26 September 2023

The Ultimate Sausage Roll

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By Christine Salins.


Next time you go round to someone’s house, bake a cake or a loaf of bread and take it with you instead of a bottle of wine or some chocolates, suggests Paul Hollywood.

The son of a baker and a passionate baker himself, Hollywood says that when you’ve baked something yourself, you’ll appreciate it so much more.

“Even better, it means that you can share that experience with others,” he writes in the introduction to Bake: My Best Ever Recipes For The Classics (Bloomsbury Publishing, $52). “I think, ultimately, we’re all very nostalgic, and baking taps right into that.”

You may have encountered Hollywood through his City Bakes TV series. If you haven’t, check him out on YouTube. He shot to fame as a judge on The Great British Bake Off and went on to author several books sharing the secrets of his craft.

Bake is a sort of ‘ultimate collection’ in which he shares his best-ever recipes for classic bakes, along with tips and tricks he has learned in the course of his career. From cakes, biscuits, breads and flatbreads to pizza, doughnuts, pastries, pies and show-stopping desserts, this book has it all.

You’ll find a foolproof Sourdough, classic cakes like the Victoria Sandwich, Lemon Drizzle Cake and Chocolate Fudge Cake, Danish pastries, a scrumptious White Chocolate and Raspberry Bread and Butter Pudding, baklava, buttery shortbread, croissants, ciabatta, focaccia, chapatis, fruit loaf, and savoury pastries like The Ultimate Sausage Roll here.

Hollywood recommends using your favourite sausages for this recipe. Stilton gives it a kick, but you could use less Stilton and cook another onion instead – sprinkle the extra caramelised onion directly on the pastry for extra sweetness before you roll it up.

This is by no means a quick recipe but once you’ve made sausage rolls at home, you’ll never want to buy another one.

The Ultimate Sausage Roll

Serves 6

Rough puff pastry

225g plain flour, plus extra to dust

½ tsp fine salt

200g cold unsalted butter, diced

Juice of ½ lemon

180 to 200ml cold water


1 tbsp oil

1 small onion, finely diced

400g sausage meat (or your favourite sausages, skinned)

125g Stilton, crumbled

1 tbsp thyme leaves

A pinch of white pepper

To finish

2 egg yolks, beaten, to glaze

2 tsp nigella seeds

2 tsp sesame seeds

To make the pastry, put the flour, salt and butter into a bowl. Mix the lemon juice with the water and add three-quarters of the liquid to the bowl. Gently stir until the mixture comes together to form a lumpy dough, adding the remaining liquid if required. Don’t knead or work too much – you want lumps of butter through the dough.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and flatten to a rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll into a narrow rectangle around 2.5cm thick. Fold one-third of the dough up on itself, then the opposite third down over that, as if folding a business letter. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Unwrap the pastry and repeat, rolling the pastry at 90 degrees to the original roll, to a rectangle 40 x 15cm, then folding as before. Wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Repeat the process twice more, chilling the dough for at least 20 minutes between folds.

Heat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

For the filling, heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until softened and just turning golden brown. Leave to cool.

In a bowl, mix the sausage meat with the cooled onion, crumbled Stilton, thyme and white pepper. With floured hands, roll the filling into a 20cm long sausage and wrap tightly in cling film. Chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry to a rectangle, 30 x 20cm, and trim the edges to neaten. Place on the baking tray and chill for 20 minutes. Unwrap the sausage and lay it along the pastry rectangle, 6cm from one edge.

Brush the exposed pastry with beaten egg yolk, leaving the 6cm border clear. Fold the egg-washed pastry over the sausage filling to meet the border and encase the sausage filling. Press the edges firmly together. Press a floured fork firmly along the length of the sealed edge. (You may need to keep dipping the fork in flour to stop it sticking.)

Brush the sausage roll all over with more egg and score the pastry on the diagonal. Chill for 15 minutes. Heat your oven to 210°C/Fan 190°C. Brush the pastry again with egg, all over, then sprinkle with the nigella and sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp and the sausage meat is cooked through.

Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with your favourite pickles and chutney.

Recipe and image from: Bake by Paul Hollywood (Bloomsbury Publishing, $52, Hardback). Photography by Haarala Hamilton.

Bahar Kutluk [email protected]

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