The third type of pastry made on my weekend pastry course at Demnan College was Proper Puff Pastry. Not as scary as it feels and not quite as successful as it could have been. I think if we had only been making puff pastry and only chilling (the pastry and me) in between, it would have been better. Also the time spent faffing around to get the butter the right shape and thickness in a hot room didn’t help. There should have been more refrigerating at key melting moments. I’d recommend starting the pastry the day before you need it or in the morning to bake in the evening. I’ve added into my suggested method below where i think fridge resting time should happen.
I’ll definitely be trying this again and I’m more than happy to use the rest of the pastry I made that didn’t make sausage rolls (most of it). I’ve already used it to make bacon and mozzarella turnovers and they were a damn success (recipe coming soon). We only made a tiny number of sausage rolls on the course weekend but I’ve scaled up the recipe to use half of the puff pastry recipe. It freezes well and there is little point in going to the effort of making a smaller batch. If you want to make a mega batch of sausage rolls however, just double the amount of sausagemeat/sausages.
Ingredients for the Pastry:
240g Plain Flour
130g Cold Water (yup – weigh it!)
Sea Salt Flakes
Ingredients for the Sausage Rolls:
500g Sausagemeat (about 8-10 Sausages)
To start the pastry sieve 240g Plain Flour into a medium mixing bowl and add 30g Butter in small piece and a generous pinch of Sea Salt Flakes.
Add 130g of Cold Water and mix to form a dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until its a smooth and slightly elastic ball. Pop it in the fridge whilst ‘plasticizing’ the butter.
Take the remaining 210g Butter out of the fridge where you have sensibly left it until now.
Put the butter in the centre between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and go to town on it with a rolling pin. You are looking to make a nearly square rectangle about 20cm x 20cm.
Tip – In reality this involved a lot of cutting off dodgy edges, re-rolling, re-folding and re-beating. By the time I was done, the butter was rather quite soft (but it was a delightful neat shape!). We didn’t refrigerate it at this point. We should have.
Put the butter square still in its greaseproof in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Tip – Or freezer for 5/10 minutes if you are impatient.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll the dough into a rectangle about 20cm by 30cm just a little larger than a sheet of A4 (standard size printer) paper.
Take the butter square out of the fridge, peel off one layer of the greaseproof paper and lay it butter side down on the dough rectangle.
Tip – If all has gone well, the butter should be the same width and about 2/3 of the length of the dough.
Fold the unbuttered dough third over the butter. Then fold the whole thing in half. If you look at the end, you should now have layers of dough/butter/dough/butter/dough.
Tip – This is called a ‘normal turn’ or ‘half turn’.
Re-fridge the dough at this point for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough back out to its original size then fold again – this time try the ‘book fold’. Bring one short edge into the middle, then also bring the opposite edge into the middle to meet it. Now fold the whole thing in half (like a book).
Tip – Alternatively you can stick with the ‘normal turn’ and keep repeating this.
Reroll the pastry back to the original size and repeat either the ‘book fold’ or ‘half turn’.
Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for at least 15, ideally 30 minutes . Repeat the process 2 or 3 more times giving 2 folds and refrigerating for at least 15 minutes each time.
Cut the whole pastry block in half and freeze one half until needed again or set aside for use later.
Roll the pastry block out into a rectangle to the thickness of 1/4 cm and using a sharp knife, cut into rectangle into four strips (horizontally).
Take 500g Sausagemeat (about 8-10 Sausages with the skin removed) and split into quarters. Roll each quarter into a long sausage and place one in the middle of each pastry strip.
Tip – If you wet your hand before handling the sausage meat, this will stop it sticking to you in a sticky mass. Re-wet between dealing with each quarter.
Make an egg wash by beating 1 Egg in a small bowl.
Brush the egg wash around the exposed pastry edges and roll the dough around the sausagemeat to form rolls.
Tip – Wet your finger a little and gently press along with pastry seam – this will allow the pastry to meld together and reduce the likelihood of the pastry coming apart as it cooks.
Using a sharp knife and being gentle about it, cut the end off of each roll to neaten it up and then cut each of the 4 long rolls into 4.
Move each roll to a lined baking tray (maybe 2 or 3), seam side down and refrigerate for 30 minutes until you want to bake them.
15 minutes before wanting to cook them, preheat the oven to 200c.
Take the sausage rolls out of the fridge and generously egg wash over the top and sides of each of the 16 rolls. Score the top of each roll with a sharp knife.
Tip – not liking waste, you’ll see that I also baked my trimmings for some tasty little cooks treats straight out of the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes until light golden brown.
Tip – If you have a cooking thermometer, the centre of the rolls should reach 75c.
Try to let them cool a bit before serving but I think we all know they’re not going to last long!