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:
- keep wasting my time, effort and ingredients on a pastry that no one will eat,
- give up puff pastry and eliminate a whole bunch of meals I know my kids will eat, or
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.