You don't need to make your own dough when frozen puff pastry sheets work just fine. The key is keeping the dough flat when baking which we do by 'docking' it, or pricking all over with the tines of a fork. These crispy, buttery sheets are the first step in making your own Napoleons.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
25 mins
total:
55 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone sheet.

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  • Separate dough at the seams into 4 squares and place on prepared baking sheet. Score the dough all over with the tines of a fork to prevent it from rising too much when baking. Lightly sprinkle dough sheets with white granulated sugar.

  • Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and 3 sheets of aluminum foil. Nest another baking sheet on top to apply some pressure to the dough while it bakes.

  • Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes; remove top pan and foil and gently peel off the parchment paper. Return pan to oven and bake until pastry is beautifully browned, 10 to 15 minutes. (Optionally, you can bake about 7 minutes after uncovering, then flip sheets over and bake until brown on the other side, another 7 minutes.)

  • Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely before cutting.

  • Square the sheets by trimming uneven edges off sheets using a sharp serrated knife with light sawing motion to keep the pastry from breaking. Cut each rectangle crosswise into 3 equal smaller rectangles. Use 3 small rectangles per pastry.

Chef's Notes:

Use 3 small rectangles of the pastry to make each Napoleon.

Chef John's Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream is delicious piped between layers of Napoleon pastry.

To make the icing, simply add enough water or milk to powdered sugar, until the right consistency is reached. For the chocolate one, I started with one part unsweetened cocoa to four parts powdered sugar, and then stirred in the liquid.

Nutrition Facts

683 calories; protein 8.9g; carbohydrates 57.3g; fat 46.7g; sodium 305mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (5)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/24/2019
I’m an amateur baker so this recipe took me a little longer than most probably, but it was fun and fairly easy to make. Just a lot of whisking involved. The one problem I had with it was that even though I scored the dough all over, it still rose a bit and I don’t know why. I just cut the puff pastry in half lengthwise to try to fix the thickness which worked okay, but I’d still like to know why it rose and how I can prevent it next time. Still giving 5 stars bc mistakes were probably just made on my part. Read More
(2)
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
06/23/2019
I’m an amateur baker so this recipe took me a little longer than most probably, but it was fun and fairly easy to make. Just a lot of whisking involved. The one problem I had with it was that even though I scored the dough all over, it still rose a bit and I don’t know why. I just cut the puff pastry in half lengthwise to try to fix the thickness which worked okay, but I’d still like to know why it rose and how I can prevent it next time. Still giving 5 stars bc mistakes were probably just made on my part. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2018
I thought this was great and explained perfectly! I had no problems with mine. I didn't have vanilla bean at home so I substituted it with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. I also cut back the salt and used only 1/2 teaspoon. Yummy! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
03/02/2020
The video helped immensely with the technique. The only thing I changed was that I don’t have a silicone pad for my baking pad. I just used the one layer of parchment paper. I used the recommended custard recipe. It was perfect. I did find that gif you make the icing too thick the decorative stripes don’t work. My book club was thoroughly impressed with the look and taste. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/06/2018
I tried the receipe it came out same as picture.It tasted great.I added some modification to reduce calories. I added 1/4 cup of sugar instead of half to the vanilla custard filling. I also substituted the white glaze with sugar free frosting ( available at Walmar) and the chocolate liners I used decorative gel frosting pens which made it easy to adjust the brown lines. Overall great receipe and directions Thanks Chef!!!!!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/19/2020
Better than the bakery! And not hard to make! Made for my Mom's birthday, and she has been bragging to all her friends on how great they were! Read More
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