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It’s so very easy just to pick up a packet of pastry from the shop when needed, but it is just so much more rewarding and satisfying not to mention tasty when you make your own. Of course, this isn’t an option for everyone. It does take way more time up and when busy lifestyles and tiny children get in the way, it’s not always an option. I tend to make big batches of pastry when I have time and pop them into the freezer in individual portions, labelled and dated.

I have this dream about owning my own cafe. In this dream, we serve good simple items that look great and taste great. Breakfast pastries are one such item. They don’t have to be complicated, but made well and with love. So I have been playing around a lot with pastry and this post for my puff pastry is simple and good.

I have stuck to a simple rough puff pastry recipe for this, there is no need to faff around (I sound like my mother, she loves the word ‘faff’)  for absolutely hours when you can do it in under one hour. In fact this is Michel Roux’s recipe. Why adapt or change a classic especially from the master himself?

So here it is. I hope it helps with any future endeavours to make your own pastries and tarts from scratch.

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ROUGH PUFF PASTRY

  • 500 g plain flour
  • 500 g very cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 ml ice-cold water

THE HOW

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Put the flour in a mound on the work surface and make a well. Add the butter and salt and work them together with your fingertips (make sure your hands aren’t too hot as to melt the butter), gradually drawing the flour into the centre.

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When the cubes of butter have become small pieces and the dough resembles big crumbs,  pour the the iced water into the centre and mix until it is all incorporated (I use a claw like hand posture for this), but don’t overwork the dough. Shape it into a square block, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

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Take the pastry out of the fridge. Flour the work surface and roll out the pastry into a 40 x 20cm rectangle. Fold it into three and give it a quarter-turn. Roll the block of pastry into a 40 x 20cm rectangle as before, and fold it into three again. These are the first 2 turns. Wrap the block in cling film and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

5

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Give the chilled pastry another 2 turns, rolling and folding as before. This makes a total of 4 turns, and the pastry is now ready. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

The pastry will keep in the fridge for a few days if wrapped tightly in cling film, and for at least a month in the freezer.

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