Baking & Desserts

Chef John's Butter Puff Biscuit Dough


  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • ¾ cup cold water, or as needed
  • 7 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Place self-rising flour and cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using dough hook attachment knead to form a soft, slightly elastic, but not too sticky dough, about 2 minutes. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.


  • Step 2

    Place chilled dough on a floured surface and roll out to a 1/2-inch thick rectangle using just enough flour to keep it from sticking. Grate about 4 tablespoons of frozen butter onto the surface of the dough to within about 1/2 inch of the edge. Lightly flour a sheet of plastic wrap. Spread the plastic wrap, floured side down, onto the butter and gently press the butter into the dough. Carefully remove the plastic wrap.

  • Step 3

    Fold 1/3 of the dough over the middle third; then fold the other 1/3 over the middle into a tri-fold with 2 layers of butter. Roll dough again into a rectangle, brush off excess flour, and create another tri-fold. Roll again to about a 1-inch thickness. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Place chilled dough again on a floured surface, roll into a rectangle, and make another tri-fold. Roll back out again into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Grate about 3 tablespoons butter onto the surface of the dough. Cover with floured plastic wrap and press butter into dough. Remove plastic wrap. Give dough another tri-fold and press layers together. Roll out dough and fold in half. Roll out again, and fold in half. Roll out dough one more time. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

  • Step 5

    Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C); see Cook’s Note.

  • Cook's Notes:

    You can make your own self-rising flour by sifting together 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon fine salt.

    After you have grated the frozen stick of butter for the first layer, place it back into the freezer for the second grating.

    I generally bake this dough at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Time will depend on what it’s being used for.

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