Puff pastry is not something I make regularly. In fact, I last made it for my own personal ‘joy’ in 2010/11. I am not ‘that’ woman who scoffs at buying pastry. I don’t judge. I’m too easy a victim of other’s judgement. I mean, I have three sons for a start. READ MORE
I have to admit to not having made puff pastry since I practised for the Bake Off. Does that make me lazy? No. Just busy. It actually doesn’t take that much hands on time but you have to stay in and remember to re-fold the pastry and of course squash the butter pack. If you want to know how to do it I wrote a very verbose explanation here. If you want a short cut with layer upon layer of all buttery puffy pastry then read on.
NB: You need some of your butter frozen for this recipe so have a read and prepare ahead if you are planning on making this.)
Three years ago: Banana and custard melts
Food mixer rough puff pastry
Makes enough for 30 x 3cm ish sausage rolls
Put your flour into the mixer bowl and add 50g of the butter then place the rest of the butter in the freezer. Wait for an hour or two allowing the butter in the flour to come to room temperature and the rest of the butter to freeze solid.
Using the flat beater (Kitchenaid) mix the butter into the flour for a couple of minutes until you have a breadcrumb consistency. Remove the frozen butter from the fridge and grate it (yes!) into the floury butter mixture. Using the flat beater mix again until all the strands of frozen butter are coated in flour – this should only take a few turns. Next add the vinegar and the water very slowly with the flat beater at the lowest setting. Just as the pastry comes together into clumps stop! You don’t want too much water in the pastry as it makes it less buttery in texture.
Flour your work surface well and pull the pastry together with your hands forming a square flat shape. Then flour the top of it and roll into a long rectange about 4mm thick. Fold one third of the pastry over like this:
Brush off any excess flour and then fold the other side over like this:
Then wrap the pastry in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove and roll out into a long rectangle again like this:
Can you see how I have turned the pastry so that the open ‘ends’ of the pastry are now lengthways rather than at the top and bottom as they were in the previous picture? Then you need to repeat the folding process again:
I then folded the other side over as before, wrapped it and chilled for 30 minutes. I repeated this step twice more, but you can get away with only doing it once more. And there you have it; a beautiful block of home made rough puff pastry with lots of layers. If you’re tempted to try and speed the process up please, please don’t as pastry has to relax between rolling. In fact I would suggest letting this pastry sit for a good hour after the last folding before using.
You can of course use this for whatever you fancy – I decided to make sausage rolls, so rolled to a thickness of 2mm and filled with chorizo and chilli flake spiked, well seasoned sausage meat. I used egg wash (egg with a little salt added to break down the strands in the egg) to seal the sides and also to paint the top, then sprinkled with sesame seeds. Baked at 200C/gas mark 6 for 25 minutes until really well puffed up and golden.
Whatever you use the rough puff pastry for please always bake in a very hot oven and don’t leave the pastry sitting about to come to room temperature. You need the cold pastry to meet the hot oven to get those layers going. And don’t open the oven during baking either!
Any scraps left over? Don’t roll them up into a ball or you lose all the layers, instead layer them on top of each other, roll flat and use to make little pinwheels rolled with pesto/chutney/marmite/nutella or jam. Delicious.
I am a child of the 80s. I owned a crimper. I even used it. I also owned those strange bendy rods used to curl hair into tight perm style ringlets. My first LP was Care Bears the Movie (The Soundtrack) and I remember the exhausting and expensive transition from records to tapes to mini discs to CDs. In pre Cbeebies days I loved to watch Pigeon Street, Fraggle Rock, Jackanory, Dogtanian, Danger Mouse, the Muppet Babies and Blue Peter. I adored my A La Carte Kitchen, my Get-a-Long Gang lunchbox, my Mr Frosty, my ear muffs, my T shirt that changed colour as I ahem, glowed… and my posters of Tiffany and NKOTB. My favourite things to do were read Look In magazine, eat those little frozen mousses’ that came in stacks of 10 and visit various Leicestershire attractions with my Mum, my Dad and both my Grandmothers. The best bit of these trips was the unveiling of the picnic feast.
There was always a pork pie. We’re from Leicestershire so it’s the law. There was always tuna and salad cream sandwiches, egg and cress sandwiches (home grown cress of course from a scooped out boiled egg filled with cotton wool and with a smiley face drawn on with marker pen), Red Leicester cheese sandwiches (Leicester connection again) and some form of potted meat rolls. There was always cold sausages expertly grilled by my maternal Grandmother and bought from a butchers facing Leicester Market called Walkers. There was always celery that ended up going home untouched. There was smokey bacon Walkers crisps (Leicester again you see) and likely a Wagon Wheel or melted Penguin bar. I would drink a warm Capri-Sun and the adults enjoyed restorative flasks of tea. The perfect 80s picnic complete with Whitney to sing us all the way home. The only thing missing were sausage rolls.
The sausage rolls of my childhood were, if I’m honest, a bit of a disappointment. Shop-bought, more than a little greasy and under seasoned. If you’re still wishing for a few sunny days to end this rained out summer then you cannot go wrong with this recipe from Sainsbury’s. Incredibly easy to make, sweetened with a little grated carrot and apple and likely to disappear in a flash. You could make a huge sausage roll if you’re pushed for time, make little filo versions for a more sophisticated affair and use sausagemeat and dried herbs to cut down the cost. My youngest son prefers the filo versions, in fact it’s a case of blink and you’ll miss them when he’s presented with these.
– 1 teaspoon olive oil
– ½ onion, finely chopped
– ½ carrot, grated
– 1 small Bramley cooking apple, grated
– 1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
– 250g extra lean British pork mince
– 1 pack ready-rolled puff pastry
– 1 medium egg, beaten
– 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
– 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Make one giant sausage roll by doubling the sausage filling in the above recipe. Place the filling in the centre of a piece of ready-rolled puff pastry. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, then roll the pastry over the filling. Flip and lay seam-side down on a baking tray. Cut diagonal slits across the top, brush with a little more of the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame and poppy seeds. Bake for 55 mins, then leave to cool before slicing up and serving.
Use ready-made sausage meat for your filling and season with dried herbs. Make the sausage rolls as usual, then brush the tops with milk rather than egg. Top with freshly ground black pepper.
Use filo pastry and brush one side of one sheet of pastry with melted butter. Fold the pastry in half, then place a portion of the pork filling at the top corner. Fold the pastry over the filling at right angles to make a triangle and continue folding to form a neat triangular parcel. Seal with a little melted butter. Repeat with the remaining pork mixture and pastry. Place the parcels on baking sheets, brush the tops with a little melted butter and sprinkle over poppy and sesame seeds. Bake for 25 mins until golden.
If you’d like step by step pics then you can download them here.