Work with one Puff Pastry sheet at a time, keeping the others in the refrigerator.
Heat is the enemy of Puff Pastry—it handles best when cold. So avoid working with it on hot, humid days, in a stifling hot kitchen or next to your oven.
Puff Pastry works best when cold. Your hands should be cold, too, when handling it. Run them under cold water or squeeze a plastic zipper-top bag full of ice to cool them off.
Try to keep Puff Pastry from becoming too warm when working with it by only using your fingertips—the coolest part of your hands.
If any cracks form while you’re working with Puff Pastry, just rub with a little water and press to seal the dough together.
Use a marble pastry board to help keep Puff Pastry cold while rolling and cutting.
Use a floured surface to roll out your Puff Pastry sheet, but be sure to brush off excess flour before filling, cutting or folding, since flour will prevent layers from sticking together.
When cutting Puff Pastry, the sharper the knife or pastry cutter, the better. A dull edge can cement layers together and prevent pastry from rising.
Always cut Puff Pastry straight down, never on an angle, to prevent layers from sticking together and inhibiting the rise. Cut up and down, and don’t drag the knife.
You can brush an egg-wash glaze (1 egg plus 1 tsp. water) over the Puff Pastry to create a rich, golden sheen when baked.
Use an egg wash to help seal filled pastries and connect Puff Pastry pieces: mix 1 egg plus 1 tsp. water, brush between layers, then pinch or press together.
When using an egg wash, be sure it doesn’t run down the cut sides of the pastry, as that will make edges stick together and stop the pastry from rising.
If your Puff Pastry becomes soft and sticky while working with it, chill it in the fridge for a few minutes. Place in the refrigerator between rollings, too.
To seal stuffed Puff Pastries, pinch the edges together or press with the tines of a fork, just as you’d seal a piecrust.
Make sure the edges of your Puff Pastry are cut—a folded edge will not rise and puff.