Rough Puff Pastry
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    Makes approximately two 600g blocks of pastry
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Making puff pastry has always been one of those things that I just simply do not do. Purely because it takes for ever and then I have the fear that my layers will not be perfect.

Fear no longer! This rough puff pastry recipe is my all time favourite and can be achieved within an hour if you are in a real rush. Once you get over the fear, relax and get it right the first time, it’s an incredible feeling of achievement. I hope this recipe will encourage you to start making your own rough puff pastry as the layers comes out wonderfully and no one will ever know that it was not proper puff pastry. What they will know is that it’s homemade as you cannot disguise that wonderful aroma of homemade pastry. Double this recipe and divide the pastry into four even size pieces and freeze to be used at a later stage. It’s very handy and has helped me out of some serious sticky moments more than once.

There are a few golden rules that you should not forget; if you follow them you should have a success every time. Always remember to use ice cold water. Never kneed the pastry; this will make the pastry elastic. Do not forget to mark your turns as the number of folds and turns will secure a decent flaky pastry. The most important tip is to buy the best ingredients that you can afford. I always go for good quality organic flour and organic unsalted butter,add a bit of elbow grease and get a lot of enjoyment.

Ingredients & Method

  • 500g plain flour
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 500g unsalted butter
  • 250ml ice-cold water

Cut the butter in small cubes, let them come to room temperature,but not too soft and warm. Weigh the flour in to a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and butter, gently rub the butter with your finger tips in to the flour, until it represents large buttery crumbs. Make a well in the middle of the pastry and add half of the ice cold water. Gently work the water in to the flour add more water until a dough forms, do not kneed the pastry. It does not matter if you can still see flakes of butter.

Turn the pastry on to a lightly floured work surface. At this stage I divide the pastry in half as I find it easier to work and reduces the possibility of overworking the pastry. Roll each piece of pastry out, away from yourself in one direction only, to form a rectangle approximate 10cm x 20 cm. Fold the pastry ends over to form three folds. This represents the first turn. Repeat the rolling process as before and fold the ends over to form again three folds. Now I make two indents with your fingers, place the pastry in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Once the pastry has rested follow the rolling and folding process twice more turning the pastry clockwise. Now mark the pastry with four indents with your fingers, this is a clear indication that your pastry is now ready to be used. Wrap the pieces of pastry separately and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using. At this stage I normally freeze the pieces that I will not require at that time.

When rolling your pastry out for using in a recipe always roll away from yourself in one direction only, work quick on a lightly floured surface. You can reuse the off cuts but do remember not to squash them together, always fold them over and follow the folding and rolling rules.

Cooks Notes
Once you have rolled the pastry to line a pastry ring or mould, loosely roll the pastry around the rolling pin to prevent the pastry from stretching. It makes it much easier to handle. This will also enable you to roll the pastry really thin with out making holes in the pastry when you try to lift it over the rings edges.