I know what you’re thinking. Me, too. I made some, um, let’s not call them resolutions—suggestions, yes, that sounds better. I made some suggestions to myself to let go of the decadence December brought to my eating habits. I also decided I needed to get much better about being physically active. I never had to think about that when I lived in a city. Ever since leaving Brooklyn two years ago, physical activity beyond the steps taken from apartment door to car door, is something I have to plan. But see, that’s where this recipe for Light Rough Puff Pastry comes in. Life is supposed to be lived in moderation, right?
I began tinkering around with rough puff pastry and making galette des rois last January. By time my testing was done, the train had left the station on the Epiphany, so I’ve been saving these two recipes for you AN ENTIRE YEAR. Do you know how much patience that took people? Well, a lot, in case you needed me to clarify. During those trials last year, I found that I actually preferred this lighter version, using half the butter than normal (puff pastry is generally a 1:1 ratio of butter to flour). I know, I was surprised, too. Sometimes more isn’t better, at least not when the pastry is being used to envelope a sweet, creamy almond filling, as is the case with making a Galette Des Rois.
Admittedly, I was nervous about trying my hand at puff pastry. That might seem surprising for a somewhat experienced baker like myself, but butter is expensive. And French butter—well, that’s veering into second mortgage territory.
Surprisingly, making your own is incredibly easy (no, really). Especially when you go with this Light Rough Puff Pastry recipe (ready to use in only 1 hour!). It’s not overly fussy, and a lot less expensive than procuring a good quality brand of store-bought puff pastry (good-quality being the key word for me). So, there you have it. Do with this recipe as you may. As for me, I’ve got one or two more Galette Des Rois to make!
Light Rough Puff Pastry
Light Rough Puff Pastry
Makes about 11/2 pounds (18 ounces / 525 grams)
While the method for blending the dough might seem familiar, it is different from making biscuits, or say piecrust, where you usually want pea-sized pieces. When making puff pastry, you want large chunks of butter that will leave streaks in the dough as you roll it out. The butter should be just pliable enough to rub into the flour (5 to 10 minutes at room temperature should do the trick). And as for rolling it out, you want to roll in ONE DIRECTION ONLY. I know, did I really need to use all caps? YES. Rolling in one direction, as opposed to a back and forth motion, ensures the dough will puff properly when baking. Your choice for the direction—left to right, right to left, upwards (bless you if you have that much counter space!), whichever is most comfortable for you. This batch of puff pastry is enough for me to make one 8-inch galette des rois, and cut out a few smaller circles for a later use (personal pot pie toppings, quick hand pies). I flash freeze them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet, then store in a tightly sealed bag in the freezer.
250 grams (1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
6 grams (1 teaspoon) fine sea salt
125 grams (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature (cut into pieces)
150 grams (2/3 cup) cold water
Add the flour and salt to a deep bowl. Whisk to blend.
Scatter the butter over the flour. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it forms a crumbly mixture with a lot of large chunks.
Pour in the water. Using a wooden spoon, stir together until it forms a rough-looking dough. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap, and let sit in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
Lightly dust a counter or large cutting board with flour. Scrape the dough out, onto the surface. Gently knead it into a rectangle. Sprinkle more flour on the board, and on top of the dough, if it seems too sticky.
Moving the rolling pin in one direction only (see headnote), roll it out until it’s 3 times the length from when you started. Fold the outer 1/3 of the dough down towards the center. Fold the other edge over, so it overlaps, creating 3 layers (see photos).
Turn the dough 1/4 (visualize the hands of a clock moving in 15-minute increments). Roll out the dough to 3 times its length again. Repeat the same folding technique, so the dough is folded into thirds. Wrap in plastic film, and set in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes. The dough is ready to use after this final chill time. If you’re making this in advance, let the dough sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes, just until it’s pliable enough to roll out.