Rough puff pastry

Rough puff pastry

By
From
Meat
Makes
1 kg
Photographer
Dean Cambray

True puff pastry is something of an art, and is probably best left to the professionals. This ‘cheat’s’ version, known as ‘rough puff’, is much easier for the home cook to master, and it does come fairly close to the real thing: light, flaky and golden.

One of the keys to success is leaving the butter a bit lumpy. The less the butter is worked into the flour, the more water you’ll need – and it is the water that creates steam during the baking, which in turn makes the pastry rise.

Once you’ve made this rough puff a few times, you’ll get the hang of it. It can be made well ahead of time and stored in the freezer. I usually roll it out to about 1 cm thick and freeze it on a flat tray. Let it defrost at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g butter
500g plain flour, sifted
A pinch salt
1 1/2 cups iced water

Method

  1. Remove the butter from the fridge about 45 minutes before using, so it is firm, but not rock-hard. Cut it into cubes and place in a mixing bowl with the flour and salt. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour, leaving it a bit lumpy, rather than uniform sandy crumbs.
  2. Add the iced water, a little at a time, (you may not need all of it), and work it into the flour mixture until it comes together as a dough. You should be able to see clearly defined little flecks of butter in the pastry. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface, to form a long rectangle, about 20 cm x 40 cm x 5 mm thick. Fold the 2 short ends in upon each other to make 3 thick layers. Rotate the pastry a quarter-turn and roll it away from you again, to form a long rectangle, the same dimensions as before. Fold into thirds again. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat this rolling, turning and folding process again, then refrigerate for 30 minutes before using. Alternatively, the pastry can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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