Spelt rough puff pastry

Spelt rough puff pastry ready for oven

Can I tell you a bit of a secret? This recipe got me really excited. Yep, a recipe for plain spelt rough puff pastry and I was over-the-moon excited.

It’s not even a recipe that you’d eat on it’s own, it’s just a gateway to other kitchen delights, but for some reason, basic ingredients and techniques get me really excited. A bit like the oven dried tomatoes that were the subject of my first published recipe on this site. In that instance I turned a load of regular tomatoes into rich, sweet, nuggets of concentrated flavour by doing something pretty damn simple.

And here’s that excitement again, but with baking there is something slightly magical about the metamorphosis that occurs. It seems so transformational, to take a few simple, pale ingredients like flour, water and butter, combine them, add heat, and the end result is a rich, flaky, crispy morsel adorned in warm, deep and rich colours.

I think puff pastry is something that everyone should try to make at least once. It feels complicated and intimidating, but it’s not, and freshly made pastry tastes utterly fantastic. So this recipe is for a very simple spelt ‘rough’ puff pastry, made from spelt flour, which some people find easier to digest than standard wheat.
What's so rough?
It’s called ‘rough’ because it’s thrown together in a bowl with lumps of butter, whereas traditional puff pastry is made with a single large square of butter, wrapped carefully and folded with the dough. The traditional method creates very exact layers in the dough.

I’ve created a simple 10 step photo guide below and also there’s a PDF download, to print or view on your tablet, so you’ve got absolutely NO excuse not to give this one a go!

And finally, here’s how the finished product looks, plus I’m giving you a sneak preview of the next recipe that’s coming up on my blog… my mouth is watering just looking at these again!

Cooked spelt rough puff pastry

Spelt rough puff pastry

By

Makes enough for 8 small tarts, or 1 large

Uses 1 pot

PDF recipe card to download or print

Ingredients

250g white spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
140ml chilled water
250g butter, cut into 5-10mm chunks and well chilled

Adapted from a recipe by Sven-Hanson Britt; http://www.greatbritishspeltrecipes.com/our-spelt-recipes/chicken-leek-pie

Directions

Clear a large space on your worktop and clean it thoroughly, also put your rolling pin in the fridge.

Step 1.

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt. Take a little more flour from your bag and make a small pile of on the back corner of your worktop, ready for dusting.
Spelt flour for rough puff pastry

Step 2.

Add the butter and very gently mix together with your fingers until all the separate chunks of butter are coated in flour.
Flour and butter for spelt rough puff pastry

Step 3.

Add the water in 3 batches, mixing it gently with your fingers, until it is all incorporated. It is important to be light here, as you don’t want the butter to melt.
Basic mix for spelt rough puff pastry

Step 4.

Grab a ‘pinch’ of the spare flour between your fingers and throw it at the worktop, to dust your working space.
Dusted worktop for spelt rough puff pastry

Step 5.

Turn the mixture out onto the floured surface (make sure you get all the bits out of the bowl) and knead JUST A COUPLE OF TIMES. You do not want it to be smooth and even, there should still be chunks of butter in the mix.
Basic kneaded mix for spelt rough puff pastry

Step 6.

Shape into a square, wrap in greaseproof paper and then refrigerate for 20+ minutes.
Spelt rough puff pastry wrapped for the fridge

Step 7.

Re-flour your work surface, then unwrap the pastry and place on your surface and roll into a long, thin rectangle. Fold the top third down, then the bottom third up and on top of the piece you’ve just folded down, to create a square.
Rolled and folded spelt rough puff pastry

Step 8.

Wrap the pastry in your paper, refrigerate for another 20+mins.

Step 9.

Repeat step 7 & 8 once or twice more. Once will suffice, twice is better.

Step 10.

Your pastry is now ready to be rolled and used however your recipe requires!

Cold, cold cold!
As you may have gathered, it’s very important to keep puff pastry cold when working with it. Make it during the cooler part of the day, or with the air-con on if possible. The reason for this is that you need to keep the butter that you fold in as solid as possible prior to cooking. In the steps where refrigeration is required, you can always leave it in the fridge longer to really chill it down, whilst you go and do something else, like making your pastry’s filling or reading a book (left-field suggestion, I know.).

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14 Comments on “Spelt rough puff pastry”

  1. Georgina

    Spelt is wheat!!!!! Be careful if you intend to serve this to people with wheat allergy. Some wheat or gluten intolerant people can eat it safely, but it IS wheat…

    1. Gavin Wren

      Dear Georgina,

      Thank you for raising that. I published the recipe some time ago, when I was less knowledgeable about spelt flour and it’s composition. I now understand that spelt is also wheat and that it contains gluten, just different amounts of the gluten to regular wheat. Some people find it easier to digest than regular what, however it is not gluten free.

      I’ve duly amended the post, thanks for kicking me in the ass 🙂

      Gavin

    2. Sam

      To be specific, spelt is an ancestor of modern wheat. We selectively bred spelt into modern wheat, including obsessing the resilience of the gluten. Spelt gluten is fragile compared to modern wheat grains. That is why it proves faster.

    3. Val

      Wheat is a dangerous grain, been modified too many time, do your homework on this modern grain and why so many people are allergic to it…..spelt on the other hand is the old natural grain along with two other ancient grains….we all need to do proper research on the food we eat, then it takes away the mystery of why we have so much disease today….Spelt is a great flour and once people rid themselves of the poisons that have accumulated in their systems from all the poison grains, then they would be able to most probably eat spelt with no side affects..like rice it is dangerous if not soaked and boiled in enough water..

      1. Gavin Wren

        Thanks for your thoughts Val.

        I realise there are a lot of opinions about modern wheat and it’s negative effects due to breeding. I’ve always enjoyed eating spelt, that’s why I use it so much. Sometimes things just feel right, without even needing scientific evidence to back those thoughts up, it’s just intuitive.

        Take care,

        Gavin

  2. Laura

    I can’t wait to make this for a Thanksgiving recipe! Looks wonderful! What is your experience substituting coconut oil for butter? I’ve used it successfully in baking.

    1. Gavin Wren

      I’ve not tried coconut butter in baking, however I guess that it’s lower melting point would make it difficult to use in puff pastry, unless you can make it in a walk in fridge!

    1. Gavin Wren

      You can, it’s absolutely possible to make wholegrain puff pastry, although I’ve not tried with this recipe. You should pay careful attention when adding the water, as it might have slightly different requirements, also it may rise slightly less than with refined flour.

      Gavin

  3. Lena

    I will try this tomorrow, very excited! Yes spelt is a kind of wheat, but many people who can’t tolerate wheat, like myself, are fine with spelt, although it contains gluten.

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