• Simple flaky pastry (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

This pastry is quick, and one of the easiest pastries you’ll ever make. It results in a rustic puff pastry of sorts. Make sure you work quickly, and you want to retain the ‘streaks’ of butter through your raw pastry when you bring it all together as this is what will give it a lovely flaky texture. Use it to make a pie lid for a savoury pie, such as lamb shank pie or  chicken and leek pie; in eccles cakes; and it's brilliant for lamb and harissa sausage rolls.




Skill level

Average: 3.3 (83 votes)


  • 185 g (1¼ cups) plain flour 
  • good pinch of salt 
  • 125 g unsalted butter, frozen 
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) chilled water, approximately

Cook's notes

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: 30 minutes

Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Hold the frozen butter with a piece of foil or baking paper to prevent it from melting and coarsely grate it directly into the flour. Use a round-ended knife or palette knife and cut through the flour and butter to mix until evenly combined.

Sprinkle the chilled water over the flour and butter mixture. Use the knife, again in a cutting motion, to mix until evenly combined and the mixture starts holding together. [step 1] Press a little of the mixture between your fingers: if it holds together easily, there is no need to add more water. If it doesn’t, add an extra teaspoon of chilled water at a time and mix and test again until it is ready.

Bring the pastry together with your hands and transfer to a lightly floured, cool benchtop. Lightly knead the pastry with your fingertips for about 30 seconds or until smooth and soft (the butter pieces should still be visible in the pastry). [hero shot] Shape the pastry into a disc and wrap well in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. Use as directed to make bridie pies and Finnish fish pies.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Anneka Manning. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.


This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Pies.