There are a list of recipes as long as my arm that I’ve always wanted to try but I’ve been too scared to have a go because I’m worried they won’t turn out. I’ve decided that maybe I’m limiting my cooking skills by not venturing into new territory. I’ve also decided that perhaps if I can master the art of some basic recipes and not need to rely on the store-bought versions I can further reduce our household waste and the food my family will be eating has been lovingly prepared in our own kitchen.
My desire to make things from scratch hasn’t always been limited to cooking though. Before I had my children I always had a deep desire to learn to sew, knit and crochet but it just seemed so hard and I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea. Eventually I decided to just give it a go, it wasn’t like to world was going to implode if I made a mistake! So, after reading many books and watching a few YouTube videos I taught myself to do all three!
This post isn’t about bragging how proud I am of teaching myself to do things but more to set myself a challenge to make one thing every week, from scratch. It can be something I’ve never tried before, something I want to perfect or even just something that has a purpose (like a loaf of bread for sandwiches for lunches).
This week I decided to have a crack at puff pastry. I’ve always assumed it would be hours of hard work to create puff pastry and honestly, with two kids running around, the concept didn’t sound appealing. I’m a firm believer that there is usually an easier way to do things and that eating from scratch can be simple and time effective. So, I was rather happy when I discovered there is such a thing as QUICK puff pastry! Obviously I’ve been living under a rock!
After reading a few recipes I was actually surprised to find out it only required four ingredients and while it did require some time, it didn’t require much hands on work. It’s also an easy recipe to remember, which is always a bonus. It needs equal parts flour to cold, cubed butter and then 1/4 of the weight of the flour and butter of very cold water. The fourth is a pinch of salt, for good measure. Now that I had decided to make this puff pastry I needed to work out what to use it for. It didn’t take long for me to decide it had to be sausage rolls. They are a family favourite here but I’ve been avoiding making them for a while now because I feel so wasteful throwing out the blue sheets of plastic they place between each layer of store-bought pastry, such an unnessesary contribution to landfill!
Anyway, these are the recipes I used today. Feel free to join me on Facebook or Instagram if you’re up for the challenge and hashtag #MFWfromscratch – I’m choosing Fridays because I have the day off but feel free to share your creations any day of the week! Also, what you choose to create is up to you; food, craft, upcycle something or something creative/ useful for the garden.
Speedy Puff Pastry
250g Flour (All purpose or white spelt)
250g Butter, cubed
125ml Icy cold water
Pinch of salt
1. In a Thermomix or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until a dough comes together (TMX is speed 6 for 20 seconds)
2. Turn out dough on a floured surface and shape into a rough rectangle. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour.
3. Remove dough from fridge and roll the dough by only rolling away from you with the rolling pin, until it’s about triple its length. Then fold it in thirds by folding the top of the rectangle into the middle and the bottom of the dough on top of that. Then rotate the folded dough a quarter turn and repeat the rolling and folding half a dozen times.
4. Place dough, covered in the fridge until you need to use it (minimum of 30 minutes). You can also freeze it and keep it for another day!
Sausage Roll Filling
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 TBS of Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS tamari
1 TBS Tomato paste
1 TBS Stock paste/ Jelly bone broth
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 leaf and stalk of silverbeet, finely chopped
A few sprigs of thyme and parsely, finely chopped
1. Combine all ingredients, except one egg, well in a large bowl
2. Roll out pastry in a large sheet on Thermomat or floured surface. Section out into long rectangles and place sausage rolls filling in a line (thickness of a sausage) and roll the pastry over it to encase it. Beat the second egg in small bowl and use a brush to brush the egg along the edge where the pastry meets, then press the edges together to seal.
3. You’ll now have a long sausage roll, cut it into 4-5 pieces and arrange on a baking tray, brush with egg.
4. Repeat for the remaining pastry and mince mixture.
5. Bake for 35-45 minutes on 180 degrees (fan forced)