Rough puff pastry

Rough puff pastry

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Makes
500 g
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

We find rough puff pastry the easiest layered pastry to master. It has only 4 roll and folds and all the butter is added to the détrempe in large cubes, which flatten down to help create the flaky layers as it is rolled. Good rough puff pastry will double in height when it is cooked. Like puff pastry, rough puff can be prepared in advance; the same guidelines apply.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour, plus extra to dust
1/2 teaspoon salt
150g cold but pliable unsalted butter
100-120ml chilled water

Method

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Cut the butter into 1.5cm cubes and add to the bowl. Add 100ml cold water and, using a cutlery knife, mix together quickly and efficiently for about 15–20 seconds, turning the bowl as you stir.
  2. The flour and water will form large flakes, some attaching themselves to the cubes of butter. Drag the large flakes to the side of the bowl and add more water, ½ tbsp at a time, to the dry flour and butter in the bottom of the bowl. Quickly stir again with the knife, to create large flakes, adding a little more water if necessary. You should not ideally add any more than about 8 tbsp water, or the pastry may start to toughen.
  3. Feel the large flakes and, if there seems to be a good amount of moisture within them and the water is evenly distributed, pull the large flakes together with the butter and mould the pastry in your hands a little to bring the détrempe together.
  4. Gather it into a ball; it should now be a homogeneous dough, with the butter cubes dotted throughout and no dry, floury patches; try to cover any exposed butter with flour and water. Overworking with your hands will cause the butter to soften too much and become greasy. Shape the détrempe into a block about 12 x 17cm and 2–3cm thick, wrap closely in cling film and place in the fridge to relax for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the détrempe from the fridge, unwrap and place on a floured surface, with a short end facing you. Ridge gently, patting up and down on the détrempe, keeping the rolling pin parallel to your body. Try to keep the sides straight and the corners of the pastry square, using a palette knife or your hands, but keep hand contact to a minimum to prevent the pastry warming up. Keep ridging as much as possible, as it is better for the pastry than rolling.
  6. Now roll with quick, short sharp rolls, gently encouraging the pastry to lengthen rather than applying too much pressure and stretching it. Avoid creating thick ends at the top and bottom. Roll back a little if necessary and avoid rolling over the top and bottom edge, as you will stretch the top layer and create uneven numbers of layers, which will result in uneven rising.
  7. When the pastry is 3 times as long as it is wide, re-check the sides are straight and corners square, then fold the bottom third of the pastry up over the middle third and the top third down and over the bottom and middle third. Turn the pastry so the folded side is to your left. This is known as a ‘roll and fold’.
  8. Repeat the roll and fold, making sure the pastry is cold to the touch and the butter is not becoming greasy. If some butter breaks through on the surface, then scatter some flour over it, dust off with a pastry brush and continue. Two roll and folds should take no longer than about 5 minutes. Wrap closely, making a note of how many roll and folds you have done, and place in the fridge again to relax.
  9. Repeat the 2 roll and folds again, wrap and chill again. If after 4 roll and folds the butter is still evident and streaky, you will need to do one more, but generally rough puff pastry has 4 roll and folds. Keep wrapped in the fridge until needed.
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