Sunday, May 19, 2013

Quick 'n Dirty Rough Puff

Not a picture of the pastry
Another break, and this week I found myself without a food processor so I had to make the pastry for this weekend's Tarte Tatin by hand (yes, I also found myself without a new recipe). I chose to make a rough puff pastry rather than try to make shortcrust by hand again. Maybe next time...

I poked around the Internet and found a number of recipes with a variety of methods. The following is basically inspired by a few of them:


  • 250g plain flour
  • 250g butter, chopped into little chunks (no bigger than ½ cm)
  • 100ml cold water
  1. Put the flour into a large bowl. Tip in the butter chunks and spend a little time smooshing the butter in with fingertips. Not so much that it melts, just so the chunks aren't big sharp squares any more. I did this process until I started making some little breadcrumb-sized bits of floury butter. 
  2. Make a well and mix pour in the water. Mix with fingertips spread apart - the idea is not to heat the mixture up too much. Mix until there's no obvious water left or large blob of watery flour.
  3. The mixture will most likely still be quite crumbly. I poured the mixture onto a bench and very lightly kneaded into a single blob. It only took a few pushes to do so. Kneading too much will result in gluten forming and the pastry will be tougher (harder) and less short (crumbly and flaky). Once in a blob, smoosh it away from you so it's a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. Take the disk and place onto a lightly floured bench. Lightly flour the top too. Basically you can lightly flour it enough so it doesn't stick to the bench or rolling pin or have chunks of butter popping out. Now roll it out away from you so it's makes a tall rectangle about 3x higher than across.
  5. Fold the bottom third up and the top third down so there's now three layers. Rotate ¼ turn and roll out again to another 3x1 rectangle. Fold over again.
You may now use the pastry immediately or refrigerate for another 20 minutes. I believe that cooling it again will mean the pastry works better. It worked pretty well for me without the cooling.

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