!
      Carla

  11. Facebook Conversation about this recipe,

    K.B. – “Well its turned out lovely!! Obviously not the same as original but all the family enjoyed it even my 5 yr old niece who asked for more I used goat butter as I am not able to use cows butter and as I didn’t have enough I also used some polish hard dairy free margarine that is just as hard as butter. I also used a pre mixed flour blend from my supermarket so with these alterations I am impressed. Will share a pic xx”

    Carla: “…one thing you should be careful with is the use of margarine in pastry. It contains a lot of water. In addition, I announced on my wall that I am now allowing photos to be posted on this page and that you’d be sharing one today. I am sure everyone will be looking forward to it. They always want a second opinion. Please share the substitutions you used as well, please.

    “Oh, and did you use my “superfine” rice flour blend recipe?”

    K.B. – “the flour is a bought pre made plain gluten free flour. i don’t have any superfine white rice in stock at moment but am looking to get some soon and will try completely as your recipe (using goat butter again lol) there was definite layers in the pastry. I will try with the super fine rice flour blend once i’ve used all this batch. This is a steak and kidney pie (stewing steak, pieces of kidney with button mushrooms, onion and leeks in a gluten free gravy). very yum”

  12. Hi Carla.. Greetings from Malaysia.. =)

    First off, the danish puff pastry looks amazing.. would love to try it but I’m a bit apprehensive as your recipe uses ‘Cups’ as a measurement for flour. Forgive me but I’ve had quite a few disasters when it comes to ‘cups’ measures. Would you possibly have the weight measure for the individual flours that make up your flour mix? That would give my confidence level a great boost, which is what I need if I’m gonna take up this ‘challenge’.

    Many thanks in advance.

    1. Michelle,

      I am sure that using Earth Balance would result in somewhat of a similar product, but such spreads contains too much water.

      The purpose for eggs in this recipe is for rising, tenderizing the dough, and for elasticity. Flax seed gel works as a good substitute for eggs when the purpose is to use as a binder or thickener. If you try flax gel, try using 1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed meal, 4 1/2 tablespoons warm/hot water, and 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. The baking powder will somewhat act as a leavener. However, because you will need to let the dough rest/refrigerate so many times, the baking powder will lose some of its action power.

      If you do give it a try let us know here so those with a similar intolerance can learn from your experience.

      Best,
      Carla

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