I love to eat sausage rolls if the filling is truly meaty, packed with other flavour goodies and the pastry is buttery and crisp: truly one of life’s simple culinary pleasures! This recipe, using croissant dough, is a slight variation on my gran’s recipe from decades ago.
These croissage rolls, as they are referred to in my house, are on my list of top 5 things to bake: using croissant dough rather than puff pastry makes sausage rolls into a slightly more substantial, but not at all heavy bite.
The recipe for quicker croissants gives excellent results (pics below from a Dec 2014 batch) and is very easy. I would steer clear of the pre-bought croissant dough in cans as they have no flavour and give rather under-whelming results!
The rolls can be frozen once the cooled sausage filling has been wrapped in the dough: then simply take what you need from the freezer the night before, put them on baking trays and cover. By the morning they will have defrosted and risen, and will be ready for baking.
Although a little more fiddly, I have placed lightly boiled (which was then peeled and frozen) quail eggs along the slightly flattened sausagemeat as it lays on the dough. The freezing of the eggs helps prevent them from bursting as you work. In this case, I roll the dough out a little wider so it wraps up properly,
You then have to watch where you cut the dough so do you don’t slice through an egg, but if you lay the eggs at equal spacings this is not an issue. What you end up with is a whole mini egg in each roll: a bit over-the-top, but fun. And it eats very well!
Croissage Rolls: makes about 30
- one quantity of croissant dough or quicker croissants, rested overnight in the fridge
- 500g very best quality sausagemeat
- 80g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 medium onion, chopped very finely or blitzed in a food processor
- 1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored and grated
- 1 heaped tablespoon chutney or pickle of choice, lightly crushed
- 1 heaped teaspoon mixed herbs or some chopped fresh sage (optional)
- salt and pepper
- Dijon or English mustard
- beaten egg
(1) Mix together the sausagemeat, Cheddar, onion, apple, chutney, cheese, herbs and seasoning: you can fry off a little of the mixture to check the seasoning and the overall flavours are as you like them.
(2) Taking a few handfuls at a time, compact the meat and roll into thin sausages. Bake for about 5 minutes in an oven preheated to 180C (fan): this will partially cook the sausagemeat. Leave to cool.
NB: without this partial pre-cooking, the meat doesn’t quite cook in the shorter time a croissant dough takes to bake compared to puff pastry.
(3) Roll out the dough to a rectangle that is just over 60cm by 24cm, trimming the edges if necessary. Make a cut lengthways through the dough with a sharp knife, giving two rectangles of size 60cm by 12cm.
(4) Spread a little mustard over the each piece of dough and place the cooled sausagemeat down the centre of the dough. Roll up and pinch gently along the seam to seal the dough edges together. Put the seal underneath, lightly press down and brush all over with egg. Cut into pieces that are about 4cm long.
(5) Place on baking sheets lined with greaseproof, cover with clingfilm or pop in a large plastic bag and leave to rise until the dough is puffy and almost doubled in size. I sometimes prove at room temperature for about an hour or two and then finish off in the fridge for about 30 minutes: chilling the risen dough results in clearer defined flakes.
(6) Brush again with egg, taking care not to drip egg over the cut edges. Bake in an oven preheated to 190C(fan) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, turning down the temperature to 170C after 10 minutes if they look as if they are going too dark.