For Christmas this year, I was given a wonderful Magimix food processor which I am in love with. As part of my New Years resolution and blog development, I’ve decided to create a series of masterclasses in baking and cooking, starting off with pastry!
This weekend I decided to set myself the challenge of making Rough Puff Pastry for the first time. I’ve always wanted to give puff pastry a go, and I figured it made sense to start off with rough puff, as it is meant to be the easier and less time consuming of the two.
I had a bit of a search around for recipes and eventually decided to give Paul Hollywood’s “Cheat’s Rough Puff Pastry” a go. The result wasn’t quite as flaky as I would have liked, but I think that might be down to the quality of the butter I used! I think next time I’ll go all out and make proper puff pastry.
I used the pastry to make one of my favourite snacks, cheese and bacon twists, which actually turned out really well! So here is my step by step guide to making and using rough puff pastry!
Rough Puff Pastry Twists
A little effort | Cook: 40 minutes, plus chilling | Makes 18-20 twists
For the pastry:
- 300g plain flour
- Pinch salt
- 50g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 120g butter, frozen
For the twists:
- 9 slices good quality streaky bacon or pancetta
- 100g mature cheddar, grated
- 1 tbsp English mustard
- Black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- Plain flour, for dusting
- To make the pastry, put the flour and salt in a food processor along with the chilled butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs – or you can do this in a bowl with your fingers.
- Slowly add around 4-5 tbsp of water, until the mixture comes together to form a dough, then tip out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the dough out onto into a rectangle shape – it doesn’t have to be perfect, mine certainly wasn’t!
- Grate half of the frozen butter across the bottom two thirds of the pastry, then fold down the top third, and fold up the bottom third, as though folding an envelope.
- Turn the pastry 90 degrees, then roll out again into a rectangle shape. Repeat the process again, grating the remaining butter over the bottom thirds, then folding. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest.
- To make the cheese and bacon twists: preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Take out the pastry and put it on a lightly floured surface, then roll it out into a rectangle shape as in the picture below. You should be able to see the butter marbled through the pastry.
- Spread the mustard over the pastry, then top with black pepper, and some cayenne pepper if you fancy a little extra heat.
- Next, sprinkle the grated cheese over the mustard, then lay the bacon on top lengthways, as below.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry in between each slice of bacon. Take the edge nearest to you and begin twisting the pastry 4 or 5 times so it looks like a curly straw. Grab a pair of scissors and cut the twist in two – this way you get twice as many and less filling twists.
- Continue twisting the rest of the pastry, placing them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Then, pop them in the fridge to rest and firm up for 15-20 minutes.
- Take the twists out of the fridge and brush them with the beaten egg, then pop them into the oven. After a few minutes, turn the heat down to 200 and leave to cook for 25-30 minutes. If you have more than one baking tray, you may need to switch then around half way through so that they cook evenly.
- Take the twists out of the oven, then place on wire racks, leave to cool, then serve them up and watch them disappear! You can store them in an airtight container for a couple of days but I doubt they’ll last that long!
There you have it! A masterclass (for me as much as my readers!) on how to make easy rough puff pastry and then turn them into delicious cheese and bacon twists – a perfect snack if you have friends and family coming over!