This recipe relies on the quality of the dough and the quality of the cheese, so don’t scrimp on either. Rough puff pastry is a lot easier to make than the conventional version, but is still light, puffy and deliciously buttery. In its absence, use a good store-bought butter puff pastry. Cheap pastry with margarine simply won’t taste anywhere near as nice. They’re best eaten the same day, but can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two.
- 70 g grated aged cheddar (I like Pyengana)
- 50 g grated parmesan
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Rough puff pastry
- 270 g plain flour, sifted
- 200 g cold unsalted butter, cut into 5 mm pieces
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 2 hours
Cooling time 5 minutes
To make puff pastry, place flour and ½ teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and scatter in butter pieces. Pour in 125 ml (½ cup) chilled water, stirring with a spoon to combine. When it gets difficult to stir, use your hands to make a dough – if necessary, add up to 50 ml extra chilled water. Don’t worry if there are bits of butter not evenly incorporated, it’s supposed to be that way.
Turn dough out onto on a well-floured work surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough out to form a 45 cm x 15 cm rectangle. Fold a short edge over towards the centre, then fold other short edge over the top to form a square; viewed from the side, the pastry should have three layers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove dough from fridge and place with a folded edge facing you. Roll pastry out to form a 45 cm x 15 cm rectangle; don’t be afraid to use plenty of flour to stop the butter from sticking. Fold and wrap as before and refrigerate for a further 30 minutes. You may still be able to see flecks of butter in the pastry, and that’s fine. Repeat process twice more, rotating 90 degrees each time so you roll out a different way. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Roll out pastry into a 60 cm x 30 cm rectangle about 5 mm thick, with a long edge facing you. Scatter grated cheese and spices over pastry, leaving a 2 cm border along the long edge furthest away from you. Working from the edge closest to you, roll dough up tightly like a Swiss roll, brush edge with egg wash and press to seal.
Cut log into 20 even slices. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper, place scrolls on trays and brush tops with a little more egg wash and season with a little salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Allow to cool on trays for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
Photography Alan Benson. Styling Michelle Crawford. Food preparation Asher Gilding.
As seen in Feast magazine, July 2014, Issue 33.