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.
Anyway, I read about a different way of making puff pastry ages ago in a really old cookbook I own. The name escapes me. The method was to spread soft butter rather than the traditional ‘bashing’ of a block of butter (which I always find loud and annoying and not in any way relaxing as baking should be) and the result is an easy puff pastry. Well, as easy as puff pastry gets.
I made these little videos for Instagram stories where I am @hollybellmummy but have downloaded them here for all those folk who do not do Instagram. I do heartily recommend it though. It’s nicer and less ‘let me tell you what I really think’ than Facebook or Twitter. In my humble opinion anyway.
Here’s the recipe method in video form and then at the bottom there’s a printable version:
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available through Amazon).
Last December: Mince pie brownies and Pulled jerk turkey sliders and Christmas pudding crackers and Fail safe mince pies and Boxing day pie and Christmas pudding flapjack and Last minute tropical trashy Christmas cake and Sausage,onion and apple sesame plait and Cherry eccles cakes and Cinnamon apple pie and Mushroom, leek and Stilton soup and Firecracker
Two years ago: Two minute marinade for chicken and Melted snowman biscuits and Egg nog truffles and Chocolate biscuit Christmas pudding and Drunken Amaretto mince pies and Cheese concertina loaf and Hot chocolate on a stick and Sausage, sage and squash lasagne and Chocolate hazelnut granola and Orange and cranberry loaf and Chocolate ganache tart.
Three years ago: My slow cooker beef bourguignon pie and Crumble topped mince pies and a very ugly but delicious cranberry & raspberry traybake
Four years ago: Mini Yorkshire pudding canapes and Christmas pudding fizz and Brandy butter icing and Rudolf morsels
Five years ago: Lime meringue pie with chocolate pastry and Christmas scones and Ginger cake with Christmas cottage and Hot chocolate on a stick
Six years ago: Moonuts and Cheese biscuits and Parsnip soup and Inauthentic chicken tagine
Yield: Makes 40 small sausage rolls
- 450g plain flour (plus 50g extra for rolling, dusting etc)
- 500g salted butter
- About 300mls cold water (may not need it all)
Take 450g plain flour. Rub in 50g salted butter to a fine breadcrumb consistency. Add cold water in dribbles until the pastry comes together using a blunt knife to stir. At the end use your hands to pat into a rectangle shape. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for an hour. Leave 450g salted butter to come to room temperature. If it's cold in your kitchen microwave on defrost until the butter is super soft and spreadable (NOT melted). Roll the pastry out to a thickness of 1cm (keeping the edges at 90 degree angles) and spread two thirds of the pastry with butter. Fold over one third of the pastry. Fold the other third over and chill for 30 mins. Repeat this folding in thirds action using lots of flour to stop any sticking, 5 more times, chilling for at least 30 minutes between each fold and remembering to keep the 90 degree angles at the corners. Use however you wish... maybe make some sausage rolls? This amount makes about 40 small ones. Do remember not to roll puff pastry too thinly (about 3 - 4mm is perfect), to release the tension after rolling so that the pastry doesn't shrink in the oven (see the video!), don't open the oven door when baking and always let the oven preheat properly. (For sausage rolls, bake at 220C/fan 200C/gas mark 8).
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You are describing how puff pastry always used to be made. I have only seen “bashing” in the past few years, which has always struck me as excessively energetic. The old ways are often the best!
Ah that’s interesting! x
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