Rough puff pastry is a simpler or rather cheat’s way of making puff pastry. This method of making puff pastry takes shortcuts, hence cutting down on the time it takes to make puff pastry- thus giving you a “rough” puff pastry. Learn how to make rough puff pastry dough at home using our simple process.

rough puff pastry on a wooden board

Making this recipe at home will blow your mind! While puff pastry is readily available in the supermarket, making it at home is such a joyous process that you just can’t miss out on. While this may not be the real deal it’s as good as the original puff pastry.

The recipe and technique is inspired by Erin McDowell, pastry food writer at Food52. Her recipes are always amazing, but the way she explains the process for making rough puff pastry is clear and removes all the overwhelm.

What is a rough puff pastry?

A rough puff pastry is a non-uniform and inconsistent dough that is made with fewer folds and has a less smooth texture compared to the classic puff pastry. 

Rough puff pastry is not the same as puff pastry. The process is easier, faster, and less precise than puff pastry but provides similar results. It can be used in about 90% of recipes that call for (homemade) puff pastry. While it doesn’t provide the uniform layers that characterize puff pastry, it’s still as delicious and flaky as the traditional one.

To make the dough, combine chunks of butter with the flour instead of folding the dough around a block of butter (like you would with a puff pastry). Then you just continue rolling and folding the dough about 4 times.

How to Make Rough Puff Pastry Dough

Step 1: Mix the butter with flour first

Add the all-purpose flour into a large bowl. Add the salt and combine.

Cut the butter into small cubes by slicing the butter lengthwise, turning it 45 degrees, and slicing it lengthwise again. Break up the cubes and add them to a bowl. Coat the cubes with flour by tossing them with your hand. Then start squeezing them to flatten with your thumb and index finger.

Step 2: Form the dough

Make a hole in the center and gradually add a little bit of water to the hole. Make sure to not add too much as you can all add more water, but fixing a wet dough is harder. Toss the dough with your fingers to incorporate the water until it starts forming clumps. Remember that as soon as you start kneading you’ll start working the gluten, so you want to massage the dough as little as possible.

Once the mixture is hydrated enough and there is no dry flour left in the bowl, then lightly knead the dough to incorporate everything. Add a little bit of water, 2 tbsp at a time, if the dough is too dry, and continue kneading to mix all the ingredients

Step 3: Do the first and second fold

Lightly flour your work surface, dough, and rolling pin. You want to roll the dough with the dough roller to about 0.5 inch/1.5 cm thick. Keep flouring the dough, whenever needed, and turn the dough to roll it into a rough rectangle shape. Once you get to the thickness desired, fold the dough in half and then in half again and repeat the same process for the second fold. If you feel like the dough is wet and flimsy after the first roll, then wrap the dough with cling film and refrigerate to cool it. If not you can easily continue to the second fold. Once you’ve done two folds let the dough sit and rest in the fridge for a few hours. This is necessary for the gluten to relax.

Step 4: Do the third and fourth fold

For the third and fourth fold, you’ll basically repeat the same process of step 3 using the same principles. Like before, make sure to control the temperature of the puff pastry dough. Don’t let it get sticky!

Tips for Success

  1. It’s very important to control the temperature of your room and dough. Chill your dough in between if the dough becomes flimsy.
  2. Start by tossing the dough with the butter in the beginning. As soon you start kneading you will heat up the dough and working the gluten.
  3. Gradually add the water. You can always add water but you cannot take it out and you don’t want your dough to be too wet.
  4. Let the dough rest after the 2nd fold. Let it rest for at least 3 hours but ideally overnight.

How long does it take to make?

Rough puff pastry is in general easier and faster. The mixing and kneading take about 45 minutes total, however, the dough has to rest a few times. You have at least 3 hours of resting time in between but this can go up to 4 hours at a minimum depending on your environment’s temperature. If resting overnight then this time will be longer.

Can you freeze the dough?

Absolutely!

The common way of storing puff pastry is usually putting it in the refrigerator. But you can store your puff pastry in the freezer. You need to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Then you need to put it in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. The puff pastry should be frozen for no longer than one month as if you store any longer it may begin to lose its flavor. And we don’t want that to happen, do we?

If you want to thaw your frozen pastry dough before using it, you can move it to the refrigerator the night before using it. 

How long can you keep rough puff pastry?

Rough puff pastry can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. If you choose to keep it frozen, it can last in the freezer for about a month. Whichever way you choose to store it, make sure the storage bag or container is airtight to prevent it from drying out. 
You can add an extra wrap of foil just to be sure that it doesn’t come into contact with air.

Recipes with (Rough) Puff Pastry Dough

Rough puff pastry on a wooden board

Rough Puff Pastry Dough Recipe

Omaily Lucas
Ditch the store-bought puff pastry. Follow this recipe and guide to make your own homemade puff pastry that is flakier and full of flavor
Prep Time 45 mins
Resting Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Dessert, Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 1 batch

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients
  

  • 2½ cups (300 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks (226 gr) butter cold
  • Ice cold water

Instructions
 

Mixing the Ingredients

  • Add the all purpose flour into a large bowl. Add the salt and combine.
  • Cut the butter into ½ inch/1½ cm cubes (see note 1). Break up the cubes and coat with flour using your hand. Squeeze the cubes to flatten them with your thumb and index finger. Make a hole in the center and gradually add a little bit of water into the hole, about 6 tbsp. Toss the dough with your fingers to incorporate the water until it starts forming clumps. Then lightly knead the dough. Add a little bit of water, 2 tbsp. at the time, if the dough is too dry and continuekneading to mix all the ingredients (see note 2).

First Fold

  • Very lightly flour your work surface, dough, and rolling pin. Roll the dough with a dough roller to ½ inch/1½ cm thick. Keep flouring your dough, whenever needed, and turn the dough to form a rectangle shape. Then fold the dough in half and then in half again. Refrigerate if the dough is getting soft or sticky or move onto the second fold.

Second Fold

  • Roll the dough again to ½ inch/1½ cm thick and then fold it in half and again in half. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.

Third & Fourth Fold

  • Like previous folds, roll the dough to 0.5 inch/1.5 cm thick and then fold it in half and again in half. Refrigerate in between folds if the dough gets soft or sticky or move onto the last fold.
  • Wrap the rough puff pastry in a plastic wrap and cool for at least 2 hours before using.

Notes

  1. Tip: If using sticks of butter, cut them in two, lengthwise. Turn the stick around and cut in half, lengthwise, again. Then cut slices.
  2. Work quickly to not melt the butter when kneading. If your dough feels sticky after mixing then cool it in the fridge for a little bit.

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