Tuesday 16 February 2016

Mini Sausage Plaits

Earlier this month, I did a massive sausage plait, which was delicious, however, it was not exactly dainty and pretty. It was also not the most transportable thing in the world (so I ended up eating it myself, no real hardship!). For the work bake club, I decided to do them again, however adjust the recipe so that I ended up with mini-plaits instead.

First off, rather than full puff pastry, I did a rough puff this time...it's far quicker, and the results are virtually identical. The method I use does all the layering in one go, and then is chilled for an hour, during which time I prepared the onion, mushroom and meat components (and having hand-chopped 300g of mushrooms, I really, really want a food processor!). Once that was all done, it was just down to assembly, which took a while as the plaits were quite fiddly. One thing I found is that using diagonal cuts on a small item means a lot of pastry ends up at one end, so if I were to do these again I'd probably do straight plaits, and fold the ends in first.

All that said, I'm really pleased with the end result...they look excellent (my non-subjective measure for this is how many Likes a Facebook photo gets...though that is basically showing off). The pastry came out very well, and the flavours are delicious (I think caramelised onion makes everything lush).

Mini-Sausage Plaits - Recipe

Rough Puff Pastry Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 100g strong white flour
  • 100g unsalted butter - chilled, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 100g lard - chilled, cut into 1cm cubes
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80-120ml ice cold water

1) Place the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl

2) Add the butter and lard, making sure that each piece is individually coated in flour, so they don't clump and stick

3) Add the water slowly while mixing with your fingertips (as with all pastries, keep as much heat out of the mixture as possible), until you just have a dough with lumps of fats in it.

4) On a very well floured surface, form a long rectangle (about 30cm x 15cm) using a very well floured rolling pin (don't be stingy with the flour throughout the folding process, you want to make sure all the fat parts are always coated, or it's going to stick).

5) Fold into thirds, then turn 90' and repeat...form a long rectangle, then fold into thirds. Remember to keep everything well floured.

6) Do the roll, fold, turn process at least 6 times, ideally 8-10. You should find that you start to get more resistance to the rolling as you go. Once you're happy, roll to about 2cm thickness, cover in clingfilm and place in the fridge for an hour to rest. While it's resting, prepare the fillings

Filling Ingredients

  • 300g sausagemeat
  • 100g black pudding, chopped
  • 300g chestnut mushrooms
  • 1tbsp chopped thyme
  • 2 red onions
  • 25g butter
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp soft brown sugar
  • 2tbsp sherry vinegar

1) Finely chop the mushrooms (or, get a food processor!)

2) Place the mushrooms in a dry pan on a medium low heat, and add the thyme

3) Heat and stir until the mixture loses all it's moisture (you'll find that water starts to come out of the mushrooms, and then boil away)...this can take 10-15 minutes, but don't do it too fast, or you'll burn the mushrooms

4) Place to one side to cool completely

5) Finely slice the onions

6) Put the butter and olive oil in a frying pan on a medium-low heat

7) Add the onions and sugar, stir, and cook for ~20 minutes, until the onions are nicely brown

8) Stir in the sherry vinegar, and place to one side to cool completely

9) Take the sausagemeat, and chop into 12 equal parts

10) Form a sausage about 6-7cm long, folding in the black pudding

11) Place on a plate, ready for assembly


  • Pre-heat oven to 190'C


  • Beaten egg
  • Sesame Seeds

1) Take the chilled pastry, and roll out to a rectangle ~36cm x 50cm on a well-floured surface. It should be about 3-4mm thick

2) Cut out 12 equal rectangles about 12cm x 16cm

3) Take each rectangle, and down the middle place (in order, on top of each other)
  • a teaspoon of the mushroom
  • a sausage
  • a teaspoon of the red onion

4) Cut into the pastry on each side, forming the strands to bring over the top.

5) Lightly bush the pastry with beaten egg

6) Fold the plaits over, to form a weave effect. Tuck the ends in under the strands
Note - this is a bit fiddly...make sure that after each plait, you wipe your working area, and dry it, or you end up with egg wash, which causes the pastry to stick

7) Place on a baking tray, and repeat with the others

8) Once they are all on the baking tray, wash the outsides with beaten egg, nad sprinkle with sesame seeds

9) Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.