If you’ve been gluten free for even a hot minute then you’ll likely know how hard it is to work with frozen gluten free puff pastry. Not only is it temperamental as hell, but it’s so hit and miss as to whether or not it will even defrost right! I’ve experienced it first hand, sometimes I have amazing results, sometimes, well not so much. I mean if being gluten free wasn’t hard enough! How can we can enjoy the simple pleasures of homemade Gluten free Sausage rolls?! And now that the Coles Gluten Free Pastry has had it’s formulation changed, the whole word has gone topsy-turvy!
So what’s a girl to do about it?
Well I’ll tell you what you don’t do….. stress, freak out or even worry! Why? Because I’ve got you sorted. I have 3 tips that will have you working with every type of gluten free frozen pastry and nailing it every. single. time!
Tip 1 – Use Frozen Pastry Within 24hrs of Buying
This one’s really simple, although you might think it kind of weird. Tip number one is to use your pastry when it’s fresh. Now, I can hear you saying, “Stacey, it’s frozen. That kind of defeats the purpose.”. And while I hear you, and I totally get it, trust me on this one.
When you buy a packet of frozen pastry from the shelf in your supermarket, who knows how long it’s been sitting there for. Then you take it home and whack it in your freezer. How long are you going to leave it there for until you might decide to use it? So my hot tip is to use your pastry within 24 hours of getting it home. I know, that’s short but when I started doing this, it made the biggest difference to not only the usability, but the end product. My sausage rolls and pastry cases were lighter, they were flakier, and overall, it was much easier to work with.
Tip 2 – Allow 15 mins to Defrost
Now, my tip number two comes down to defrosting it. One of the number one problems people come up against is that their coles gluten free pastry doesn’t defrost well. There are a lot of external factors that can play into it however. Always be aware of what the ambient room temperature is like when you start defrosting it.
I have found, and if you actually follow the instructions for Simply Wize, it can take up to 15 minutes to defrost. So make sure you give yourself lots of time to allow it to defrost fully before you start trying to work with it. So if you do pick up a sheet and it tears and cracks, try leaving it a little longer and fully allowing it to defrost!
An easy way to tell when it is at the perfect rolling consistency is to put your fingers into it. If your fingers squish nicely into the pastry and leave a dent, then you’re good to go.
Tip 3: Roll it out!
Now, my final and third tip for making your Coles gluten free pastry work, Roll It Out! Particularly when you look at the Simply Wize puff pastry, it is not designed to be used how it is. And if you actually read the directions on the back of it, it tells you to roll it out. Even the Coles gluten free pastry, it looks thin and it looks nice to use. But trust me, it works so much nicer if you roll it out a little further.
I always leave my pastry sheets on the plastic that they come with to make it so much easier to use. But if you don’t have any, roll out your pastry between two pieces of baking paper. This stops it from sticking to both you, the rolling pin and the table. Then roll it out to a nice, thin, workable consistency.
My final little bonus trick, and this is one that I’ve seen people mention in forums a lot. They suggest you add olive oil or vegetable oil to your coles gluten free pastry. Or that you can scrunch it all up into a soft ball and then roll it out again. DON’T DO THAT! By rolling your pastry into a ball and working it out again, you’re going to eliminate all of that lovely flakiness.
Without getting way too technical into the way pastry is baked. The way we make puff pastry is by squishing chunky (or packets) of butter into the flour. We leave big pieces of the butter in the flour so that when it cooks, the butter creates pockets of air. That’s how you get beautiful layers of flaky pastry! So if you start squishing your pastry together and then re-rolling it, you are actually breaking down your butter into your pastry further and that will result in a less flaky pastry. Just trust me on this one, don’t do it.
So if you follow my 3 easy tips you will have a beautiful, workable gluten free puff pastry. No matter what brand it is. But if you’d like to learn my verdict? Which gluten free pastry I prefer to bake with, then check out the video below. Here I walk you through not only my easy tips, but also have a little bake-off with my my sausage rolls. Using both the Coles gluten free pastry and the Simply Wize gluten free pastry!
Which is better? The Coles Gluten Free Pastry
or Simply Wize?
I’ve baked with not only the original Coles gluten free pastry, the new re-formulated one and the classic Simply Wize, and I can tell you, they are all very different. Often at the end of the day though it comes down to personal preference.
For me, Simply Wize wins out every single time. By following my tips above I have perfect gluten free puff pastry every time I step into the kitchen.
As for the new Coles gluten free pastry? It’s nice, and using my tips definitely makes a difference in it’s usability. But I have to say, they (Coles) definitely messed with a good thing (it used to be very user friendly!). Now it has a tendency to dry out too quickly and crack around the edges. So be sure to let it defrost and work with it straight away.
Now let me know in the coments below which is your favourite to use? The Coles Gluten Free Pastry or Simply Wize?
Now that you know how to work with the pastry you’ve got to get cooking! Give my Gluten Free Sausage Rolls a try today!