April 22, 2011

Sausage Rolls

 One summer during college, we took a family vacation to Ireland.  Actually, now that I think about it, that was our last real family vacation, since shortly after graduation I moved out, got married, and moved across the country.  Anyway, one morning we were wandering around Dublin and stopped in a bakery for breakfast.  Everyone else got some sort of sweet pastry, but I prefer savory food and opted for the sausage roll.

This sausage roll was a piece of heaven in hand-held form.

The bread was flaky and sweet, the sausage perfectly spicy, with a little bit of cheese.  Since bread, meat and cheese are my favorite food groups, this was perfect!

In 2009, I was working my way through the Bread Bakers Apprentice challenge (I've stalled out on the sourdoughs but I really do intend to finish!) and came across Peter Reinhart's Casiatello.  As soon as I took a bite, it called to mind that Irish sausage roll - but it wasn't quite right.  I was onto something, though!  I planned to go back and make some changes to the recipe to make it more like that tasty little roll, but never got around to it.

This months HH6 challenge, however, is to recreate a dish from another country, and it got me up off my butt and working on my sausage roll.

I used Peter Reinhart's recipe as a base, but I have made some definite changes to make it more like my memory of Ireland.  This bread is fairly simple to make, and quite quick as far as bread is concerned.  It takes about 5 hours from start to finish, with several nicely placed breaks to allow for running errands.

Regarding cheese and salami:  These will make or break your bread - I made a special trip to the artisan cheese and salami shop just for this bread (twist my arm, why don't you?).  You want a cheese that will melt nicely, but has a good flavor as well.  Good flavor, but not necessarily strong.  The salami will do that.  I blended about 20% emmenthaler with 80% Wagon Wheel from Cowgirl Creamery.  The Wagon Wheel worked wonders, and if you have access to it, use it!  For the salami, I used half Da Vino, which is a red-wine salami, and half Finocchiona, which is - get this - curry salami.  Don't be shy with the salami either.  4oz will seem like a lot, but you need it all!


1/2 hot water
1 T yeast
1/2 c flour
3/4 c milk

3 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
1 T sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c butter

4 oz salami, chopped and lightly sauteed
1 c cheese, coarsely chopped or shredded

1 package Lil' Smokies

 (The Husband got me a kitchen aid for my birthday!  Isn't he the best?)

Mix the hot water and yeast together.  Set aside for five minutes or until frothy.  In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 c flour, milk, and yeast mix.  Cover with plastic wrap and rest for one hour.

In your kitchenaid (or a medium bowl), combine the 3 1/2 c flour, salt and sugar.  Stir in the eggs and the sponge until the dough forms a coarse ball.  Rest for 10 minutes.

Cut the butter into four pieces.  Begin to work them into the dough one at a time, either stirring or mixing with the paddle attachment at medium speed (this is where a kitchenaid ROCKS!).  The butter MUST be completely blended.  This is important!

Once all of the butter is completely blended, begin kneading the bread.  If using a mixer, use the paddle for four minutes, then switch to the dough hook for another 5-8.

Once the dough has smoothed out and isn't quite so sticky, stir or mix in the chopped salami and cheese until evenly distributed.

Oil a large bowl and transfer the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and rest 90 minutes.

Now, to shape the dough.  Use any of the following: muffin pan, mini-cheesecake pan, or a round pie pan.  Whichever you use, grease the pan!

Divide the dough into SMALL pieces and carefully wrap around one lil' smokie.  If using muffin or mini cheesecake pans, place one bundle in each well.  If using a pie pan, cluster the rolls so they are not quite touching.

Mist the tops of the dough with oil and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rest 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn pans and continue baking another 10-20 minutes, or until rolls are nicely browned and cheese is bubbling out the top.  Cool before eating...if you can resist!