Learning how to make your own rough puff pastry is so rewarding!
It is tasty (to the point of being dangerous to all waistlines!) while being melt in your mouth delicate.
You can use it for pie lids, apple turnovers, sausage rolls, chocolate puffs, pasties and anything you set your mind to, if you want a flaky buttery pastry then you can use this rough puff!
Knowing how to make a good pastry is more than just a recipe.
It is knowing the feel of what pastry should be and what it shouldn’t and what it needs to get to the perfect flaky bite, every time.
The temperature of your kitchen, how long you work the dough, and how much fat your butter has in it, all affect the outcome of pastry.
With a few tips up your sleeve, you can learn how to adjust your pastry making to reflect and respond to how you work it.
SIMPLE TIPS TO GET YOUR EASY ROUGH PUFF PASTRY PERFECT EVERY TIME
TIP # 1!
Keep it cold!
Cold butter, cold water and cold hands!
YOU NEED TO HAVE SMALL CHUNKS OF BUTTER IN YOUR PASTRY SO IT MELTS AND FORMS THE “FLAKES” AS IT BAKES
If you overwork, have warm butter (room temperature) warm water or work too long with warm hands while making your pastry, the amount of melt-in-your-mouth flakiness will be significantly affected because your butter will melt and combine fully with the flour before baking!
6 Tips for perfecting your rough puff!
- It’s becoming more and more sticky on the benchtop and the dough is very soft and breaks, this means that your butter is melting, requiring more flour to roll out, if you need to continue to add more and more flour (which is going to affect your flaky pastry), then take a break, wrap the pastry up and place it back in the fridge for 20 minutes or as long as you can, an hour is optimal.
2. To keep your finished product as flaky and melt in your mouth as possible you need to refrigerate or you can place it in the freezer (as the finished product ie, turnovers, pasties things without a hot filling) before baking to harden the butter and if you are making something that has a hot filling try and cool it before adding it to your pastry.
3. You must not overwork the dough in any one sitting, if you are rolling and folding for more than 10-15 minutes, (less than ten is optimal) then you can be pretty sure you are overworking your dough, this means the dough will begin to snap back like an elastic when you’re trying to roll it thin enough to use or fold and/or your butter will be melting, this will decrease your flakiness and create that brittle dry pastry which is not nice in your mouth.
4. Dust any excess flour off the surface of your rolled-out pastry before you fold it and roll again, you don’t want to be adding more flour than absolutely necessary and you want that butter to bind together as easily as possible.
5. You can’t make too small a batch. you want at least 500 grams of pastry to work with, this is because it is very hard to keep that butter cool when handling a small amount with your hands. If you want much less than that, puff pastry dough freezes very well, make a batch and then freeze any leftover to use in the next 6 months.
6. if you’re cutting your pastry dough, be sure to use a sharp knife, you have just created layers that will rise and if you crush them you prevent that lovely puff! Be sure to cut with a sharp knife and do not cut at an angle, but only straight up and down so you don’t ruin your layers.
How is rough puff different to traditional french pastry?
A traditional french puff pastry is the ultimate puff pastry but is also expensive and time-consuming.
Expensive because you use A LOT OF BUTTER, and it has to be the good stuff!
French puff pastry is made up of a 3 to 1 ratio of butter to flour in the “Beurrage” which is the butter that is worked into the détrempe.
The détrempe, is flour, water, lemon juice and butter mixture (much less butter than the Beurrage) which is the dough of the pastry into which the détrempe gets worked into the beurraege by rolling together, folding, then refrigerating, then rolling again and repeat!.
You roll and fold at LEAST four times, refrigerating the dough for two hours in between each fold and roll session to both harden the butter and not overwork the gluten in the flour.
The end result is seriously GOOD!
When my kids are older and I have that kind of time on my hands, I will surely be spending my days making the finest French pastry, until then I live with the budget and time constraints of a large family with babies and todlers, and so rough puff, is my go-to pastry for all my pastry treats.
The difference between traditional french puff and rough puff.
For one, it’s quicker!
you need to fold and roll twice to achieve the flaky layer effect.
The butter is 1:1 with the flour, rather than 3 to one, plus having to make another dough to incorporate all that butter.
You don’t need to refrigerate for 2 hours in between, and as long as you take note of the 6 tips, you will still get the flaky melt-in-your-mouth consistency of a good puff pastry.
THE EASY ROUGH PUFF PASTRY RECIPE
it is 1:1 butter to flour.
I use 240 grams of unsalted butter to 240 grams of regular white flour.
A teaspoon of salt. CRUCIAL it creates great flavour in your pastry in both savoury and sweet dishes!
ICE water. 2/3 of a cup.
You can use frozen butter if using a blender.
You can freeze your butter and use a blender or in my case a thermomix to blend the butter and flour, salt and water together in one hit blend until you have a crumbly mixture then tip it out.
Using your hands scrape it together (don’t knead, just pull it together to form a ball)
Wrap in baking paper, or cling film and place in the fridge.
Making rough puff pastry by hand.
I alternate, I make sometimes in the thermomix and sometimes by hand, it just depends if I have frozen butter already in the freezer.
Don’t freeze your butter if making with your hands, just use fridge cold butter.
To make by hand place butter and flour and salt in a mixing bowl and crush the butter and flour together either with your fingers or with a pastry cutter.
once the mixture looks like this:
Add your water. I prep 2/3 of a cup of ice water. I use the first third and then slowly add more water until I have the consistency to just pull the dough together.
You can use the whole 2 thirds or just under, just add it slowly and keep incorporating until you can pull the dough into a ball.
NEVER SKIP PUTTING YOUR DOUGH INTO THE FRIDGE!
once the dough has been in the fridge for at LEAST 20 minutes, but 40 is better then it is time to roll it out.
Flour your surface, and try not to add more then that.
If you find yourself having to constantly add more and more, then your butter may be melting (this will happen quickly in summer) to fold up, wrap up and pop in fridge for 20 minutes.
For your first roll, don’t worry about the shape!
Fold twice, toward the center of the dough.
then fold again, twice toward the center until you have a square.
Something I forgot to do during all the photo taking was to dust off the flour from the surface after and before each fold!
Now you can roll those layers together with your biggest rolling pin!
repeat the folding and rolling steps again!
If you want to and have time, and if you aren’t running into any of the problems I mentioned in my 6 tips above, then continue.
Otherwise, take a break and fold into the square like earlier, and then instead of rolling, place into fridge, wrapped up for at least 20 minutes then roll that folded square out to around 2-3 mml thick and use for your purpose.
roll out a second time, and then it’s all yours to do with as you please!
Today I made apple turnovers.
EASY ROUGH PUFF PASTRY BAKING TIPS
- puff pastry of any sort, will almost always need a high heat (220 for large pieces like a pie top, and 240 for small) , to achieve the puff layer affect in time before the butter and flour cook together but you can turn down the oven after 10-12 minutes as to not burn it.
- Turn it down by about 40 degrees after ten minutes.
- Always use an egg wash to brush over your pastry, of either egg and tablespoon of water, or my favourite is an egg yolk and a tablespoon of pure cream.
- You can splash a little water from your fingers onto the tray before baking to facilitate vaporization which will give you that great puff!
- 240 grams of unsalted butter
- 240 grams of white flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2/3 cup of ice water
- flour to dust
If you are working with a blender, you can use 240 grams of frozen butter cut into shards.
place the butter, flour, and ⅔ cup of ice water (not the ice cubes themselves) salt all together in the blender, and mix for around 45 seconds, until the mixture looks crumbly.
Remove the mixture from the blender, and gently mould the crumbly mix into a firm ball with your hands.
Don't need it or over-mix it, the edges can look rough.
Wrap it in clingfilm or baking paper and place the ball in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
If you are not working with a blender, but rather your hands or a handheld pastry cutter, then you should use fridge cold butter cut into small cubes.
Add to the butter in a large bowl 240 grams of flour and a teaspoon of salt.
using your hands or pastry cutter mash the butter together with the flour until the mixture is crumbly with small pea-sized chunks of butter.
Add your ice water, slowly, combining it with your fingers as you add little by little until the dough is just wet enough to come together, ⅔ of a cup or just under.
once you can pull together the dough with your fingertips, you can press into a ball, wrap it up and place it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
To roll your pastry to make it usable, you want to create layers, that puff when you bake them.
To do this, you need to take the ball of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is thin around 2 millimetres thick. e
Dust off the flour on the surface.
Then fold the bottom edge upward so the outer edge touched the centre of the dough shape.
Then fold the top down to meet the bottom edge. you will have a rectangle shape.
Fold the smaller sides of the rectangle toward the centre, both top and bottom edges, now you will have a square shape.
take this square shape and start rolling. Move the pastry as you roll to try and keep it in a square shape.
Roll until it is thin, around 2-3 millimetres thick.
then repeat the folding process, the rectangle and then the square.
if your dough is getting very sticky, or it is snapping back more when you are trying to roll it out then pause, wrap the dough and place it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes for the butter to reharden and the flour to rest.
when you are ready, remove from the fridge, and begin the rolling process again, finishing where you paused.
Roll out, and then use as desired.