Junior Chef Challenge - Winter 2023

Make your own rough puff pastry! 

Making your own rough puff pastry is so much fun and easier than you think! With just a few ingredients this is a great way for budding Junior Chef's to learn the basics of pastry making!


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • About 1 cup cold water


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt.
  • Add the cold, cubed butter to the bowl. Toss the butter in the flour mixture to coat it.
  • Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, quickly work the butter into the flour until you have a mixture with various-sized butter pieces. The butter should be about pea-sized.
  • Gradually add the cold water, starting with about 1/2 cup. Stir the mixture with a fork or gently mix it with your hands until the dough starts to come together. Add more water as needed, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together when squeezed.
  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a rough rectangle
  • Roll out the dough into a long rectangle, about 1cm thick. The exact dimensions are not crucial but aim for a long shape that can be folded into thirds.
  • Fold the bottom third of the dough up, then fold the top third down, as if folding a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees.
  • Roll out the folded dough again into a long rectangle, repeating the folding process. This rolling and folding process creates layers in the dough.
  • Repeat the rolling and folding process for a total of 4 to 6 times, or until you can see distinct layers of butter throughout the dough.
  • Once you're satisfied with the number of layers, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. This allows the butter to firm up again and helps the pastry hold its shape during baking.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Slowly add in the hot water while mixing with a fork until the dough comes together in a ball.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough into a long log and cut it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten with a rolling pin to make a round wrapper.
  • For the perfect finish roll out the edges of the circle so they are thinner than the centre as the dough will be doubled in thickness once folded.

Poach your own chicken!


  • 2 boneless (600g), skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-6 whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)


  • In a large pot, pour the chicken broth or water and add the bay leaf, peppercorns, salt, and any optional herbs or spices.
  • Place the pot over medium heat and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer. Be careful not to let it boil vigorously, as it can make the chicken tough.
  • Once the liquid is simmering, carefully add the chicken breasts to the pot. They should be fully submerged in the liquid.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let the chicken simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 75°C,
  • To check if the chicken is done, you can use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Alternatively, you can make a small cut in the thickest part of the chicken to ensure there are no pink or raw areas.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the poaching liquid using tongs or a slotted spoon, and transfer it to a cutting board.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then using two forks shred the chicken into your desired texture.
  • The poached chicken is now ready to be used in your chicken pot pie mixture! 

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