What’s the difference between puff pastry and rough puff pastry?

I remember making pastry at school in home economics lessons. We were taught about four different types of pastry: shortcrust, puff, choux pastry and something else I can’t remember. We then made a recipe with each of them. I remember I made some reasonable profiteroles with choux pastry but I can’t recall how the rest turned out.

Since school I have made shortcrust pastry a few times, and I made puff pastry once, years ago. It turned into a greasy mess and put me off ever trying again. Then when found out how easy it is to buy ready made pastry my innate laziness kicked in…

I had been aware of the terms puff and rough puff, but I had always assumed they were two terms for the same thing, and that rough puff was just the full name of the pastry.

I only realised this was not the case recently when I had Great British Bake Off on telly or whatever its called. I was only half watching because I was making dinner at the time but I happened to see Mary Berry comment that one of the men was making proper puff pastry and would he have the time.

A little research reveals that proper puff pastry involves taking a flat slab of butter and placing it on your pastry dough. The dough is then folded with the butter inside, and then rolled and folded again in a different direction. The dough is chilled and then the process is repeated several times.

This distributes the butter in layers evenly throughout the pastry, which causes the pastry to expand into light crispy layers on cooking.

Rough puff pastry is the cheats version. Its designed to produce a similar effect to puff pastry, for a lot less effort.

The butter is cut into chunks and mixed into the dough, still in chunks. Then you do the same folding and rolling thing and the butter is distributed in small layers throughout the pastry.

On cooking it will rise in layers, just not quite as effectively as the real thing.

I’m pretty sure rough puff was the one I did at school as I vaguely remember having chunks of butter.

You live and learn hey!


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