Hi everyone, I do hope you are all well and coping with that mid January feeling, you know Christmas and New Year are over, and spring seems so far off with this wet and cold weather we are having at the moment. By the way its BBC2 here, I’ve wanted to get out in the garden to cut the hedges back but I keep getting stopped by the rain, which is what happened today. So while I was out for a walk with Max, I got some butchers style sausage meat with a view to making some sausage rolls as I fancied making pastry.
Like all things these days it would probably be cheaper and easier to buy them from the supermarket but it was a rainy day, Max had been out for his walk, had his breakfast and was asleep, so with the radio on I set about making some all butter rough puff pastry for my sausage rolls and I’m glad I did. I played with the flavour on six of them by adding sundried tomato pesto and I must say they were quite tasty, if you don’t have the time or like making your own pastry shop bought is just as good, but I like making pastry and baking, it leaves me feeling relaxed. Being able to experiment and play with different combinations, even if it turns out badly, is all part of learning, which is one of the reasons I like feedback on what I’ve done, made or am doing, hopefully so I can get better, we will see.
Rough puff pastry:
225g/8 oz plain flour
200g/7 oz cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
180ml/6fl oz to 200ml/7fl oz cold water
454g/1lb 2 oz pack butchers style pork sausage meat
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 beaten egg to seal and glaze
1 to 2 tablespoons of sundried tomato pesto if using
2 baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper
Start by putting the flour and salt in a large bowl and mix, and then add the cubed butter and using a round nosed knife or a spoon stir it making a well in the centre, now add the lemon juice to the cold water and pour two thirds into the well, now mix together to incorporate the water, flour and butter, you are looking for a soft dough with lumps of butter in it, you may need to add more water to the pastry to ensure that all the flour is incorporated, but be careful not to make the pastry sticky.
Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and make it into a rectangle keeping the long edge running away from you. Then, using a rolling pin, rollout the pastry keeping in a rectangle about 40cm/15 inches by 15cm/5 inches, then take the top furthest away from you and bring it towards you folding the pastry over itself by a third then take the bottom third and fold that over the other two thirds, now turn the pastry 90% and rollout and fold in the same manner, repeat this again and wrap the pastry in cling film and pop into the fridge for 20 minutes to chill. Then repeat this rolling and folding and place back in the fridge for another 20 minutes. Repeat this process twice more.
Put the pork sausage meat in a bowl then add the thyme, salt and pepper mixing all together set to one side, now on a lightly floured surface roll out your pastry to a rectangle 67cm/26 inches by 20cm/8 inches, now cut the pastry lengthways giving you two long strips of pasty trimming the edges. Using a teaspoon I added the sun dried tomato pesto to one strip of pastry by putting a 4cm/1½ inch strip down the centre of the pastry. Then wetting your hands divide the sausage meat in two, one for each strip of pastry, take a handful of the sausage meat and roll it in your wet hands to make it sausage shaped then place it on the pastry, continue doing this until you have filled the pastry lengthways, reshaping and adjusting the filling as you go.
Now brush one edge with the beaten egg and careful pull the other edge over to meet it and seal using the pronged edge of a fork. Depending on how big you like/want your sausage rolls to be cut them to size with a sharp knife and put a few slits in the top as vents. Place on prepared baking sheets and pop into the fridge for 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 190c fan. Take the baking sheets out the fridge and brush the sausage rolls with a little beaten egg and place both baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.
The sundried tomato pesto ones tasted really nice and I only did them because I had some leftover in a jar that needed using, I will make them again using different combinations of flavour but you can use any flavouring you like, well I hope you try these and I look forward to your comments and feed back.
BBC1: The sundried tomato pesto sausage rolls were absolutely delicious. The pesto gave them a savoury sweetness which just added to whole. These, of course, would make great party food and are ideal for snacks or lunch boxes. I just wish I could make pastry as well as BBC2!