We love cooking shows like Masterchef. It intrigues me how the guys (and gals) get things done in an hour and make the most interesting dishes using different doughs and techniques. For this reason we invested in the epitome of technique manuals written by the master Jacques Pepin. I have even read how to slaughter a baby lamb and cook a pigs ear. Useful skills, if I ever see a baby lamb.
But here I was, thinking that delights such as puff pastry or choux dough is out of my reach. Until I tried it.
We bought Oom Dirk’s delicious boerewors from the Pretoria Boeremark and I thought – why just braai the wors? Why not make sausage tolls with puff pastry? And I did.
But this is about the puff pastry. Easy peasy and a delight to work with. I used my trusty old “Die Volledige Suid-Afrikaanse Kookboek” by Magdaleen van Wyk as source material. (I chose not to grab the Julia Childs book, as it was bound to break my spirit just by its sheer size).
I did two testers and the dough came out perfectly. I then made sausage rolls with the rest, and they were truly delish. The reason I used Oom Dirk’s boerewors is that it has little fat. I think that the cheap shop-bought boerewors would make the puff pastry oily and soggy. Haven’t tried it, but it makes sense. And an oily, soggy sausage roll, blah!
- 500g Cake flour
- 300g Butter, chilled
- 12,5ml lemon juice
- 250ml iced water
- 5ml salt
- Sift the flour and salt together in a bowl
- Cut the butter into pea-sized blocks and add to the flour mixture. Cover all of the butter cubes with flour but do not stir.
- Mix in the lemon juice and the iced water and cut into the flour. I used the Kenwood with the K-attachment and it did the job perfectly.
- Knead lightly with the tips of your fingers.
- Chill the dough for 15m in the fridge before you start rolling it.
- Cut a block of the dough and roll lightly with your rolling pin. Do not press the dough.
- Keep the dough and the surface chilled. When it loses its firmness, chill in the fridge.
- Roll to a thickness of 5mm and then fold over. Repeat this 5 or six times.
- For whatever recipe you use, bake the puff pastry at 240 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. When you have filling, turn the heat down to 190 degrees until the filling is cooked.
- Tip: Never blacken the dough, it becomes bitter.
- For pies, cook the filling first, let it cool and then add to the dough.
- Rachel Khoo's tip - brush the pastry inside with egg white and it will not absorb the liquid of the filling and go soggy.