Rough Puff Pastry, also known as Blitz Puff Pastry is a more streamlined and less fussy version of the classic French pastry dough. Used for so many different desserts, this flaky layered and buttery pastry is easier to make than you think! This extensive tutorial walks through all the steps on how to make this shortcut rough puff with step-by-step photos, video and lots of tips!
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Rough Puff Recipe
When made well, Rough Puff is nearly indistinguishable from the "real" thing. It's light, crispy and so buttery. Perfect to encase a sweet fruit filling (like these Apple Turnovers) or a savory one (hello Caramelized Onion Tarts). The uses for rough puff pastry result in the most gorgeous desserts (like this Apple Tarte Tatin), but it also can be used to make shortcut recipes (like these Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls). The uses are truly endless.
Rough puff is made by laminating (or layering) an enriched butter dough. This process of making it is similar to pie dough, except that it's rolled and folded quite a bit.
After reading through this tutorial, you'll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to make it.
Can you buy it at the store? You absolutely can. But, the quality that you can make at home is unmatched, and it's a lot less expensive.
So, let's get to making it, shall we? The text below offers tons of tips and helpful notes, or you can scroll to the bottom to grab the recipe and get started!
What is Rough Puff Pastry?
Puff pastry is a classic french pastry (called Pâte Feuilletée) made by laminating butter in a dough repeatedly until the final pastry has many hundreds of alternating layers of butter and dough. Rough puff is a more streamlined version of it, that is less fussy but with extremely similar results. Some people even prefer rough puff to classic puff pastry because it tends to be more tender since the dough isn't worked as much.
How Rough Puff Differs from Classic Puff Pastry
Classic, or full puff pastry is made by laminating (or layering) a block of butter in between dough. Rough puff pastry is made by laminating (or layering) a butter enriched dough. It's more akin to pie dough that has been rolled out and sandwiched together.
Classic puff pastry is a time-intensive process that requires precise rolling techniques and careful considerations of the ambient room temperature and the dough's temperature.
Rough puff pastry is a less precise version, usually requiring less effort and time.
When baked, these two puff pastry versions look rather similar. The main difference is that the rough puff pastry isn't as even in its rise as full puff pastry. But what it lacks in its evenness, it makes up for by being more tender since it is laminated a little bit less than full puff pastry, according to this particular recipe that is! My recipe for puff pastry is laminated just a little bit less than full puff and isn't laminated all at once, which means the gluten can relax in between rolling out the dough.
Here is an overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. The full recipe is listed below in greater detail.
- unsalted butter (it's highly recommended you use a good-quality European butter here, since they have a higher fat content, which means it is easier to roll and is extra yummy)
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar (this is just a small amount, to help improve flavor and color)
- kosher salt
- ice water
Here is a list of some of the primary tools I used in this recipe. You won't necessarily choose to use them all, but they are precisely what I used here. The links may contain affiliate links.
- Stand Mixer (The instructions call for using a stand mixer to put together both the dough and the butter block. I have not made puff pastry any other way so I cannot advise how to make it without an electric stand mixer)
- Plastic wrap: I know some people are averse to plastic, but I really suggest using it here. It keeps the moisture in the dough during all the resting time in the refrigerator, and it helps the dough keep its shape during the lamination process. You could use parchment paper instead, but I find it trickier.
- Rolling pin: there are many different styles out there. Use the one you are most comfortable with. I actually use two rolling pins nearly every time I roll anything out, one tapered french dowel rolling pin and one straight dowel rolling pin.
- Tape: This is used to give a general marker of where to roll out your dough. It is very helpful, but not essential.
- Bench scraper: This helps keep your dough in the correct shape, but it’s not absolutely essential.
- Ruler: Useful for ensuring your dough is rolled out to the proper amounts. If possible, one longer than 12 inches since the dough should be rolled out to 14 inches.
- Pastry wheel: This is helpful for using with puff pastry in general, but I use it hear to clean up the edges of the dough while I’m laminating.
- Dry pastry brush: To get any excess flour off the dough.
- A sheet tray: For holding the dough in the refrigerator while it rests.
- An instant-read thermometer: I used a thermometer in the beginning when I was learning what was an ok temperature for the dough to be rolled out. However, this is really just an extra.
Do you need all those tools? Well, I suppose at the end of the day, all you really need is a rolling pin and a bowl. However, using the above-mentioned tools (which is everything I use when making puff pastry) makes making puff pastry easier.
Overview of Steps
There are quite a few steps needed to make this recipe. While they are listed in very full detail below in the recipe, I thought it would be helpful to give a brief overview of what is needed to complete this full puff pastry recipe.
- Make the butter-enriched dough in the stand mixer.
- Rest/chill the dough in the refrigerator.
- Roll out the dough two times, clean up the edges of the pastry then make one more fold (for a total of 3).
- Rest/chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes and refrigerator for 20 minutes to an hour.
- Roll out and complete 4th and 5th (final lamination).
- Rest/chill the dough at least 2 hours in the refrigerator (then the dough is ready to use!)
There is some flexibility in the length of time between steps. Sometimes I've needed to carry over the process a day, but I don't recommend going more than 24 hours between steps. Please see the sections on chilling and temperature below for more information.
The ambient temperature of your home, as well as the temperature of your butter/dough, is critical when it comes to making rough puff pastry.
One of the keys to keeping that lamination intact is to make sure the butter doesn't melt. If it melts or gets too soft, it will be incorporated into the dough, as opposed to staying as a thin layer in the dough.
If your house is very hot, you may need to chill your dough longer than called for in the recipe between lamination.
The best temperature for rolling out the dough was somewhere around 40ºF - 50ºF. Better if it's closer to 40 than 50, but within that range works best. Once you understand what the dough feels like at that temperature, you won't need to use the thermometer anymore.
Don't have an instant-read thermometer? One trick I found over time was that if you held out the chilled block of dough flat on your hand, and it stayed stiff, it was chilled enough. If you held it out flat and it bends down towards your palm, then it is too warm.
How to Laminate Rough Puff
If you don't already know, pastry lamination refers to the technique of layering butter and dough together. It is achieved through rolling the dough thin--as neat as possible--and then folding it over itself several times. Each time the dough is rolled out and folded is referred to as a turn. The traditional puff pastry has 6 turns, but this rough puff version has 5.
There are several different ways to achieve lamination. This recipe uses the three-fold technique (or business letter technique) when the top ⅓ of the dough is pulled down towards the center, followed by the bottom ⅓ of the dough towards the middle.
Rolling out pastry is a skill you get better at over time with practice. Find a rolling pin that feels comfortable to you. I prefer a dowel rolling pin, as opposed to one with handles, but the type of rolling pin doesn't matter; what matters most is you can direct the dough properly with it. Because this is rough puff, it isn't as critical to keep the dough super neat like if you are making classic puff pastry, but I do find it's best to keep it as neat as possible.
Lamination and Resting Schedule
When it is your first time making rough puff pastry, the lamination schedule can feel overwhelming (or maybe it's just me?)...Here is a quick reference guide for an overview:
- Make the dough (this is technically the first lamination as the butter is incorpated into the dough)
- Rest for 1-2 hours
- 1st turn
- 2nd turn
- 3rd turn
- Rest 15 minutes in the freezer plus 1 hour in the refrigerator
- 4th turn
- 5th turn
- Rest 4 hours in the refrigerator
- Use as desired, or freeze
Tips for Rolling Out Pastry
- Ideally, when the dough is rolled out, it is done so with even strokes away from you and the pin, as opposed to pushing downward.
- Make sure the dough is at the proper temperature. If it's too soft, it becomes easy to compress and smush the butter while you are rolling it. And of course, warm butter will absorb into the dough. If it's too hard, well then it's just a pain in the neck. It should be around 40ºF - 50ºF.
- Flour the work surface. If your pastry sticks to your work surface, it's going to mess up the lamination. You can always (and should always) brush off any excess with a dry pastry brush.
- Occasionally flip the laminated dough over when rolling to ensure it doesn't stick and to help get even layers.
- Before beginning a turn, use the rolling pin to "get the dough ready to roll" by lightly pressing the rolling pin perpendicular to the dough all along the surface to lengthen and flatten it. This helps keep the rectangle by conditioning the dough to keep its shape. Please reference the video to see this in action.
Why Resting Matters
One of the pivotal aspects of this recipe is the resting time. While I know some rough puff recipes don't call for any resting time, this one calls for three. I'm always a proponent of letting pastry rest, even with pie dough, and this rough puff is no exception. Bottom line, I do think it's essential for the best product. I played around with eliminating some of the resting times and it produces inferior results, so this recipe is precise with the minimum resting times to make for the best rough puff.
Resting the dough ensures the butter maintains the proper chilled temperature, but it also allows some of the built-up gluten to relax. Gluten develops naturally when the dough is handled and rolled out. Allowing the dough to rest makes it easier to roll out during lamination, and it prevents it from shrinking too much when baked.
You will notice that it's harder to roll out the dough on the last turn than it is compared to the first turn. That is totally fine. It's best not to force it if the dough is contracting a lot, and instead, just roll it out in a smaller rectangle if you need to.
Storing Rough Puff
Rough puff can be stored in the refrigerator for one (or at the very most two) days, but for any significant length of time, it should be stored in the freezer. This is because the dough becomes very wet and sticky as it sits in the refrigerator, causing you to have to add more flour to the dough once it's handled.
There are two ways I recommend storing it in the freezer. This recipe makes 2 batches of rough puff. Once the dough is fully laminated, slice the dough in half. The dough can be stored as it is, for up to one day in the refrigerator or 3-6 months in the freezer.
Or, you can store it rolled out. Roll the dough out to a ¼" thickness and place it on a piece of parchment. It's most ideal to store it flat like this way because then, it can be removed from the refrigerator and freezer and formed however you plan to use it. Or, if you don't have the space to store a flat piece of puff pastry in your freezer, you can roll the puff pastry up in the parchment and store it like that. If you are storing it in a freezer, it should be defrosted in the refrigerator before attempting to unroll it.
If you are in a hurry, a rough puff can be defrosted at room temperature, but be sure to chill it again before baking to firm up the butter.
What to Make with Rough Puff
There are virtually endless ways to use rough puff pastry.
- In place of pie crust for pie recipes.
- Savory or sweet tarts
- Cheese straws
- Puff Pastry Hot Dogs
- Cinnamon twists
- As the top for pot pies (like Chicken Pot Pie or Beef Pot Pie)
- Appetizers (such as spinach puffs or caramelized onion tarts)
- Cinnamon rolls
Generally speaking, puff pastry should be rolled out to a thickness of ¼". Once rolled, it can be formed into whatever shape the instructions call for.
Most of the time, it should be baked at 400ºF on the middle rack until the pastry is golden. However, it's always best to consult the baking instructions of the individual recipe you plan to make.
One critical component to baking up beautiful rough puff is not to compress the edges of the pastry before baking. That means all edges of the pastry should be cut with a sharp knife or a sharp pastry wheel. Also, it's fine to egg wash the tops of puff pastry, but never egg wash the cut sides. It will prevent the pastry from puffing up properly.
Watch It: How to Make Rough Puff
More Pastry Recipes
Want to check off some more bakes on your baking bucket list? Check out this list!
- How to Make Choux Pastry
- Classic Puff Pastry (Full Puff Pastry)
- Classic Cream Puffs
- Classic Fruit Tart
- Easy Pastry Cream
I am so honored when you make a recipe from my site! If you make this Rough Puff Recipe, please leave a comment and a star rating with your experience! If you have any questions about this recipe, feel free to comment here, too!Print
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