Puff Pastry


Yes, you can but it in the shops, and its very good.  But it’s really not that difficult to make yourself – it just requires a little planning as the end-to-end time is quite long, even though there’s not a huge amount of effort involved. Puff pastry gives a more consistent result than a rough-puff pastry, but requires a little more attention.  The key to successful puff pastry is to ensure that the butter and dough is always cold, and when baked, the oven is hot – the puff comes from the butter layers, so you don’t want this melting out of the pastry in a cool oven… Makes enough for a couple of pies!  Try my great Meat & Potato pie – ideal for those winter evenings…

Ingredients

  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 30g Lard
  • around 150ml cold Water
  • 150g cold Butter

Method

  • In a large bowl, add the salt and flour, then rub in the lard gently with your fingertips until it’s evenly distributed
  • Stir in the water with a palette knife to make a dough – dependent upon the flour, you may need more or less than indicated, but start with about 3/4 then keep adding until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20-30 mins
  •   Take the block of butter and roll out flat.  This is easiest when the butter is really cold, sandwich between a couple of pieces of cling film or greaseproof paper then batter and roll.  About 15cm square is ideal.  Return to the fridge to chill
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 15cm * 30 cm.  Place the butter in the centre, and fold the top and bottom over to encase the butter completely.  Seal the edges by pinching together, then wrap in cling film and return to the fridge for 10-15 mins to chill
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle, 3 times longer than it is wide (say, 20 cm * 60 cm).  Fold the top third down and the bottom third up to make a neat square.  Seal the edges again, wrap in cling film & chill again for 30 minute
  • Repeat this last step another 2 times.
  • After this, the pastry can be rolled out and used as normal

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