Have you ever seen plastic free puff pastry in the shops? I haven’t and I don’t know of any other way to get it premade, so I tried to teach myself how to make it.

I looked up puff pastry in my cookbooks and online and discovered that making rough puff pastry is preferable for the home cook because it takes significantly less time to make than real puff pastry.

I set to work but a problem emerged. Every. Single. Time. I tried to make rough puff pastry it was an epic fail. An unsatisfying mountain of crust would remain pushed to the side of everyone’s plate. What a waste of my time, effort and ingredients!

I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Maybe my expectations of rough puff pastry were too high? I considered my options:

  1. keep wasting my time, effort and ingredients on a pastry that no one will eat,
  2. give up puff pastry and eliminate a whole bunch of meals I know my kids will eat, or
  3. bite the bullet and get some professional help.

I decided pretty quickly to get professional help. After all, who wants to waste their time and ingredients. And I know I’m not alone when I admit that dinner times can be a source of stress in my family, so eliminating meals that work for all of us was out of the question.

I enjoyed a sneaky glass of wine towards the end of the cooking class.

A month after giving up puff pastry while I sort help, I received my String and Salt newsletter announcing their Series Two Kitchen 101 workshops, and there it was, a Sweet and Savoury Pastry making class. Yippee.

Rolling rough puff pastry in the pastry making workshp at String and Salt.
Chef, Ann Vanderzalm from String and Salt helped me to perfect my rolling technique for the rough puff pastry.

I had a lovely time as a guest in the class last night and I am very pleased to say that rough puff pastry has been demystified, and I was even able to replicate the pastry again today to make my own sausage rolls. The kids are going to love me when they get home from school. I also learnt how to make a whole range of other pastry types that I probably wouldn’t have attempted at home because they seemed too time consuming and difficult on paper. As it turns out, they aren’t and I can add these to my repertoire too.

The rough puff pastry I made at home today.
The rough puff pastry I made at home today.
I used my beeswax wraps for resting the pastry in the fridge.
I used my beeswax wraps for resting the pastry in the fridge.
Success at home! The pastry tasted great, had some layers and a little puff.
Success at home! The pastry tasted great, had some layers and a little puff.

If you are struggling with something I highly recommend learning directly from someone else. There are nuances in the way people do things and if someone is enthusiastic about what they are teaching it is infectious. Workshops are also a great way to connect with others in the community and have a good time. Here are some photos from last nights’ class to get you salivating.

Apple and ginger galette using easy short crust pastry.
Apple and ginger galette using easy short crust pastry. That’s a honey and pine nut tart in the background, made using a sweet shortcrust with herbs.
Profiteroles made with choux pastry and crème patissiere.
Profiteroles made with choux pastry and crème patissiere.
Making chicken and chorizo pies with sour cream pastry.
Making chicken and chorizo pies with sour cream pastry.
Sausage rolls made from the rough puff pastry I made.
Sausage rolls made from the rough puff pastry I made.

I’m interested to know if you make your own pastry, and if not, why not? Maybe you have found a way to get it plastic free or maybe you have eliminated pastry from your diet. Any tips are most welcome too.

Advertisements

18 thoughts

  1. Interesting read! I really must make pastry more. We don’t eat many pastry items for some reason but we do eat them. I’ve considered making it for my sausage rolls so I really should give it a go. I’ve been wanting to do one of their cooking classes. So many fabulous things on offer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the first things I’m going to try in my new S&S Falcon oven is pastry. I used to love making it but with my ‘toy’ oven it just isn’t high on the doable list. Doesn’t have to be difficult, as even the basic doughs taste so much better than the packaged and you know exactly what’s in it. We are doing the S&S foraging this weekend, looking forward to that! Those chicken and chorizo pies look great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to do that tour too, but I must control myself. Will you post some photos? Tamsin’s Table is another whose workshops I always think about going to. I also love all the stuff that community groups like the Baw Baw Sustainability Network do, but I rarely get the opportunity to go.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely taking the camera! I love classes but some are just way to expensive IMO. I keep going to them so I can get ideas for when I get the courage up to do some sourdough ones 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that Apple and Ginger Galette looks divine! I recently posted an easy Puff Pastry dough recipe on my blog and I would be curious to hear how it compares to the one you were trying. I imagine it won’t compare to Chef Ann’s, but I’ve gotten good results with it and I am no baker ha. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Caryn, I couldn’t find your recipe but I think it was my technique which improved more than being about the actual recipe. For instance I don’t think my butter and water were chilled enough, I wasn’t rolling correctly, etc.
      All the food was delicious! We left very full and with leftovers in bowls.

      Like

  4. Hi Tamsin. Good on you for having a go at making puff pastry. Hubby is itching to try it out, so will let you know the outcome. While I agree it helps attending a class, a lot of times these events can be costly so we often rely on books and YouTube tutorials (that’s how we started making goats cheese and sourdough bread). But I have to admit the Apple & Ginger Galette looks pretty moreish. Good luck with your next food adventures. Look forward to reading about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree. There are heaps of things I’d love to do but almost always don’t because of the cost. I went to this one because I was having so much trouble learning from Google and YouTube :-).
      Looking forward to hearing how he pastry goes. Cheers Tammy

      Like

  5. I’ve today successfully made Spinach & Ricotta rolls with my first ever try at rough puff pastry. The spinach was home grown, the ricotta home made, I used re-usable baking paper on my baking trays and beeswax wraps instead of cling wrap when resting/refrigerating the pastry. They’re now packed into reusable containers for us to take to the basketball tonight (together with pre-made SodaStream soft drinks and other zero plastic goodies) to try to avoid the canteen. Not all of today has been zero plastic, but this much has been. Small steps, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s Fantastic! It feels so good to do this doesn’t it? It’s kind of like being self-sufficient. I don’t seem to be able to grow spinach very well but I really want it in my garden so I’ll keep persisting. One of my gardening aims is to be self sufficient in leafy greens.

      Like

  6. I’m having a crack at s/rolls soon and wondered what you used to fill them with. Up till now my sausage and veggie rolls are labelled as legendary, but I use sausage mince that comes in plastic packaging (and god knows what else is in them). Need some inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I do a beef mince mixed with steamed pumpkin bits and Moroccan spice mix, and another one is chicken mince with hoisin sauce and grated carrot and zucchini. But I haven’t made the one with chicken mince for a long time because I haven’t seen it at the butcher.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s