How To Thaw Puff Pastry At Room Temperature For Quick Quality Results

Perhaps you are contemplating making one of Ina Garten's savory or sweet tarts, or maybe you want to make some fancy elephant ears to go along with your coffee. Either way, frozen puff pastry is your friend. However, if you need to thaw it in a pinch, your first thought might be to use the microwave. While you can thaw anything you want in this handy appliance, when it comes to puff pastry, it isn't always the best option.

This type of pastry is comprised of flour, butter, salt, and water. It's also a laminated dough which simply means butter has been repeatedly folded into the dough to create alternating layers of dough and butter. This is how you get those delicate flaky layers when you bake it. And sometimes, even the most skilled microwave user will find their puff pastry isn't as flaky as it should be when using it to defrost. The good news is you can easily accomplish this task by thawing your puff pastry at room temperature by using a sheet pan. 

Break out a sheet pan

Once you break out your favorite sheet pan, you'll want to take the dough out of the box and separate the pieces of puff pastry before placing them on your baking sheet so they are nice and flat as they thaw. Then you should check on your dough every 15 to 20 minutes, pressing lightly on it to determine how much it has thawed. You'll need to continuously check on its progress, as it could take as little as 20 minutes for your dough to be ready or as long as 90 minutes to be thoroughly defrosted. 

But remember, you also don't want to handle your sheets of dough too much or you risk warming up the butter and ruining those paper-thin, flaky layers that are synonymous with puff pastry dough. And if you are overzealous and thaw more pastry puff dough than you can use, don't worry, you can always just refreeze it for later use.