Trying to live more sustainably has meant saying goodbye to some of our favourite foodstuff, or at least seeing them less frequently. This has often been beneficial to our health, waistlines and pockets but it doesn’t make the farewell any easier. One of those things has been pies and pastry because I haven’t been able to find affordable all-butter puff pastry without plastic easily.
I googled making puff pastry and knew instantly that I’d never have the time to make it properly so I was delighted when a 10 minute recipe for rough puff pastry popped into my inbox from Aussie site The Whoot. Before you comment I know shortcrust is a very simple and straightforward replacement for puff but my family’s not a fan of this type of pastry.
The recipe is actually credited to Gordon Ramsey and is hosted on BBC Good Food. This is my tweaked version of that recipe.
- 250g strong plain flour
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 250g butter, at room temperature, but not soft
- about 150ml cold water
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Roughly break the butter in small chunks, add them to the bowl and rub them in loosely. You need to see bits of butter.
- Make a well in the bowl and pour in about two-thirds of the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough adding extra water if needed. Put in a bowl, cover with a plate and leave to rest for 20 mins in the fridge.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width, about 20 x 50cm. Keep edges straight and even. Don’t overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect.
- Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to three times the length. Fold as before, put in a bowl, cover with a plate and leave for at least 20 mins before rolling to use.
I used the recipe to make a lid for a chicken pie* so I can testify to its easiness and tastiness but what to do with the leftover pastry. Aha! cheese straws!
- Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6
- Sprinkle your leftover rough puff pastry with grated cheese. I used cheddar but you can use any hard cheese. You can spread pesto or mustard on the pastry before sprinkling cheese if you’d like
- Cut your pastry into 1cm strips (or as close to this as possible) and approx. 10cm long.
- Twist the top of the pastry to the right and the bottom of the pastry to the left to make a spiral. Some cheese will fall out but I found that if you twist top and bottom separately, you don’t lose as much.
- Cook until golden, approx. 12-18 minutes.
- Cool and enjoy.
*I tried to take a photo of the pie but artificial evening light made it look decidedly unappetising.