Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Rocket and Roses Four Root Pasties ~ Wheat & Gluten Free Versions

Kitchen Play List: Nickelback ~ Dark Horse Album 

Every now and then we like to have some wholewheat pastry in this kitchen. Whether I am making a fabulous Broccoli & Spinach Quiche (tofu based), French Courgette & Tomato Lattice Tart (with spicy pastry), French Onion Pie or one of many delicious fruit based tarts. We don't have them often and so it's good to enjoy them every now and then. It feels like a real treat. 

Here in England one of the most favoured ways of eating pastry is the humble pasty. It was a little lost on me because the only offering for vegetarians has been the Cheese & Onion Pasty. So for the years I was vegetarian I would be consistently disappointed by the shop bought offerings. I would take a bite with a real dread as my teeth came up against the hard and woody onion pieces...or solid pieces of potato...or just the blandness of the whole thing...and I have to say...more often than not, all three together. Not to mention the dairy cheese reaction I started to experience until I worked out that dairy was not my friend. Not a good food experience. 

But then our local health food store, Grain, started to stock wholemeal pastry pasties and they were vegan too. And so from these simple pasties on offer, my understanding for the love of them came. lol. But at £2 each...way too pricey. We would have one every now and again, when we were in the city and needing a quick lunch fix. And if I'm honest I was still never quite happy with the fillings. There would be too many large chunks of chewy meaty textured mushroom in one...too many deflated peas in just gave me horrid heartburn *shudder*...and if I remember correctly one had chickpeas like bullets. But, despite all these faults, they were still far better than the Cheese & Onion Pasties of old. But from there sprang the idea that I wanted to experiment and come up with my own creations. 

Rocket and Roses Four Root Pasties ~ Top GF and Bottom Wholewheat
I have numerous notepads and folders in my workspace with scribblings of ideas. As a writer I have always had that habit. The 'Quick write that down' But now my space is divided into and blog space and creative writing space. And as I have been experimenting with Gluten Free recipes, the idea of a 'pasty mission' came in to my mind. ('s a scary place! lol) So I started to jot down some ideas and then started to form my own filling recipes. And I looked into GF pastry recipes too. So when the cold weather looked like it was here to stay I decided to give the fillings a go and fill a space in the freezer with some homemade comforting pasties. Last week the project moved from the scribblings in a notebook to finally being made into real dishes. I always have a number of willing victims testers for my new last weekend was pasty tasting central in the Rocket and Roses HQ.  

R & R pasty production line in full
Now for the recipes...the recipe for the Wholewheat pastry was a no brainer as I always use the same recipe for my WW pastry goods (I hardly ever make refined flour pastry..Yuck!) and I like to keep it as simple as possible. 

Wholewheat Pastry

2 cups/ 1/2 lb wholewheat plain flour
pinch of salt
40z vegan butter or margarine (I use Pure Sunflower)
very cold water as needed

In my food processor I add the flour and salt. I measure my marg straight from the fridge and don't touch it with my hands if possible. I then pulse the marg, flour and salt together until the breadcrumb effect takes...then with the motor running on high I drizzle ice cold water into the processor until it forms a large solid lump. If I'm not using it straight away I wrap it in cling film and store in the fridge until it's needed. 
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So that's my WW pastry recipe and method. It never fails or let's me down and I almost always get positive feedback and have had many requests for the recipe. I sometimes add cayenne pepper instead of salt if I want a spicy pastry. It works and is very tasty. The only time I get any negative responses is usually from people who are used to a refined flour eating style and WW is just that bit too challenging for them. 

Now for the Gluten Free Pastry recipe I turned to a recipe I found on I wanted to try this Buckwheat recipe as it was so simple and didn't need a magic concoction of flours. 

Chef Jeena's Buckwheat GF Pastry

3 cups Buckwheat Flour
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
3 tbsp olive oil
1 level tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp salt
Cold water

In a bowl mix the flour, salt and Xanthan Gum. Add your rapeseed and olive oil and using your hand move the flour around the oil and as the oil is absorbed rub them together to get the breadcrumb texture. 

Your pastry mix will NOT clump together like WW pastry crumbs but will stick together when held in your hands and then crumble away. 

Carefully add a little cold water at a time and constantly mix into the crumbs and bring the mix together. It will become obvious when you have the correct amount of water. (Trust me..the first batch I made..I was so ready to give up many times...Stick with it! ~R~)

When the pastry mix is clumping together and becoming a little sticky then your pastry is ready. Press in all remaining loose pieces and knead until it's a solid ball. If not using straight away, cover in cling film and store in the fridge. 

When ready to use, roll and use as desired. 

Thank you Jeena! 
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This pastry obviously wasn't as stretchy as the WW pastry but it did roll out well and was easy to use. Once cooked it did have the tendency to crack a little as it cooled as you will see by the photos but it wasn't a major pain. The only caution I would offer would be to make the pastry items you are wanting, a couple of days before you want to eat them. I made mine on the Saturday morning...they had the afternoon to sit and cool before my friends were coming around in the evening and the pastry goes very hard on the day of baking. So much so that I jarred a tooth and my friends had issues with it too. But given a day or two to rest the pastry 'relaxes' and you are left with a soft enjoyable pastry. It's a good pastry recipe for general use with strongly flavoured fillings. 

Finally....we arrive at the actual pasty recipes! lol
Rocket and Roses Four Root filling straight out of the skillet..smelt so good!
Rocket and Roses Four Root Filling Filling for 16 5"x2.5" pasties
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 tsp sunflower oil
1 med onion, chopped
7 oz swede, finely diced
7oz turnip, finely diced
7oz carrot, finely diced
7oz, parsnip, finely diced
1 dark green savoy leaf, rinsed and finely chopped
16 fl oz veggie stock, quite thick
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp vegan & GF Worcester sauce
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp water

Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until translucent. Add the finely diced roots and saute until they are beginning to soften. Add the cabbage, stock, Worcester sauce and black pepper. Cook stirring frequently until the roots are tender. Then mix together the cornflour and water and add that to the pan and stir gently until the mix thickens slightly. 

Taste for seasonings and adjust as required. Then take a cupful of the roots and blend until smooth and add a tiny amount of water to it to loosen it a little then as back into the pan and heat through so that it forms a 'sauce' for the roots. 

NB: This will make enough for 16 5"x2.5" pasties but I made 8 and then froze the remaining half for future pasty making. ~R~ 

Rocket and Roses Four Root Wholewheat Pasties
Rocket and Roses Four Root Wholewheat Pasties Makes 8
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 WW pastry mix, recipe above
Four Root filling mix, recipe above
soya milk, for gluing

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 400'F/200'C/Gas Mark 6. 

Roll out the pastry until it's 1/4" thick and then cut out 8 x 5" circles and set them to one side. 

Take one circle and put between 1-2 tbsp of the Four Root filling on the bottom half of the circle leaving a cm rim around the edge. Using a pastry brush, coat the edge of the circle with soya milk. And stretching the pastry slightly as you lift the top part up and over the filling..measure the two edges together and press down to enclose the filling in the parcel. With the prongs of a fork or pastry press, go around the edges to seal it together properly. Place the pasty onto the baking sheet and brush over with the soya milk and then repeat with the remaining 7 circles. 

Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a cooking rack...if eating straight away..serve with a lush salad or steamed green veggies. 

Rocket and Roses Four Root Gluten Free Pasties
Rocket and Roses Four Root Gluten Free Pasties Makes 8 pasties
(Pasty recipe an Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan kitchen
and the pastry recipe is from

1 Buckwheat GF Pastry mix, recipe above
1 Four Root filling mix,  recipe above
soya milk for gluing

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 400'F/200'C/Gas Mark 6. 

Roll out the pastry until it's 1/4" in thickness and cut out 8 5"x 3" rectangle pieces and gently move them to the prepared trays. Then re-roll the pastry and cut out 8 slightly large rectangles to 'blanket' the filling. This will compensate for the lack of stretch of this pastry. 

Place 2-2.5 tbsp of filling along the centre of each rectangle on the tray..leaving a good cm egde all the way around. Brush the edges with soya milk and then gently maneuver a larger rectangle over the filling and align the edges together, pressing down lightly to seal the parcel. Then using the prongs of a fork, press around the edges of the pasty to encase the filling. Brush over with soya milk and repeat with the remaining 7 pasties. 

Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks. Once cold store in an airtight container until ready to eat. Then reheat in a microwave for 1 min 30. 

(Remember they will be quite hard on the day of a waiting period is highly recommended! ~R~) 

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I made my pastry and the filling the day before and then filled them and baked them on the day I was doing the testing. They do take a bit of effort admittedly but you will have a few meals from this batch and a freezer of great meals for the days when you don't want to cook. They are worth it and watch the 'Wholewheat & GF Pasties' label for more variations soon.