Vegan Puff Pastry

We’ve done vegan shortcrust… now we’re taking a step up. While a little time-consuming, so many doors open when you master this pastry. Spinach puffs, curry puffs, pies, apple turnovers, vanilla slice, pastry twists… yes please. My best advice? Be patient, and chill it properly at the times it says. Otherwise your “butter” will melt into the pastry and the puff won’t be as awesome.

Ingredients

Pastry base:
225g plain flour (1.5 cups)
30g vegetable shortening, softened slightly and cubed
125ml (1/2 cup) iced water
Pinch salt

Butter component:
133g vegetable shortening
67g liquid vegetable oil of choice

Method

Several hours before cooking, combine the 133g vegetable shortening with 67g liquid vegetable oil and melt together. Pour into a rectangular container lined with foil or baking paper and leave to set in the fridge until cold and firm. This 2:1 blend of very hard fat and liquid oil will create a firm-but-not-too-firm vegan substitute for butter that can be used in the pastry (and any other recipe that calls for butter, for that matter). In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and vegetable shortening cubes. Rub fat into flour until the texture resembles breadcrumbs. Add iced water and stir until a dough forms, then knead briefly until smooth. Cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 30 mins to rest.

Once rested, roll pastry out on a floured surface into a rectangle. Remove your vegan “butter” from the fridge and give it several hard taps with the rolling pin to flatten it into a wider rectangle. Place butter in the middle of the pastry and fold pastry over the butter so that the butter is enclosed.

Using the rolling pin, roll this out until flattened. Then, fold it in thirds and roll it out again. Repeat this a few times, then pop the pastry back in the fridge for 15 minutes to let the pastry rest and avoid having the butter melt. What you’re doing here is enclosing thin layers of cold vegan butter between sheets of pastry.

Repeat this process 3 times until your pastry is done, then roll out ready to use or freeze for instant pastry anytime.

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