Rough Puff Pastry

March  7, 2021
10 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Makes 1 ½ pounds (610 g)
Author Notes

Rough puff pastry is remarkably flaky, but can be made much easier and faster than full puff pastry. It’s made more like pie dough. I like to use it for galettes and other freeform pies, and it makes a truly epic chicken pot pie—but it can also be used like puff pastry in any of your favorite recipes. The tightly wrapped disks of dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, the dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using. Adapted from my forthcoming book, The Book on Pie (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020). —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/2 cups (302 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¾-inch (19-mm) cubes
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) ice water, plus more as needed
  1. In a medium bowl, stir the flour and salt together to combine. Add the cubes of butter, tossing them through the flour until each individual piece is well coated. Cut the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening them into big shards. As you work, continue to toss the butter through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces. The goal is to flatten each piece of butter only once, leaving the pieces very large (they will get smaller/more dispersed through the process of folding the dough).
  2. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the ice water to the well and, using your hands, toss the flour with the water to start to mix the two together (this begins to combine them without creating too much gluten). As the flour begins to hydrate, you can switch to more of a kneading motion—but don’t overdo it, or the dough will be tough. Then add more water, about 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, until the dough is properly hydrated. It should be uniformly combined and hold together easily, but it shouldn’t look totally smooth. Divide the dough in half and form each piece into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick (the exact size/shape of the dough doesn’t matter here, just the thickness). Brush off any excess flour with a dry pastry brush, then fold the dough in half. Fold the dough in half again into quarters. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 15 to 30 minutes, until firm.
  4. Repeat the previous step three more times: rolling out the dough, folding it, and chilling it each time before continuing. If you work quickly, you can sometimes do two rounds of folds back to back, but if the dough is soft or sticky, don’t rush it.
  5. Once the final fold is completed, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and preferably 1 to 2 hours before using.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Emrie Tomaiko
    Emrie Tomaiko
  • Ro A Ostro
    Ro A Ostro
  • Russ Swanson
    Russ Swanson
  • Stevedale7
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

8 Reviews

Stevedale7 January 17, 2023
Works great! Thanks for the recipe and technique!
Celi September 19, 2021
It's a really good recipe, I made tarte tatin and palmiers with it and there where a lot of layers. Thank you Erin!!!!
Emrie T. March 7, 2021
The queen does it again. I was so intimidated by puff pastry. This was time consuming but straightforward. Made my first batch to wrap around poached pears. Crisp, light puff. Just perfect
DMOKC December 25, 2020
This was fabulous. It worked perfectly on the first try and I'm still amazed at how easy it was to make. I plan to have a stockpile in my freezer from now on.
Ro A. December 6, 2020
Erin, you’re my hero! I got intimidated when I decided to make my first puff pastry and found your video. I decided to try rough puff pastry instead, and it puffed up beautifully for my apple turnovers. I made a double recipe and will make a pithivier with the second half. Thank you so much!!!
Betsy October 3, 2020
Hi Erin. Your rough puff pie dough recipe is superb. It is now my official go to. I have preordered 3 copies of your upcoming book so I have one for myself, my niece and my girlfriend so that on Thanksgiving Eve we will be all set to bake!!! I have used the recipe in other applications besides pie and the results are spot on. Your videos are so easy to follow and you are an amazing teacher. You have made me a much better baker!
Russ S. June 9, 2020
I an fast becoming an Erin disciple. I can't wait for the book to release. I used this method to create a traditional frangipane pithivier and was able to score it and everything. I can't, for the life of me, think of a reason for the everyday Joe baker, such as myself, to ever do full puff when this is available.
Mykitchen20 June 8, 2020
I watched the segment puff pastry and decided to use the rough pastry example, for a apple turnover project and I just want to say. Everyone is raving over the crust thanks to too you Erin the great/fabulous teacher whisperer!!!! You speak it. it works 😇😇