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I'm familiar with the proper steps in making rough puff pastry but I have difficulty rolling out the dough. I'm hoping someone can make suggestions or explain how to do it better.

I find it easy rolling out softer doughs - pastry dough or yeast doughs. Rolling out chilled rough puff pastry dough is very difficult though as the butter is hard, making the dough hard too. It takes a lot to push on the rolling pin to roll to size each time. Raising the my height to apply more pressure helps some but not enough.

I'm pretty new to making rough puff pastry so maybe I'm doing something wrong? It's not something I plan to make that often but it would be nice as a dough for Guinness Irish stew.

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    Maybe you're chilling the dough for too long, how long are you leaving it in the fridge? – Luciano Feb 3 '17 at 10:02
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    @Luciano Perhaps I am chilling it too long. To be honest, I hadn't kept close tabs on the time as I was busy making bread and cooking stew at the same time. I put my hand on the dough each time and it felt cold enough to me. I hadn't thought it would get significantly colder in 2 hours than 1 hour as the dough is thin and cools quickly in the fridge. Anything else you might need to know? I'm new to Stack Exchange and have tried to ask properly. I read through all the Help topics but still need to feel my way around.. – Jude Feb 4 '17 at 2:14
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    I've never made it myself, but every TV show or online video that I've ever seen where they were making a laminated dough, they beat the butter w/ a rolling pin before they started folding it : youtube.com/watch?v=OdO_ef0dyuM . And you might want to see the question about 'cheat puff pastry' : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/45360/67 – Joe Feb 4 '17 at 3:21
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    @Joe I never saw that video but I'd heard of grating butter before and tried to. Wasn't successful as it clumped in a pile under my grater so gave up on that. I think I'll try something a bit different by spreading some softened butter between 2 sheets of parchment paper and briefly put it into the freezer to harden. Then I'll peel it off to layer between the dough. I'm out of parchment paper so when I get some, I'll post my results here. Still hoping someone else might say they found the dough hard to roll out and tell me their (possible) solution. – Jude Feb 4 '17 at 7:16
  • @Jude : You need well frozen dough, so it remains separate. I'd also advise freezing or chilling the plate or bowl that you're going to use to collect the frozen butter in. As another alternative, you could roll the dough out, then grate the butter directly on it (moving around so you don't develop too large of piles). – Joe Feb 4 '17 at 14:44
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To 'roll out' laminated dough, you generally need to flatten out the dough first.

One technique can be to repeatedly press a rolling pin across sections of the dough to spread/soften the dough. Until the dough is pliable or near the required thickness. This method is usually started along the center line (as if dividing the dough in half), continuing to each quarter (halving again). Rotate the dough, or the rolling pin if you need to keep a specific shape.

Another technique is to roll the dough out to almost or the required thickness before chilling. This is probably more suited when using grated frozen fats.

PS: Depending on the climate, dough can be rested in as little as 20 minutes in a refrigerator/freezer. As it's only to stop the fat melting into the flour.

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