The sausage roll turns veggie this time around. Here is your guide to making the best vegetarian “sausage” rolls ever, including proper homemade shortcrust pastry. This recipe is centred around good quality aged cheddar, grated onion and pungent fresh herbs like Chives and Parsley. A word of warning though, you may lust after these just a little bit more than the meat counterpart.
- Try to keep the dough as cold as possible and avoid using your hands during the making process.
- Chilling the dough is imperative to the quality of your pastry. The fat needs to solidify to create a really decadent pastry.
- Use freshly blitzed breadcrumbs from fresh bread. It doesn’t need to be stale bread.
- Fresh herbs over dried.
- Pack the filling into the rolls, ensure there is a big “log” running down the length of the pastry.
- Keep the pastry tight over the filling.
- Use egg yolk to ensure a really deep golden pastry.
- Ovens vary and hence timings vary. After 15 minutes check on your rolls, and keep an eye on them. They are done when they look nice and golden. 20 minutes for our fan assisted oven which was pre heated.
- Pre heat the oven AND baking tray. A pre-heated baking tray ensures the bottom of the pastry becomes crisp and cooked – not soggy.
- Egg wash the edges before sticking together. This ensures a perfect seal.
Herby Cheese and Onion Rolls
- Baking Tray
- Rolling Pin
- Mixing Bowl
- Food Processor
Savoury Shortcrust Pastry
- 175 g Unsalted Butter
- 200 g Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg Yolk to glaze the pastry
Cheese and Onion Filling
- 225 g God quality aged cheddar
- 225 g Freshly blitzed breadcrumbs
- 1 Medium Onion Grated
- 4 tbsp Fresh Double Cream
- 1 heaped tsp English Mustard Powder
- 1 level tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 heaped tbsp Freshly Chopped Chive
- 1 heaped tbsp Freshly Chopped Parsley
- 1 heaped tbsp Freshly Chopped Thyme
- 1 tsp Salt to taste
- Place the butter in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up
- Add half of flour into a bowl (not the mixing bowl, a separate bowl)
- Take the butter out of the freezer and unwrap. Take some greeseproof paper and hold one end of the butter. Dip the butter into the flour to create a coating and grate the butter into the mixing bowl. For every grate you must dip the butter into the flour. Repeat this until all fo the butter has been grated.
- Sift all of the flour (including that from the butter bowl) into the mixing bowl containing grated butter.
- Using a wooden spoon, or spatual or palette knife (anything but your hands) mix the flour and butter into it resembles a bread crumb like texture.
- Add some ice cold water to the mix so that it comes together to form a dough and no flour or butter is left in the bowl. Try mixing 50ml at a time until it reaches a dough consistency. It should not take a lot of water.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. In the meantime make the filling.
The Cheese and Onion Filling
- Add the bread to food processor and blitz until it resembles a fine crumb. (Any cheap white bread will do - but cut off the crusts)
- Grate the cheese and grate the onion.
- Finely chop the herbs
- Mix the cheese, onion, breadcrumbs, cream, mustard powder, cayenne and herbs into a large mixing bowl and combine thoroughly ensuring all "bites" have a good amount of cheese and herb.
- Leave in the mixing bowl covered until the pastry is ready
Making the Rolls
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and cling film and lay on a lightly floured surface.
- Using a lightly floured rolling pin, and rolling vertically and horizontally, roll the pastry out until about 2/3mm thick. Thinner the better. The shape of the pastry should be a long rectangle.
- Place the cheese and onion filling onto the pastry near the bottom (e.g. 5cm from the edge) and horizontally down the pastry to form a long cheese "sausage".
- Yolk wash the edges of the pastry using a brush.
- On the side with little pastry, roll the cheese and onion sausge over to form the pastry "roll". , with one side of the pastry meeting the otherside. As the two lines of pastry join, press down with your thumb (or fork if you're feeling fancy) to create a tight seal. Using a knife slice some slits down the length of the roll to allow steam to escape.
- You should now have ended up with a long cheese and onion pastry roll.
- Cut this roll into 12 evenly sized chunks (or 24 if you'd prefer smaller rolls).
- NOTE - if you want to freeze and bake later this is the stage to do this. Wrap in greaseproof paper and put into freezer bags.
Baking the Rolls
- If baking now, pre heat the oven to 200 Degrees (fan assisted). Put a bakign tray in the oven to heat up too. This ensures a crispy base.
- Brush the tops of the rolls generously with yolk wash and top with flaky sea salt.
- Bake in the oven on the pre-heated tray lined with baking paper for about 20 minutes. Set a timer at 15 minutes to check and keep an eye on them for the last remaingin 5 mins. All ovens vary.
- Once delicously golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool slightly before eating.