At the start of the summer, a brand new Bake Box arrived, with the theme Teddy Bear's Picnic. I oohed and aahed at the fabulous recipes that I was going to get to try out, but with all the travelling and visiting family that we've been during during the holidays, I haven't had a chance to have a play yet. Until now ! I decided to start off gently, with the simplest recipe : Mini lattice sausage rolls. This gave me the chance to try out one of the tools from the box, a lattice cutter.
Mini lattice sausage rolls
(makes about 24 small rolls or 12 larger ones)
for the pastry :
175g butter, chilled and diced
350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
approx 4tbsp chilled water
for the filling :
200g sausage meat
40g fresh breadcrumbs
6 fresh sage leaves chopped (I used 2tsp semi-dried sage)
2tbsp plain flour
for the glaze :
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1tsp cold water
To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour to form breadcrumbs, then stir in enough water to make a dough. Knead lightly until smooth then wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes. In the Bake Box recipe, they also had a cheat's version : if you're short on time, use ready-made chilled shortcrust pastry instead (so that's what I did !)
Mix together the sausagemeat, breadcrumbs, sage and flour.
I'd just made a loaf of sun-dried tomato & parmesan bread, so I chopped off a big slice and broke that into breadcrumbs to use.
Squish the meat filling with your hands until it makes a ball. Pop in the fridge to firm up while you sort out the pastry.
Roll out the pastry to form a rectangle measuring approximately 35 x 28cm. Score four narrow strips with a sharp knife then roll the lattice cutter firmly across the pastry strips lengthwise.
Pull the sausagemeat into four parts and roll into sausage shapes. I found the easiest way was to use the greaseproof paper from the pastry to squish it into a long tube then roll it inside the paper to make it smooth.
Lay one sausage on top of the scored pastry. Carefully pull the sides up and over the top of the sausage and press them together.
I need to practise a bit more to work out how hard to press the lattice cutter when rolling it over the pastry but it actually works really well. Use your fingers to gently pull apart the slits, and use the tip of a sharp knife to make the slits deeper if necessary. Place on a baking tray and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes then cut into small pieces. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Brush with the egg wash (or a little milk) to help them go golden brown.
Bake for about half an hour, until the sausagemeat is cooked (it will stay pink) and the pastry is golden brown.
The kids wolfed these down - I don't know if it was the taste (they had so much more flavour than shop-bought sausage rolls) or the funky lattice top but they couldn't get enough of them. If you use ready-made pastry, they're really quick and simple to prepare so we'll definitely be having these again !
Bake Box delivers a new package of goodies every two months and each box costs £14.99 + £2.99 postage.
for more information : http://the-bake-box.com/
Disclosure : I received a free subscription in order to write an honest review.