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- What is Sourdough Rough Puff Pastry?
- ⏰ Sample Baking Schedules:
- 🛠 Tools Needed:
- 🛒 Ingredients Needed:
- 👨🍳 How to Make Sourdough Pop Tarts:
- How to Store Sourdough Pop Tarts
- ❓ Sourdough Pop Tarts FAQs:
- Sourdough Pop Tarts
- Other Recipes You Might Like:
Made with a flaky sourdough rough puff pastry and filled with any fruit jam of your choice, these homemade Sourdough Pop Tarts are the ultimate gourmet upgrade of a classic treat.
These sourdough pop tarts fall somewhere in between Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts, traditional strudel, hand pies, and Pillsbury’s Toaster Strudels. At first glance, the toaster pastries might appear complicated to prepare, but in reality, they are quite easy to make and can even be made on the same day.
I alter my Sourdough Pie Crust recipe slightly to make the sourdough rough puff pastry, which uses sourdough discard, by rolling and folding the dough six times to create dozens of flaky layers. Then, the pastries are stuffed with fruit jam for a burst of flavor and topped with a simple jam glaze and rainbow sprinkles for a colorful touch.
What is Sourdough Rough Puff Pastry?
Rough puff pastry is essentially an all-butter pie dough that’s rolled out and folded multiple times to create many flaky layers, mimicking traditional puff pastry.
Making puff pastry requires the lamination of a butter block (beurrage) with alternating layers of dough and butter (like making croissants). Meanwhile, one works the butter directly into flour when making rough puff pastry, akin to making pie dough or flaky biscuit, scone, or shortcake dough.
Rough puff pastry has become more popular among home bakers in recent years with the popularity of the Great British Baking Show. Since the bakers on the competition show have limited time to make their confections and often work in a warm baking tent, rough puff pastry is a quick way to imitate puff pastry, without the need for precise shaping, measurements, and long chilling tijmes.
This sourdough rough puff pastry uses sourdough discard for two purposes. It helps tenderize the dough and functions as a flavor enhancer for a slight tang. The dough is folded into business letters six times, which creates dozens of flaky layers of buttery dough.
⏰ Sample Baking Schedules:
The baking schedule for these sourdough pop tarts is extremely flexible. Because it’s an unleavened recipe, there’s no proofing, which expedites the process.
You can opt to make this recipe on the same day or chill them overnight so you can make them in the morning.
Below are a couple of baking schedule options..
|Make Sourdough Rough Puff Pastry and Chill
|Roll Out the Dough 6x and Chill
|Shape, Fill, and Assemble
|Make Sourdough Rough Puff Pastry
|Roll Out the Dough 6x and Chill
|Shape, Fill, and Assemble
|Next Day at 8am-9am
🛠 Tools Needed:
Click the links below for my tool recommendations.
- Baking Scale
- When it comes to sourdough starter, it’s important to note that standard measurements can differ greatly depending on the individual. Therefore, using a weight-based measurement system will provide you with the most accurate results.
- Rolling Pin
- Bench Scraper (optional but helpful)
- Pastry Brush, for egg wash
- I highly recommend a ruler for cutting straight edges and measuring the dough precisely.
- Pastry Wheel (optional)
- A pastry wheel is made to cut pastry dough easily and helps to trim the edges of the dough. If you don’t have one, use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
- Half-Sheet Pans
- This recipe makes eight pop-tarts and you can fit four on each half-sheet pan.
🛒 Ingredients Needed:
Click on the links below for my favorite ingredient recommendations.
Sourdough Rough Puff Pastry
- All-Purpose Flour
- All-purpose flour works best in this recipe for a tender, flaky crust. Alternatively, pastry flour works well too.
- Sea Salt
- Cold Unsalted Butter
- Like any pastry that relies on butter for layers and flavor, like croissants or pie crust, I highly recommend a high-fat European-style butter if you can find it. The pastries will be richer and flakier! Some of my favorite brands include Kerrygold, Cabot Extra Creamy, Nellie’s, Vermont Creamery, and Plugra.
- Sourdough Discard, chilled
- If you don’t have an active sourdough starter, learn how to make one in a week following my how-to guide.
- In this recipe, the sourdough discard has a couple of uses. It acts as a tenderizer, akin to how apple cider vinegar or vodka can in some pie crust recipes. Additionally, it’s a flavor enhancer and will add a slight tang to your pastry crust.
- Ice Water
- Instead of adding ice to water to make ice water, I prefer to add an inch or so of cold water to a liquid measuring cup and throw it into the freezer for 15-30mins before making the puff pastry.
- To create a shiny, brown crust, I use an egg to brush an egg wash on top of the garlic knots before they bake. If you’re making the recipe vegan, you can brush the knots with olive oil instead.
- Raw Sugar, for topping (optional)
- It’s not 100% necessary, but I almost always like to add a sprinkle of raw sugar or demerara sugar to the top of pastries because it adds a slight crunchiness to the crust and helps the crust caramelize and glisten. This is especially nice if you’re not making icing for these pop-tarts.
Fruit Jam Filling
- You can use any fruit jam you want for the filling in this recipe. If you have homemade fruit jam, that’s always my preferred option! Strawberry, blueberry, grape, raspberry, and apple jams are some of my favorite choices.
- Be mindful if your jam is runny, as it’s more likely to leak and spread as the pastries bake.
- Powdered Sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
- Powdered sugar, or confectioner’s sugar, is extremely fine sugar that dissolves without heat, unlike granulated sugar. That’s why most icings and frostings use it!
- Pop-Tarts often have a colorful icing topping to match the interior fruit flavor. Thus, I like to add a spoonful of the same jam used for the inside to showcase the fruit filling so you know what to expect.
- If you’re not getting the color you need from the jam you’re using, you can add a drop of food coloring to bring out the color.
- Whole Milk
- Whole milk is my go-to for a quick icing like this, but you can easily use heavy cream or a non-dairy option too.
- Rainbow sprinkles, for topping
- Waxy rainbow sprinkles always add a festive, celebratory feeling to pastries and desserts! And they match most frosted toppings for Pop-Tarts. However, another nice option is to crush some freeze-dried fruit that matches the jam filling, like freeze-dried strawberries.
👨🍳 How to Make Sourdough Pop Tarts:
Follow this visual and detailed recipe guide as you bake these sourdough pop tarts. The recipe makes 8 pop-tarts.
1. Make the Sourdough Rough Puff Pastry Dough
If you’ve made pie crust before, then this step will be essentially the same. Read through the entire step first before making it though, so you can work efficiently.
First of all, to successfully make this dough, all of your ingredients need to be cold! If you’re making this recipe on a warm day or in the summer, be sure to chill the dough in between steps. Keeping the butter from melting is vital to ensure that you get flaky layers of dough.
If you haven’t already, keep your ice water in the freezer and chill your sourdough discard prior to making the dough. Additionally, prepare a clean workspace and keep a fork nearby for mixing and two long pieces of plastic wrap nearby.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together 250g of all-purpose flour and ½ teaspoon of salt.
Use a bench scraper or knife to cut 226 grams, or two sticks of cold unsalted butter into small cubes. Toss the cubes into the bowl and coat in flour.
Use your hands to smash the butter cubes into shards and break them apart into smaller pea-sized pieces. Ideally, you want a mix of some larger and smaller pieces of butter.
Pour 150 grams of cold sourdough discard into the bowl. While tossing with a fork, gradually pour in a few tablespoons of ice water at a time, up to 100-120 grams.
Remember that sourdough starter is 50% water, so while the dough may seem dry at first, it will continue to hydrate as it rests and you roll it out. Thus, hold back on adding too much water or you’ll end up with a dough that’s too sticky!
After large clumps have formed, use your hands to bring the dough together into a mostly cohesive mass in the bowl (some dry spots will remain).
Then, dump it out onto a clean work surface and form it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Divide it in half with a bench scraper, and wrap each half in a piece of plastic wrap.
Smush the dough into the corners of the plastic wrap and immediately chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
2. Roll Out, Fold, and Chill
Repeat the rolling and folding step six times in total to create many flaky layers of dough to mimic traditional puff pastry.
Flour your work surface and the top of the puff pastry dough. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a long, rectangular slab. The dimensions aren’t too important, but I try to roll it out at about three or four times longer than it is wide. To prevent sticking, I constantly re-flour, flip, and turn the dough so that it doesn’t stick to my surface or to the rolling pin. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t melt.
Fold the dough like a business letter, folding the top third of the dough down onto itself and the bottom third up and over the folded dough. I use a bench scraper to help lift the dough. Rotate it 90º, roll it back out into a long slab, and repeat the folding process. This is two turns.
Re-wrap in plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes and repeat with the other slab of dough.
Then, repeat the folding, turning, and chilling process above twice more for three sets of turns or six total turns for each dough. Each time you roll out the dough, the dough will get smoother, and the layers of butter will increase.
After the last turn, chill the rough puff pastry in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to two days. You can also freeze the dough for months at this stage.
3. Shape, Fill, and Assemble
First, line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375ºF (191ºC).
On a floured work surface, roll the sourdough rough puff pastry out into a rectangle, slightly larger than 10″x14″ (25.5×35.5cm).
Use a pastry wheel or a knife to trim the edges and square off the corners of the dough.
Then, make eight even rectangles from the dough. To do this, use a ruler to mark off the long side of the dough about every 3.5″ (8.9cm) and the short side of the dough about 5″ (12.7cm) or halfway. Use the straight edge of the ruler and pastry wheel to cut the dough into eight rectangles about 3.5″x5″ each.
Lay the eight rectangles of dough on one sheet pan and refrigerate while you cut out the other slab of dough. Refrigerate the second pan of rectangles while you fill the first pan with jam.
How to Fill and Assemble
Space four rectangles evenly on the lined sheet pan and set the other four to the side. The four on the sheet pan will be the bottom layers.
Beat one egg in a small bowl. Then, use a pastry brush to brush the edges of the four rectangles on the sheet pan with the egg wash. This will help seal the two layers of pastry together. Reserve the egg wash for brushing before baking.
Spoon about 1.5-2 TBS of fruit jam in the middle of each pop tart, leaving at least a ¼-inch gap on the edges. You can opt to fill the pop tarts all with the same jam or use different jams for the pop tarts. It’s up to you!
Place the other four rectangles on top of each pop tart. Seal the edges with the tines of a fork like a hand pie and dock (aka poke holes) three or four times in the middle of the top pastry so steam can release.
Place in the refrigerator or freezer while you repeat with the other sheet pan of pop tarts.
At this point, the sourdough pop tarts can be frozen for up to a couple of months to bake at a later time.
Just before baking, brush a light egg wash on top of each pop tart. Additionally, you can sprinkle optional raw sugar on top of the pop tarts to promote caramelization and shine.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, rotating and switching the pans halfway through for even baking. The pop tarts should expand in the oven with many layers of flaky pastry. Bake until the tops are golden brown with a shiny top.
Cool on a wire rack.
FYI it’s okay if some jam leaks out during baking! The pop tarts are essentially small hand pies and it’s quite normal for some jam to leak out the sides, creating small puddles of sugary jam. In fact, I think it’s a little rustic, and I like the look.
5. Make the Jam Glaze
While the pop tarts cool, make the simple jam glaze/icing.
Note: The jam glaze/icing is enough for eight pop tarts. If you’d like to split the colors or you’re baking less than eight pop tarts at a time, lower the amount of sugar and adjust accordingly.
For example, to make icing for eight pop tarts with two different types of jam, you’ll need to divide the amounts in half and mix them in separate bowls.
In a mixing bowl, combine 200g of powdered sugar, three tablespoons of whole milk, and two tablespoons of fruit jam together until it makes a thick icing.
I usually make the icing by eye and adjust the ingredients as necessary. If it’s too runny, I add more powdered sugar. Too thick? Add a bit more milk. Incorporate a bit more jam if needed for color or add a drop of food coloring to make the color of the glaze pop.
Spoon the jam glaze on top of the cooled sourdough pop tarts. I prefer to do this on a wire rack on a baking sheet so the icing drips off the sides.
Finally, sprinkle the tops with waxy rainbow sprinkles. Alternatively, you can top them with shiny cookie sprinkles, crushed freeze-dried fruit, or something even more whimsical like whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.
Let the icing sit for at least 15 minutes to set some, which makes eating them easier and less messy.
How to Store Sourdough Pop Tarts
Like most pastries, these pop tarts are best eaten shortly after they’re made. However, they do keep for a few days at room temperature. Reheat them slightly in a toaster oven before serving so the layers crisp up again.
If they’re already glazed, I recommend not heating them too long or your icing can melt. Alternatively, you can store the icing in the refrigerator, re-stir, and then ice each pop-tart just prior to serving.
Can you Freeze Sourdough Pop Tarts?
Yes! Freeze the pop tarts after shaping and filling, but before applying an egg wash. You can bake the frozen pop tarts the same way, but you may need to add a few more minutes to baking.
Frozen, they’ll keep for many months in a freezer-safe bag.
❓ Sourdough Pop Tarts FAQs:
Can I make these pop tarts vegan?
Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to substitute the butter in this recipe with a non-dairy alternative. Most vegan butters are made of coconut and other oils, which won’t create as many flaky layers and run the risk of melting completely in the oven.
I haven’t tested making these with vegan butter though, so if you do, please let me know how they turn out in the comments below!
Can I make the rough puff pastry dough with a food processor?
I don’t recommend making this rough puff pastry with a food processor. First of all, you risk your ingredients warming up too quickly. Secondly, a food processor tends to cut the butter too small and for rough puff pastry, it’s best to have a mix of sizes. Lastly, it’s another tool you’ll need to clean!
Why did butter leak out?
Some butter leakage is normal when making homemade pastry. However, large puddles of butter usually indicate a couple of issues.
Either the butter got too warm while mixing and rolling out (chill more often next time) or the oven wasn’t preheated long or hot enough so the pastries baked at too low of a temperature.
Why did my pop tarts leak jam?
It’s okay if some jam leaks out! In fact, I think it makes the pop tarts look more rustic if some leaks out.
However, the jam likely leaked out because the pop tarts weren’t sealed properly, too much jam was added to the middle, or the jam was very runny.
Can I make smaller pop tarts?
Sure. These gourmet pop tarts usually end up being about the size of store-bought pop-tarts. To make them smaller, simply cut out smaller rectangles!
Sourdough Pop Tarts
Sourdough Rough Puff Pastry
- 200 grams Fruit Jam, 1.5-2 TBS per pop tart, any flavor
- 1 Egg, for egg wash
- 2 TBS Raw Sugar, optional, for sprinkling
Make the Sourdough Rough Puff Pastry
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into cubes and toss them into the bowl, coating in flour. Use your hands to smush the butter into smaller pieces and shards.250 grams All-purpose flour, ½ tsp Sea Salt, 226 grams Unsalted Butter
- Pour the cold sourdough discard into the bowl. While tossing with a fork, add a few TBS of ice water into the bowl at a time until large clumps form. At first the dough will seem dry, but it will hydrate further as it rests and is rolled out.150 grams Sourdough Discard, 100 grams Ice Water
- Use your hands to bring the dough largely together and turn it out onto a work surface along with any scraps of flour. Press together into a one-inch thick rectangle, divide it in half with a bench scraper, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Smush the pie dough into the corners of the plastic wrap and immediately refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Generously flour your work surface and the top of one of the pastry doughs. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a long rectangular slab, constantly re-flouring and turning the dough as needed to prevent sticking.Fold the dough like a business letter by folding the top third of the dough down and then folding the bottom third up and over itself. Rotate it 90º and repeat the rolling and folding process. Re-wrap, chill for at least 30 minutes, and repeat with the other piece of dough. See images and more details in guide above.Repeat this step and the chilling two more times for each piece of dough for a total of six folds/turns. After the last turn, chill for at least an hour, up to two days, or freeze the dough.
Assembly and Bake
- Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper and place the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (191ºC). Working with one slab of dough at a time, roll out the sourdough rough puff pastry into a rectangle, about 10"x14", on a floured work surface. Trim the edges and corners with a pastry wheel to square off.Cut the rectangle into eight smaller rectangles, about 3.5"x5". To do this, cut the shorter side in half and cut the longer side into quarters. See images and more details in the guide above.Lay the eight rectangles on the lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you repeat with the other dough.
- Space four rectangles per sheet pan (these will be the bottoms), brush the edges with an egg wash (reserve the egg wash for topping), and spoon 1.5-2 TBS of fruit jam in the middle of the pop tarts.Place another rectangle on top of each fruit-filled pop tart and seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Poke a few holes on top of each pop tart to allow steam to escape.Refrigerate and repeat with the other sourdough pop tarts, chilling at least 20 minutes before baking. At this point, the pop tarts can be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stored for a few months to bake at a later time.1 Egg, 200 grams Fruit Jam
- Brush the tops of the sourdough pop tarts with the reserved egg wash and sprinkle the tops with optional raw sugar.Bake for 20-22 minutes, rotating and switching the pans halfway through for even baking. Bake until the tops are golden brown with a shiny crust. Cool on a wire rack.2 TBS Raw Sugar
Make the Jam Glaze
- While the pop tarts cool, make the jam glaze. This makes enough to glaze eight pop tarts. Note that if you want different colors or flavors, you'll need to divide it and make it in separate bowls.Stir the powdered sugar, milk, and jam in a small mixing bowl until it makes a thick icing. If the glaze is too thick, add a bit more milk to make it thinner.200 grams Powdered Sugar, 3 TBS Whole Milk, 2 TBS Fruit Jam
- Spoon the glaze on top of the cooled pop tarts and sprinkle the tops with rainbow sprinkles prior to serving.Let sit for at least 15 minutes to harden slightly before enjoying.2 TBS Rainbow Sprinkles
- Follow my guide for more detailed instructions and photos to make this recipe step-by-step, including photos on shaping, baking schedules, and how to store the pop tarts.
- When making the rough puff pastry, make sure all of your ingredients are cold and chill in between steps so the butter doesn’t melt.
- It’s best to make the glaze just prior to serving so the pastries stay as crispy and flaky as possible. The glaze can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.