The Best Way to Thaw Puff Pastry

updated Dec 2, 2019
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Frozen puff pastry is such a kitchen workhorse that it’s worth always having some on hand. You can quickly turn plain puff pastry into cookies or snacks, or use it to create a quick but visually stunning dinner.

While you can make a quick puff pastry at home, it’s not really necessary. Frozen puff pastry can be just as high-quality and is easier to handle. It puffs into gorgeous, flaky layers more reliably as well.

The only difficult part of using frozen puff pastry is that you have to thaw it first. Maybe you’ve rushed the process before — we certainly have. If so, the puff pastry dough may have cracked or broken when you tried to unfold it. Or, perhaps, it didn’t shape or rise nearly as well. The secret to making puff pastry look and taste as good as it does from a bakery is properly thawing it. Here’s the best way, and why.

Credit: Melissa Ryan

The Best Way to Thaw Puff Pastry Is in the Fridge

When thawing puff pastry, it’s important to keep the layers of dough and butter separate. That’s why the best method is to thaw it slowly and in a cool place. Frozen puff pastry sheets (usually packaged folded in thirds) will take six to eight hours to thaw in the fridge. Most advice suggests you do this thaw overnight, but you could also throw your puff pastry in the fridge before work in the morning and it should be thawed by the time you get home. Unboxing the puff pastry and moving it to a baking sheet in the fridge will help it thaw faster too, if you’re in a hurry.

Now if you need puff pastry in a jiffy, you can thaw puff pastry a little faster at room temperature, but it takes a little finesse. To do this, unbox the the dough and keep an eye on it by gently pressing it every 15 to 20 minutes. Most puff pastry sheets take an hour to an hour-and-half to thaw at room temperature. You don’t want the dough to get too soft — just pliable enough that you can unfold and roll it out. Follow these steps, and you should have perfectly pliable — and bakery-quality — puff pastry dishes in no time.