Why You Need This Workhorse Pastry Dough in Your Arsenal.

Mar 24, 2021

My favorite workhorse, do-it-all pastry dough is rough puff pastry (a.k.a. Quick puff or blitz puff).  Rough puff is the best of both worlds:  The simplicity of pie dough and nearly as flaky as puff pastry.

If you can make pie dough, you can make rough puff.  And if you can make rough puff….well, the possibilities are pretty endless. 

Pie dough, but make it fashion.
Remember that scene from The Devil Wears Prada when Anne Hathaway’s character Andy goes from cute to total babe? Imagine pie dough is cute and rough puff pastry is sophisticated, sexy, and shows up to the party wearing thigh-high Chanel boots. Sometimes cute is great, and sometimes you want to make a freaking statement.  Using rough puff anywhere you’d use pie dough gives whatever you’re making an instant glow-up.

Forget the hassle of making puff pastry.
Unless you are going all out for a super special occasion, I say skip the long tedious process of puff pastry and just make rough puff.  It will save you SO MUCH time and effort and produce enough flaky layers that anyone eating it will be none the wiser.

You have to do a series of folds (similar to puff pastry) but they take less time and are WAY less finicky. 

Rough puff pastry is one of the most versatile pastry doughs.
My favorite thing about rough puff is its versatility.  You can use it anywhere you’d use pie dough, and anywhere you’d use puff pastry. Palmiers, turnovers, baked brie, 9-inch pie, free-form tarts, tarte tatin, pot pie, pithivier… you name it, rough puff can do it.

And get this... you don’t need any special equipment to make it. Rough puff has fewer than 5 ingredients that you probably already have on hand, making it one of the most accessible buildable skills you can learn. Master this simple skill and I promise you making real deal puff pastry will be a heck of a lot easier.

My favorite recipe is a classic from Michel Roux that I learned very early on in my career.  Give it a whirl, or save it for the next time you want to impress yourself and your loved ones.  And don't forget to tag your Instagram posts with #thinklikeabaker so the community can follow along.


Rough Puff Pastry

 250g all-purpose flour

250g cold, unsalted butter cut into ½ inch cubes

1/2 tsp salt

125g ice-cold water

 

  1. Measure more water than you need into a measuring pitcher and add several ice cubes.
  2. Cut/rub the butter into the flour and salt until roughly the size of pecan halves, making sure to squish flat any super chunky bits. 
  3. Measure out 125g of ice water and add to the flour/butter mixture.
  4. Gently incorporate the wet into the dry by tossing together until no dry bits remain, add additional water 1 Tbsp at a time if necessary.
  5. Bring the dough together and form into a rectangle ~1 inch thick
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum.
  7. Remove from fridge and roll dough into a rectangle ~ 12x35 cm. Use a bench scraper to straighten the edges as you go. Don't go crazy over the dimensions, they are just guidelines.
  8. Fold in thirds like a letter and rotate 90 degrees.
  9. Roll the dough again to ~12x35 cm and fold in thirds.
  10. Chill for 30 minutes minimum.
  11. Give the dough another set of folds, rotating 90 degrees after each, equalling 4 folds total
  12. Chill for 45 minutes minimum before rolling out to a final thickness of ⅛ inch.

Rough puff will keep wrapped in the fridge for up to 3 days and up to 2 months in the freezer.

One of my favorite ways to use rough puff pastry is to make a deconstructed “pot-pie” by cutting a circle of dough just smaller than the bowl I am using, dock with a fork all over, and bake at 425°F  until completely golden brown ~25 minutes.  Make pot pie filling on the stovetop, scoop into individual bowls, and top with the baked pastry. Not a fan of pot pie? Try it on top of beef stew or anywhere flaky pastry crust is a welcome addition.

 

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