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Rough puff

Wed, 17 February, 2021

It is not impossible to make puff pastry at home. In fact it’s quite a straightforward affair at least for rough puff or flaky pastry. I may yet change my mind about homemade ketchup.

rough puff pastry

What is laminated pastry?

I always declared that puff pastry is something you BUY rather than MAKE. Why? Because it is a type of laminated pastry where by rolling and folding alternate layers of dough and cold butter a delicate, flaky structure is created. The French name of a well-known dessert, millefeuille, meaning a thousand leaves, describes that structure precisely.

The other kind of laminated pastry is Danish or Viennoise (called either way depending where you are in the world) which is made with the same technique, by pressing butter into layers of dough, except the dough in this instance is yeast-leavened. That makes the pastry less brittle and more substantial, but still flaky and rich.

I have mastered the Danish variant but must admit I prefer the shortcut, easy Danish, where the butter is incorporated into the dough in pea-shaped blobs and the folding and rolling is limited to a sensible number of four.

Quick puff pastry

And as it turns out, the same exact shortcut can be applied to puff pastry. Starting as if you meant to make shortcrust pastry, we mix ice-cold butter into an equal amount of ice-cold flour – the best thing is to place the food processor bowl with the ingredients into the freezer for fifteen minutes or so.

Once the butter disperses a little into the flour, but still small chunks are clearly visible, we add some ice-cold water, only enough to make the pastry come together.

What if you don’t have a food processor?

I’d say it’s still possible to do, using two sharp knives. Make a mound of flour on the work surface (granite or marble will be the most pastry-friendly worktop) and cut the butter into the flour briskly, like you were chopping herbs.

Drizzle in water and continue to work with the knives in order to keep the pastry cold – that’s why your hands will not make the best tool here.

Rolling and folding rough puff

The dough can be worked straight away but reasonably briskly. It might seem daunting, but it isn’t: the dough is supple enough and not too sticky. Rolling into a long strip which will be folded, envelope style in three, is easy. A tape measure stretched next to your work surface will help get the length right.

The folded package is turned 90 degrees and rolled out and folded again, in the same way. Two more turns, rolls and folds and the rough puff pastry is ready to be used.
It is perfectly serviceable. It might not make the best ever millefeuille but is completely adequate for wellingtons, sausage rolls or tartlets.

It can be stored in the fridge, wrapped tightly in cling film, for a couple of weeks; or in the freezer for up to three months. I have learnt much about the rough puff from Herve Cuisine – as the name suggests, a kin pastry maker.

How to make rough puff pastry - step by step

Chill ingredients in the freezer

puff pastry ingredients

Process with water to make pastry come together

rough puff pastry

Shape into a ball

rough puff pastry ball

Roll out into a strip

rolling out puff pastry

Fold top third over

folding puff pastry

Fold bottom third over

folding puff pastry

Turn pastry 90 degrees

quarter turn of puff pastry

Roll out into a long strip again

roll out second time

Fold top third and then bottom third

fold pastry second time

Turn and roll out again

roll out puff pastry third time

Fold and repeat one more time.

fold pastry and repeat

Rough puff

Servings: makes 500g pastryTime: 30 minutes
Tags: pastry, french


  • 200g flour type 45 (or plain flour), more for dusting the surface
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100ml water


1. Place the flour in the bowl of a food processor or standing mixer. Dice in the butter, add the sugar and salt. Place the bowl in the freezer as well as the water in a separate container, for 15 minutes.

2. Process the flour and butter or beat with a paddle attachment until small pea-sized pieces of butter are visible. Slowly add the water and mix to a dough; drops of butter will remain visible.

3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly. Shape into a brick 10cm wide, 20cm long. Roll it out to a length of about 50cm. Fold the top third in, the bottom third over it and turn the dough 90 degrees.

4. Roll it out again to 50cm length and repeat the folding. Give it a turn and do the same again twice, so 4 roll-and-fold in total.

5. Wrap the dough in cling film and keep in the fridge until needed, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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