I have been a proud supporter of homemade Puff Pastry for years. I will not judge if you use shop bought (provided it's all butter) as we don't always have the time to make everything from scratch. I will judge you if you say making puff pastry is difficult though. It isn't at all. Time consuming, yes. Difficult, no. As someone who has raved about puff pastry so much I haven't actually made rough puff before (I keep typing ruff puff). Being dedicated to the cause I didn't see the point of trying the shortcut version but given lockdown I thought I'd give it a go. You'd actually think I wouldn't be doing the quicker version when we do have all the time in the world. Go figure. Well, what can I say. I'm very pleased with the result. You get a great lamination and for a third of the time it takes to make puff pastry.
I've seen there are lots of different methods to making Rough Puff as there are with Puff. Some people freeze and grate butter, others act like they're making pasta and make a well in the flour. I know the 'old fashioned' method is more straight forward and follows the common sense approach of using chilled butter and needing to avoid touching it so it doesn't melt. You avoid making contact by using a knife to do the mixing for you. Simple as that. Whilst I haven't tried using a food processor I would imagine you could end up with the same result provided you pulse the dough in short bursts and don't over do it, otherwise you'll end up with shortcrust pastry.
I've included optional sugar in the recipe should you want to make sweet bakes or savoury, however I forgot my frozen pastry had sugar in it and used it for my dinner and it tasted perfect.
Makes approx 600g Hands-on Time 20 minutes plus chilling
Ingredients 250g Plain flour (plus extra for dusting) 1/2 tsp Salt 20g Caster sugar (optional for savoury) 210g Unsalted butter (cubed and chilled) 125ml Water (cold)
Equipment Bowl Sharp knife Rolling pin Baking parchment Mix the flour, salt, and optional sugar in a bowl.
Add the butter and toss in the flour using the knife until coated. The key is to pretend the blade of the knife is your hand, do be careful though.
Add the water and stir a little using the blade before repeatedly drawing the knife towards you through the butter and milk sodden flour. Spin the bowl around a little and keep repeating these actions. You should find you will end up with a sticky dough with specks of butter. You’re not looking to have a paste as the specks of butter are key for the layers.
Flour the worktop and tip the dough out onto it.
Flour the top of the dough and roll out into a rectangle. Try not to handle the dough too much but do keep both sides of the dough floured. You don’t want it to stick should the butter get soft and ooze out. Fold one third of the dough into the centre followed by the remaining third on top of that so you have 3 layers.
Wrap the dough in baking parchment and pop into the fridge for an hour to chill. Take the dough out of the fridge, flour again and roll out into another rectangle. Fold again into thirds.
Wrap and chill the dough again before use or wrap and freeze for later!