Rough Puff, also known as (quick) all butter puff pastry  

Real puff pastry is a laborious process that involves much folding and refrigerating to produce that – oh so wonderful – effect of buttery layers. A puff pastry is best used for open baked items like sausage rolls, pie lids and turnovers, in other words things where the pastry is not squashed into a tin and covered by filling with little hope of ever rising. Simplified versions of the real deal are most often called rough (or ruff) puff.

This recipe is an adaption, or more precisely, a simplification, of one I borrowed from my friend and awesome baker Daniel Etherington, which he in turn took from Dan Lepard. 

Quantities for one batch of sausage rolls, this is a small batch, double if you like

125 g plain flour (00)
125 g strong bread flour (manitoba)
250 g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
85 g cold water

Take cold butter out of the fridge and chop 75 g into cubes.  Slice the remaining 175 g into fine, roughly 2-3 mm slices and place in the fridge to keep chilled. Measure 85 g of water and put briefly in freezer to chill.

Sieve the flour and salt together and add the 75 g of cubed butter.  Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until it resembles breadcrumbs. This can be done in a stand mixer, paddle fitting.

Add cold water and mix quickly till the dough comes together.  Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic and form into a rectangular block. Wrap in plastic film, or baking paper, and refrigerate for at least 30 mins. Note that chilling times depend on what sort of temperatures one is working in.  Warmer days require longer chilling.

On a floured work surface roll the pastry out to approximately 25 x 40 cm.  Lay out the slices of cold butter over two thirds of the pastry sheet, leaving a few centimeters around the edges. First fold down the unbuttered third and then the buttered third, closing the package well. Roll over the top to press out the air bubbles. Chill for 30 minutes.

A full version puff pastry would then start a 4 to 6 step process of rolling, folding, and chilling (each time for 30 mins) and rolling, folding and chilling again. Rough puff can be made by rolling, folding and rolling the pastry several times (from 2 – 4) without all the in between chilling.  If it works you can chill (for upwards of 15 mins) between some of the folds.  So while the ingredients are the same as real puff, the method is less regimented. Perfect for cooks like me that often have several things on the go at one time, and perhaps a hungry teen waiting for lunch. 

Don’t try this on a really hot day or the butter layers will melt out everywhere, but if the kitchen is cool enough you can still get nice layering with less time, and minimal effort. After the desired number of folds, wrap and chill the pastry for at least 30 minutes, or until you need it.  I wrap the pastry in baking paper, that can then be used again to line the eventual baking tray.  A recycled plastic bag over the paper parcel keeps the pastry nice and airtight if it is to stay in fridge for longer.  Pastry will keep for up to two days in the fridge, and can be frozen.

So, the sausage rolls

Sausage roll filling

400 g fine minced sausage meat – in Italy I would suggest buying the fine luganighe sausages and pushing them out of their casing
150 g breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 small onion, finely diced
2 grated carrots
1 handfull parsley – finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together well and store covered in refrigerator while pastry is prepared.

Sausage rolls are easy to assemble. Roll out the pastry to approximately 40 cm high by 30 cm long and cut in half horizontally so you have sheets of roughly 20 x 30cm.  Lay out a (sausage) of filling and roll the pastry over the mix so that it overlaps. You can give a light egg wash  to help close the pastry, then prick with a fork to help seal well.  Fork pricks also giving some ventilation to the sausage mix as it cooks.

What about the tomato sauce?

In Australia we call ketchup tomato sauce, and we like it with our pies and sausage rolls. In the (good) old days a fine tomato relish would be what people served and I am always happy when I have a jar of Carla Tomasi’s tomato chutney to hand. My kids love tomato sauce, and so recently we started making our own, partly because you actually know what’s in it, partly to help downsize our plastic recycling bag. Here is a recipe, I sterilize my bottles but don’t pasteurize, so this needs to be kept in the fridge.

1 bottle (750ml) of tomato passata
1 small onion
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
3 tsp white sugar
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Gently sauté diced onion in a little olive oil.  Add tomato passata and cook until it comes to the boil.  Let it bubble for 5 minutes on a low heat, and then add spices and seasonings, stirring well.  Take off heat, blend with a stick blender and pour into a sterilized glass bottle.  Let it cool and then refrigerate.  We then pour part of the bottle into a squeezey plastic bottle for use at the table.

(Since writing this I admit to not having made another batch of tomato sauce, but there are Italian made tomato sauces like Salsa Rubra, and Petti Ketchup which are made with natural ingredients and come in glass bottles to help out the time poor mum.)





2 replies
  1. Marisa
    Marisa says:

    Hello Alice. I really enjoy your posts. I’m originally from Melbourne too, but have lived a nomadic life for two decades. I lived in Rome for 3 years around the turn of the century…so long ago! Thank you for your posts. Love them 🥰


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