After a week of colder and typically English drizzly weather in June, I needed some buttery baked goods to brighten up the days. If you’re wondering what to eat, the answer is often sausage roll. Lunch box treat? Sausage roll. Snack? Sausage roll. Picnic in the park? Sausage roll. Cheeky breakfast? Sausage roll.
The first time you make sausage rolls, you realise what a sad version the shop-bought ones are. Pale soggy pastry, which lost all its flake in transit, filled with grey unseasoned filling. Granted, I have bought my fair share of supermarket sausage rolls. They have their place when time isn’t on your side and you just want convenience. Making your own is definitely more work but the beautiful product you get at the end is more than worth it.
I decided to make rough puff pastry as it’s a little easier than traditional puff pastry, but still gives you a flaky glossy and flavourful crust. By adding in fresh sage, caramelised onion and crushed pickled walnuts the sausage meat develops just the right amount of tang and sweetness.
Ingredients – makes 8 large or 16 small sausage rolls
Rough puff pastry
- 250g plain flour
- 250g cold unsalted butter, cubed (roughly 1cm)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 125ml water, ice-cold
- 1 egg, for egg wash
- 8 good quality pork sausages (450g)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 3 pickled walnuts
Making the rough puff pastry
- Place the flour, cold butter and salt into a bowl. Seperate and toss the cubes of butter in the flour. Using your fingertips, press the butter into flat pieces and coat again in flour. If you have any very large pieces of butter, break them apart slightly but don’t work the butter into the flour like traditional pastry. You should be left with large flattened pieces of butter within the flour.
- Add in the ice-cold water and stir together with a wooden spoon. Once the pastry starts to come together, use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together. Be careful not to overdo it here. You want big pieces of butter and for the pastry to remain as cold as possible. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Take the pastry from the fridge and form into a rough rectangle with your hands. Roll it out on a floured surface into a 20x50cm rectangle, trying to keep it as straight and even as possible. Fold the top third down and then the bottom third over the top, brushing any excess flour off the pastry as you go. Turn the folded square of pastry 90 degrees. Roll out the pastry as you did before and fold again. These are your first two turns. Wrap the pastry and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Turn the pastry 90 degrees again, roll and fold as before. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat, leaving the dough with four turns. Wrap the pastry and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To make the filling
- Place a pan, with the oil, on low heat. Slowly cook the diced onion until soft and caramelised, around 10 minutes. Add in the chopped sage and cook for another minute. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
- Cut through the sausage casing lengthways and peel off. Place the sausage meat into a bowl with the cooked onion and sage. Squash the pickled walnuts in your hands, add them into the mix and combine together.
- Roll out the pastry into a long rectangle (roughly 60x30cm) until the pastry is about a pound coin thickness. Take your pork filling and place it along the middle of the rolled out pastry, making a long tube of sausage meat, ensuring you have pastry either side.
- Line a baking tray with parchment. Crack an egg into a bowl and whisk with a fork to make your egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush one of the sections of pastry sitting alongside the filling with beaten egg. Fold the other side of pastry over the filling and onto the egg washed side. Press down to seal the pastry and press around the sausage meat to ensure it is tight and has a nice shape. Brush the outside of the roll with the egg wash and trim off any excess from the edges so that they are straight. Place onto the baking tray and place in the fridge for 20 minutes, cutting the sausage roll in half if needed to fit.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Egg wash the sausage rolls for a second time (this isn’t essential but will ensure a glossy finish.) Press a fork along the edge of the sealed pastry and cut into either 8 or 16 pieces, dependent if you want large or small sausage rolls. I like to use a sharp serrated knife and slowly cut to ensure a clean, defined edge. Separate the rolls so that there is at least a centimetre between them.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Leave to cool slightly before serving. Keep in an airtight container.