Vegan Puffed Pastry

serves 4 to 6

Vegan Puff Pastry

The second ingredient of vegan pastry is usually given as “vegan margarine” -- but no specification as to just what “vegan margarine” is. It can be any combination of oils, that the manufacturer has somehow contrived to make at least semi-solid. Finding a margarine that will even vaguely replicate the crisp flakiness of traditional pastry is a veritable grail quest. I propose resorting to actual pure, known ingredients instead.

100 grams cocoa butter


100 ml olive oil

Stir into molten cocoa butter

Refrigerate the oil/butter mixture until it is the consistency of candlewax. Remove 30 grams of the mixture and allow it to reach room temperature. It will become about the consistency of lard.

225 g plain flour

Sift together into a large bowl.

1 gram salt

30 g room-temperature cocoa-butter/oil mixture

Rub into the flour

5 ml lemon juice

Fork gradually through the flour mixture until a soft but non-sticky dough is formed. Chill covered in the refrigerator for 20 - 30 minutes.

85–135 ml iced water

Remove the remaining oil/cocoa-butter mixture from the refrigerator while the dough is chilling, allowing it to warm and soften slightly. It should still be somewhat below room-temperature and somewhat firm when you begin to work the dough.

Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle measuring about 15 by 30 cm. In the middle third of the strip of dough roll out two x 2cm ears or flaps. Shape the oil/cocoa-butter mixture into a flattened block about the size of a third of the pastry and put it in the middle of the pastry and fold the ears over. Bring the top half of the pastry over to cover the butter and bring the bottom third up to cover the pastry. Turn 90 degrees so that the pastry is like a book with the spine on the left. Tap the pastry with the rolling pin to flatten the butter in the pastry a little to make ridges.

Carefully roll out, quickly and lightly, until the pastry is 3 times as long as it is wide. Ensure that the corners are always kept square. Fold it very evenly in 3, first folding the top third to the middle and then the bottom third over the top of that. Turn 90 degrees and ridge and roll as before before folding into three again. Always brush off any excess flour.

The pastry has had 2 rolls and folds. Rest it covered in a cool place for 15 minutes. The rolling and folding must be repeated twice more, the pastry again rested, and then again given 1 more roll and fold. This makes a total of 5 rolls and folds.