Today I’m going to share with you my thoughts on a relatively new product available for all you Coeliacs out there: Silly Yak’s ‘Gluten Free Ready to Roll Pastry Block’.
There has been lots of excitement growing around this product on Facebook and I can see why, as it is very difficult and time consuming to make decent gluten free pastry from scratch, so for many Coeliacs ready to roll gluten free pastry would be an absolute godsend.
At the moment this product is only stocked in selected Tesco stores and they only seem to stock it in quite small quantities, which is a bit of a shame. After a few months of searching I found Silly Yak’s list of stockists and went on a bit of a trek across London to get my hands on some.
The product can be found in the chilled foods section amongst all the normal ready to roll pastries and is not a frozen product. Sadly, it can’t be frozen so you would need to use it by it’s use by date, but you can freeze whatever you decide to make with it. I was happy to see that the pastry only costs £1.75, which I think is reasonable compared to a lot of gluten free products on the market and it is only fractionally more expensive than a lot of normal ready to roll pastries available.
I bought two packets so that I could give a few different recipes a try and attempt things that are impossible to make with homemade gluten free pastry, such as Cornish Pasties.
Initially, I was very frustrated as I found the pastry very difficult to work with.
I rolled out the pastry between two sheets of floured greaseproof paper, as gluten free pastry has a tendency to stick to the work surface, but found that it melted and stuck to the paper a bit once it had been at room temperature for a while. After cutting out the first few shapes, I attempted to to re-roll the leftover scraps of pastry but they ended up melting completely. I also had a bit of trouble rolling out the pastry thin enough and ended up with a few holes in the pastry when trying to arrange it into the right shape, but after a little bit of effort I did manage to make a few decent looking Cornish Pasties.
After the slight debacle of assembling the pasties I’ll admit I was feeling a little sceptical, but once they came out of the oven I was much more excited to try one. They smelt great, and both the texture and taste was like that of normal pastry and in the end was worth the slightly stressful preparation.
For my second attempt I made a pie which was a bit more successful, although the pastry didn’t require handling as much.
To make handling the pastry easier I tried the following:
– Placing a chopping board in the freezer for 10 minutes, this provided a nice a cold surface on which to roll the pastry out.
– Keeping the pastry in the fridge until I need to use it.
– Rolling the pastry out between sheets of greaseproof paper.
– Chilling the left over scraps of the pastry for a few minutes before re-rolling them.
These techniques did stop the pastry from melting but I still had a little trouble getting the pastry as thin as I wanted. This said, if you don’t mind a pie that looks a little rough around edges but still tastes good then I would recommend giving this pastry a try.
Overall, the fact that this pastry tastes good which for me outweighed the difficulty of working with it. I would probably buy it again, but I do think with a few changes Silly Yak could make this product even better.
You can buy Silly Yak pastry at selected Tesco stores – visit www.sillyyak.co.uk for more information.