“This has been my go-to pastry for years. It’s perfect for lots of my
favourite bakes, such as galettes, quiche or tops for pot pies. It is very
easy to make and use, and it gives you a wonderfully light, flaky crust.
To increase the versatility, I have included variations for wholemeal
and whole rye. Try any grains you can get your hands on and celebrate
the difference in flavours.
If you want to add even more flavour, substitute the water with crème
fraîche, sour cream or milk kefir. When using wholemeal or rye, the
absorbency of the flour will differ, so check the dough as you mix and
add more liquid if needed.
I recommend making the plain dough first so you get to know how the
dough should feel. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can change
the flours and liquids used, knowing what you’re aiming for. ”
Cut the butter into 1cm (½in) cubes and chill it in the freezer while you weigh up the rest of your ingredients.
Put the flour and salt in a mound on your kitchen bench and scatter the chilled butter cubes over the top. Use a rolling pin to roll the butter into the flour, gathering the flour back into the middle as you go with a dough scraper or spatula. Keep rolling until the mixture is crumbly with shards of butter the size of rolled oats still visible.
Make a well in the middle and add the chilled water. Use a dough scraper or knife to gently cut the flour into the water, gathering up any leaks as you do, until you have an even crumbly texture. Use your fingertips to gently push it all together into a rough dough with a slightly sticky texture. If it feels dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until there are no floury bits left.
Roll out or press the dough into a rectangle 2–3cm (¾ –1¼in) thick (exact dimensions are not important here). Fold one-third of the dough into the middle, then the other third over the top of that, as if folding a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll it out again into a rectangle 2–3cm (¾ –1¼in) thick, then repeat the letter fold. Don’t worry about making these folds perfectly neat – this is just to finish bringing the dough together and layering the butter, which results in a lovely flakiness.
Rotate and roll out the dough once more into a rectangle 2–3cm (¾ –1¼in) thick and do one last fold. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. The pastry will keep for 4–5 days in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer. The pictured dough was made using whole spelt flour.