There's absolutely no need to dread making pastry (you're not alone, I have for many years!), you just need a fail-safe recipe and you can whip up a batch in minutes, and it's deceptively easy too!
This makes a fantastically light and flaky, (rough) puff pastry, perfect for sausage rolls, pie lids, savoury or sweet tarts or tartlets etc. and you would never even guess it was gluten free. It will rise even more when it's not wrapped around fillings, too!
I’m not sure whether a normal food processor will cope with the ice cubes and frozen butter for the pastry (see the paragraph below in italics if you want to have a go with a normal food processor), you will need something high-powered that can cope with frozen food specifically (e.g. Thermomix, Vitamix or similar etc.).
If you don't have a high-powered food processor, you could make it using super-chilled butter, and iced water instead of ice cubes (add ice-cubes to 65ml of water, and drain off the iced water and measure again when you're ready to use it), but you will need to tweak the technique a little to suit you and your machine.
And if you like the look of these delicious meat-free, gluten free, nut free sausage rolls, click here for the recipe!
Don’t forget to freeze 100g of cubed butter in advance to make this pastry (easier than cutting it after frozen, although this is possible with a hot knife), as well as half a dozen or so ice-cubes (50g).
There are lots of photos here, because I personally find photos really helpful in recipes (so I hope you do too!), especially to know that what I’m doing is along the right lines. I find a lot of bought gluten free stuff is a real disappointment – dry, gritty, bad-tasting and generally quite unpleasant, so I try and make my own where I can - this often means experimenting with different quantities and ingredients and having a few fails - so when something really works, I really want to share it!
When you read through the method, and see the photos, I hope this inspires you to have a go, because it really is very easy - the 'doing' parts literally take minutes, and it's the best pastry I've ever made. I was initially inspired to have a go at making puff pastry by this fantastic blog at Super Kitchen Machine, where there is a recipe for making 'normal' pastry with wheat flour (if you're not bothered about making it gluten free), and a video too. We all know the golden rule about keeping things cold when making pastry, which is something I've always struggled with in the past so making it with ice cubes and frozen butter sounded like the perfect solution to me. You can also see some fantastically risen vol-au-vents there made using this technique there! I'm pretty sure if you make this once, you'll be making it again... just remember: everything in moderation! ;)
1,097 calories per quantity.
- 50g ice cubes
- 100g frozen butter, cut into chunks (salted, or add extra salt to recipe – use a hot knife dipped in hot water each time to cut the butter up)
- 100g gluten free plain flour (e.g. I use Doves Farm, any good white GF flour mix should do the same job, Orgran is good too, or Red Mill)
- 1 level tsp xantham gum
- Pinch of salt
- 1 x 15ml tbsp cold water
Food processor capable of blitzing up ice and frozen butter with a 'knead' function, greaseproof baking paper, rolling pin.
Makes 265g pastry, which can be rolled out to the same size as a 320g pack of ready-rolled commercially made puff pastry (just over 36cm x 22cm after trimming, around 2.5-3mm thick)
Because baking is a science and requires accuracy, if you're using a Thermomix make sure the scales are working accurately (test with an object you know the weight of - e.g. the Thermomix spatula weighs 95g) and if you’re a little unsure, use digital scales first (a good way to check it!). If you’re using a different brand of high powered food processor it needs to be able to cope with blitzing up frozen foods (ice cubes and frozen butter).
In this order, add the 50g ice cubes, 100g cubed frozen butter, 100g gluten free flour, 1 tsp xantham gum and pinch of salt. Turn the speed up relatively slowly to maximum (Thermomix to Speed 10) and blitz for 10 seconds, or until it resembles breadcrumbs.
If using a Thermomix, set the dial to closed lid, and set to 2 minutes and press the knead button (that looks like an ear of wheat). Pour in the tbsp of cold water as it begins to knead. It should resembled over-cooked dried out scrambled eggs once it’s done!!
If you don't have a Thermomix, set your processor to knead dough function, or you can pulse several times etc. until you achieve this consistency (for Vitamix, select High speed and slowly turn it on then off again several times)
this video on YouTube from about 6 minutes onwards.
Pull up the left and right side of the pastry, and press it together into an oblong-ish lump, as far as you can, with flat hands (minimal handling to keep it cold). It will be a bit like a crude triangular log when you do this, the important thing is to try and get it to stick together in a lump (not all of it, just the majority, mostly in the middle).
Unpeel and unfold the left and right sides of the paper out flat again, and then fold over the top and bottom down, pressing as you go, to compress the pastry into more of a square-ish shape (like a block of pastry that you'd buy in a shop). Don't worry too much about getting it a perfect shape, you're going to do this once more.
Unpeel and fold the paper out flat again, then repeat folding the left, then right side over, pressing gently with the flat of your hand as you go, to shape it into a relatively compact block (again, don’t handle it too much though, keep it cold - it doesn't have to be perfect, just stuck together in a vaguely rectangular lump).
Once the pastry has rested, it's time for the final stage.
After chilling the pastry, put a fresh sheet of greaseproof paper down, and flour it. Place the pastry on top, and dust with more flour.
Then dust the greaseproof paper with more flour where the pastry was, and roll out to three times its length again, like you’ve just done.
Spread out the existing flour on the paper, and if necessary dust with a little more flour.
Then roll out to three times its length one last time (this means you now have 27 layers of dusted and rolled out pastry, which will give you a lovely light result when you bake it).
To start rolling out your pastry to use, pick up the pastry gently, flour underneath where it was and/or spread out the flour to cover the greaseproof paper again, then turn the pastry around a quarter turn, and flour the top again.
And finally, here, I hope you can see how the pastry has a nice little flaky rise on it from the before and after photos of the sausage rolls on the baking tray (the photo at the top of this blog is larger, where you can see the flakiness, especially in the bottom right roll, which is closest to the camera). Enjoy!
Here's a fantastic festive idea I just had to share with you, when I saw it - a beautiful Christmas tree made with my gluten free pastry and pesto, by Jaime Brian!