You can buy very good pre-made all-butter puff pastry from the supermarket these days but when I was growing up that wasn’t an option and my mum would make this. It’s a quick flaky pastry, or rough puff, which is really very good.
The hands-on prep doesn’t take long at all, but you do need to be able to revisit the dough every half an hour for a couple of hours over the course of a morning or afternoon.
Try it as a pie topping, a pasty wrapper or as my mum did, for her home-made sausage rolls.
Basics: Rough Puff Pastry
225 g plain flour
Pinch of salt
175g butter, frozen
6-8 tbsp cold water
Squeeze of lemon juice
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Grate the frozen butter into the flour, dipping it into the flour as you grate to keep the pieces separate. Then mix the two together with your fingertips but DON’T rub it in.
Roll it into a rectangle three times as long as it is wide. Don’t overwork it – it should look marbled with butter. Fold the bottom third into the centre then fold the top third down. Gently press the edges to seal and give the dough a half turn to bring the sealed ends to the top and bottom.
Repeat the rolling, folding and sealing and press your thumb into the pastry to make two marks to indicate how many times you’ve rolled and folded it. This is really helpful if you’re busy doing something else and you’ve lost track. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Repeat the rolling, folding and sealing twice more to make a total of four times, making an extra thumb print and chilling each time.
It will keep in the fridge for two or three days or can be frozen for a month. When you’re ready to use it, bring it back up to room temperature and bake in an oven pre-heated to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7 (unless otherwise indicated in your recipe).