Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Easy Gluten Free Puff Pastry - (Method for Thermomix or Vitamix or food processor)

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

Equipment required
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)

Tip out into the middle of a large-ish square of greaseproof paper (the width of standard size is fine). If you want to watch an example of how to do the next part of shaping the pastry, then have a look at 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).

Wrap the pastry by folding down the top and bottom of your package, and put into the fridge to rest for half an hour, longer is fine (if it’s been in a long time, just take out about 10 or 15 minutes before you want to roll it out). You haven’t quite finished yet, you need to roll and fold it, before you can use it (see next steps), but it only takes a couple of minutes and it’s not difficult, don’t worry!

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.

Roll up and down only (not side to side), until it’s increased to three times its original length. Don’t worry if the edges crack a tiny bit, and the top and bottom aren’t straight – as you can see mine doesn't look perfect, and it cooked beautifully!

Fold the bottom third up using the greaseproof paper to help you. Again, don’t worry if it cracks a little on the crease when you fold it, or a bit is stuck to the paper, and you have to scrape it up with a knife and stick it back on… it’s rough puff, and it all comes good in the end!

Fold the top third down over the bottom third.

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.

Repeat the folding up and down process again - you'll probably notice the pastry is a little less prone to cracking this time.

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).

Fold the third up, and third down for the last time, and you are ready to go. As you can see, the more the pastry has been worked with, the smoother it has got, and the less cracks there are as it warms up. So no need to worry about those initial cracks.

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.
Roll the pastry out to your desired shape until it is about 2.5 to 3mm thick (you can roll in all directions now). If you're making sausage rolls with it, you will need it to be about 38cm x 24cm. (As you can see, I’m not one of those people who can maintain a perfect  shape while rolling out pastry)

Trim and line up the edges as far as you can, which should leave you something around 36cm x 22cm, which is pretty much the size of a 320g pack of ready rolled puff pastry. (As you can see, I stole a little strip from the bottom left, to patch up the indent on the bottom right hand side with a little water to stick it. No one ever knew. And the other trimmings amounted to something the size of a walnut – I don’t like waste!). This is the pastry cut in half, ready for making sausage rolls... (well, meat free, nut free, gluten free sausage rolls! And blooming tasty there are too - you can find the recipe here!).

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!


  1. Really,I appreciate for providing the great info in this website that to using the nice info in this blog. I definitely loved every little bit of it. 

  2. Must try this. I make smoothies every morning and when I dont it is because of lack of time.

  3. AWESOME! Really easy and tasty pastry! Thanks a bunch. I didn't tell my family it was GF and they didn't notice. Tsee hee hee! High five!! xx

  4. Do you brush with egg? Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Hi - yes, I usually brush with egg to give it a nice golden shine - you can use milk as well although it doesn't give the same shine and colour.

  5. Oh my - this is the best success I've had with GF pastry, it was so delicious. Thank you a thousand times!!!!!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it - thanks for letting me know! :)

  6. Im a beginner of making gluten free pastry. May i ask, is that need to put the ice cube,butter and gluten free multi purpose flour all together into thermomix and turn the speed into speed 10? Follow by 2mins of knead, add a bit of cold water? What if i do not have xanthan gum? Can i juz ignore it or any althenative option? Hope to hear from you soon. Tq so much

    1. Hi Eli, yes, that's pretty much it, you add the water through the lid once you have set it to knead for two minutes. I haven't tried it without xantham gum, and I haven't tried any alternatives. I would imagine without xantham gum it would probably be crumblier / fall apart more easily, but depending on what you want to make with it, it might still be OK?


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