Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pigs in a Duvet - Sausage Rolls with an Education !

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Rouen is a very charming French city with the dubious honour of having flambéed Joan of Arc at the tail end of the middle ages. I was there some years ago for a romantic break with my beloved. Unfortunately, he fell ill and was confined to the hotel for 3 days.
I ended up exploring the city alone for the most part. Luckily the trip accidentally coincided with the 24-hour boat race on the Seine so there was a lot to see and do and there were plenty of stalls selling many delicious things. This was one of them - a version of saucisson en brioche. 

For 6 Pigs in a Duvet you will need...
... to pre-heat the oven to 170°C when ready to bake
6 good-quality meaty pork sausages, (about 350g in total) cooked – they should be cooked just before you start the dough - any excess fat patted away with paper towel - and left to cool to room temperature

350g strong white flour (bread flour)
40g caster sugar or honey
1 teaspoon fine table salt
1 x 7g sachet of fast action yeast
175ml milk at between 27°C and 35C° (this is when the milk feels neither hot nor cold to the touch)
2 egg yolks, beaten
75g butter, in small cubes, softened

To glaze, one egg white

Dried herbs and/or seeds to complement flavours in the sausage (optional) 


Place the flour, sugar (or honey), salt and yeast in a stand mixer with a dough hook, and quickly combine.
With the mixer running, add the milk, beaten egg yolk, and butter.
Leave the mixer running on low for about 10 minutes or until you have a smooth soft ball of dough.
Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with a damp tea-towel or cling film. Leave in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead for a minute or two.

... and s-t-r-e-t-c-h...

Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a rectangle approximately 50cm x 30xm.
Mark 3 notches into each long side, at intervals of one-third – see diagram. Using a pizza wheel, pastry wheel, or non-serrated knife, cut 6 triangles as shown. (You can cut a small wedge off the bottom if you want a perfectly level base, but it’s not really necessary).

Mark 3 notches into each long side... then cut into 6 triangles as above

Taking the first triangle, place it with the short edge closest to you. Make a small cut in the middle of the edge, about 3cm long. Place a sausage along the length of this side, just clear of the cut you made. Taking a corner of the dough in each hand, tug it apart gently as you fold it over the sausage. (If you are good at patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time, this is your moment to shine!) 

Now, roll the dough-wrapped sausage away from you with one hand, while at the same time, take hold of the tail – the long pointed bit of the triangle - keeping the dough taut. Keep rolling and when you reach the pointy bit, roll over it so that the very tip of the point sits just underneath the roll. Repeat with the remaining 5 triangles. 

Tug, fold, roll

Roll so the tail sits underneath

Sit the dough-wrapped sausages on a non-stick baking sheet (or one lined with baking parchment), leaving about 6cm between them to allow for rising. Cover loosely with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Repeat with the remaining 5 triangles

When the oven has been pre-heated, place a roasting tin in the base and carefully add about 250mls of boiling water to create the steam that will allow the best rise for this savoury.
Uncover the rolls and brush gently with a little beaten egg white (egg yolk makes this bake too dark). Sprinkle with dried herbs and/or seeds if desired (I used dried thyme and fennel seed this time though sesame and poppy seed are also good)

Place in the pre-heated steamy oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until well risen and a dark golden brown.
Place on a cooling rack until at room temperature. These are great for a picnic, an interesting change to a sandwich, and are even more delicious with a smear of French mustard or onion relish. These rolls don't hang about and are best eaten on the day of baking. Just as well they fly off the cooling rack !

Having a duvet day!

If you want these for breakfast, make 'em the night before: once you have assembled the rolls, cover and place in the fridge to rise overnight. Then, in the morning, bake as instructed. You may need to give them a few extra minutes in the oven but keep an eye as brioche can darken very quickly. 

Taste-tester verdict: "Is it ok if I have another?"
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  1. Thanks Angie, it's a very forgiving dough.

  2. We'd call them pigs in a blanket but they're the best portable meal. Sorry you had to have a romantic holiday by yourself but it sounds like a nifty place to visit.

  3. These are not the pigs in a blanket of my childhood. They look a million times better---brava!!!

  4. They are pigs in a blanket with a French accent, Liz :)

  5. I like the idea of a duvet instead of a blanket. A more substantial roll and that would make my husband happy. :)

  6. This is definitely going to be a hit in our house especially with my son. Okay, with the dad too. :)


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