Good easy pastry recipes

Hello all. Does anyone know a good recipe for pastry? I have never once succeeded in making puff pastry - it's beyond me and I'm not going to try again in the tropical heat (not the UK) I'm in at the moment. 

I have Stork Block with me, and can buy flour locally, but no other solid fats are available to me. 

'Rough Puff Pastry' would be good, but when I have tried it in the past it came out like shortcrust. 

Like pretty much anyone else on the planet, I can make shortcrust pastry. I'm interested if there is something else I can try such as flaky pastry or such like. 

The pastry will get used to make turnovers. Most likely with savoury fillings as I don't think I can get Bramley apples here. 
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  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,917
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    edited 22 December 2023 at 7:31AM
    In the summer I went to an event where Michel Roux Jr was speaking. At home, he apparently uses ready made puff pastry (buy one made with 100% real butter, was the tip) (but not in his restaurant)

    Personally having made puff pastry once, it's a never again for me, life is too short, and I'm not a chef or a contestant in a baking/cooking show. Rough puff can join that in the not making it again camp.
  • -taff
    -taff Posts: 14,335
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    Hot water crust pastry is pretty easy as is choux...however, the tatse won't be the same withut the right fat..But if beef is available ask the butcher for lard or fat and render your own.
    Shampoo? No thanks, I'll have real poo...
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,489
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    I tried making puff pastry once, I’m also a never again. If I need puff or filo, I buy it.  The ex makes hot water crust but even that takes a fair bit of experimenting before it’s right.

    Turnovers or pasties with shortcrust work fine.
  • YorksLass
    YorksLass Posts: 1,672
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    OP - I suspect your rough puff pastry turned out like shortcrust because you may have (a) over-rolled it and knocked out all the air that's created by the small pieces of fat, or (b) didn't leave it to rest long enough.

    That said, I usually make shortcrust because it's quicker and think it would be fine for your turnovers.
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  • RHemmings
    RHemmings Posts: 3,101
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    edited 22 December 2023 at 11:24PM
    Thanks for all the advice. I have fat with me that fits my dietry restrictions - Stork Baking Block. It's the process of turning it into pastry that is the issue. 

    On the island I'm on (Sumba), there are bakeries. I wonder what would happen if I went to one and asked if they can make the puff pastry for me if I provide the fat. 

    Thanks for the other ideas. I can use shortcrust pastry and on previous visits made oil based pastry. But, I'm wondering if I can do puff pastry this time.

    Part of this is that it's a challenge to see what I can do here. If I run out of Stork Baking Block, then I'm seriously considering making some coconut oil from ... coconuts. But, first the challenge is to see what I can do with the baking block. 

    Once in the past I made a really nice pastry approximately following the rough puff pastry method. I thought that this was going to then be a feature in my baking forever more. But, I have never been able to reproduce that first effort. 

    @YorksLass - I suspect that over-rolling is what I've been doing. I have been leaving it to rest. 
  • -taff
    -taff Posts: 14,335
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    And it has to be kept cold...
    Shampoo? No thanks, I'll have real poo...
  • RHemmings
    RHemmings Posts: 3,101
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    -taff said:
    And it has to be kept cold...
    Yes. I failed to make good puff pastry in cold UK, making any in tropical heat here has got to be more difficult. 
  • JIL
    JIL Posts: 8,617
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    If you have a fridge you can do it.

    My brother makes pastry all the time but only with butter. He uses 250 flour but he does half strong plain and half ordinary plain. He uses 225 g of salted butter.
    He takes 75 g of the butter and that goes into the flour and rubbed in, then really cold water to make a dough.
    This goes into the fridge to rest.

    The remaining butter then gets cut up into small cubes. He freezes these on a tray for 20 to 30 mins.

    The pastry dough then gets rolled out into a long strip. A third of the butter cubes go into the middle of the strip. Then the top is brought down and the bottom up.
    Turned sideways and rolled into a strip. No resting. Next third of cubes butter goes in the middle, top and bottom folded in, turned again and rolled. He repeats for a third time and then turns, rolls and puts it in the fridge until he uses it.

    It does look and taste really nice.


    I always make my own short crust for quiches and sausage rolls. Always use stork. Half fat to flour, rub in the fat and add very cold water to make a dough.


  • RHemmings
    RHemmings Posts: 3,101
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    JIL said:
    If you have a fridge you can do it.

    My brother makes pastry all the time but only with butter. He uses 250 flour but he does half strong plain and half ordinary plain. He uses 225 g of salted butter.
    He takes 75 g of the butter and that goes into the flour and rubbed in, then really cold water to make a dough.
    This goes into the fridge to rest.

    The remaining butter then gets cut up into small cubes. He freezes these on a tray for 20 to 30 mins.

    The pastry dough then gets rolled out into a long strip. A third of the butter cubes go into the middle of the strip. Then the top is brought down and the bottom up.
    Turned sideways and rolled into a strip. No resting. Next third of cubes butter goes in the middle, top and bottom folded in, turned again and rolled. He repeats for a third time and then turns, rolls and puts it in the fridge until he uses it.

    It does look and taste really nice.


    I always make my own short crust for quiches and sausage rolls. Always use stork. Half fat to flour, rub in the fat and add very cold water to make a dough.


    If I still have Stork Block available nearer the end of my stay I'm going to give this recipe a go. If not, then I'll give the recipe a go once I'm back in the UK. Thank you. 
  • Interesting perusing the Bake Off Christmas special on catch-up; a lot of mince pie failure was blamed on being "too short". How can standard half fat to flour be too short?
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