This is my first attempt at baking bread! I baked bread!
Alright. Earth to Winola.
I think everyone deserves to be really happy with themselves. I think everyone ought to give themselves opportunities to make themselves proud. I believe it is a must to want to do some things, only because they make you feel happy and accomplished, irrespective of what everyone else thinks. This weekend, I did one such thing for myself. I overcame a challenge.
For a long time now, I’ve been caught up trying to make everyone around me proud. But this weekend I chose to do something entirely for myself, I chose to outdo myself. I normally cook and bake, excited for my family to taste it and for them to enjoy it. However, I’ve always loved sausage rolls, and for the first time I baked them just ’cause I wanted to eat some handmade sausage rolls.
A couple of days ago, I was sitting at my desk at work, my stomach screeching with hunger pangs. (I swear, I could hear it) So as is my custom, I pulled out my phone and googled recipes for savory baking. There it was, the recipe for Hong Kong style Sausage Rolls. I immediately took a screen-shot and vowed to myself to bake it the coming weekend.
As a child, I remember my dad getting croissants stuffed with sausages for my brother and I from the local bakery. Though I love soft, buttery croissants, eating them is a total mess – the flaky pastry always ends up all over me. About a year ago, I found these bread rolls stuffed with sausages at a cafe on the ground floor of the place I interned at; you wouldn’t believe my joy, sausage rolls were my lunch for the rest of the summer!
These Hong Kong style sausage rolls use a special ingredient known as Tangzhong which helps fluff up and soften the bread. Tangzhong is basically a flour paste, made by cooking water and flour until it thickens up. So without much further ado, Here’s how you make these absolutely delicious Sausage Rolls.
For the Tangzhong:
- All Purpose Flour – 50 g
- Water – 250 ml
For the Sausage Rolls:
- All Purpose Flour – 350 g
- Caster Sugar – 55 g
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Egg – 1
- Milk – 125 ml
- Tangzhong – 120 g
- Instant Yeast – 1 tsp
- Butter – 30 g, at room temperature
- Sausages – 7, any of your choice (I used chilly sausages)
- Black Sesame seeds – to sprinkle
Here’s how you make them.
- In a wok, mix the water and flour meant for the tanzhong until the flour has dissolved and there are no lumps.
- Cook this on low flame and stir constantly. Cook until lines appear in the mixture while stirring.
- Leave aside to cool to room temperature.
- In the meantime, mix together the flour, caster sugar, salt and instant yeast. Make a well in the center.
- Mix the egg, milk and tangzhong thoroughly.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the well of the dry ingredients and begin kneading.
- Add the butter and knead until the dough is elastic and non-sticky. I took about 40-45 mins. You’re dough is ready when you stretch it and it forms a thin membrane and when you poke through the membrane, a proper circle is formed, not an irregular tear.
- Transfer the dough into a clean greased bowl and cover with cling wrap. Keep it somewhere warm for 40 minutes to proof.
- Once the dough is double in size, gently beat it down and divide into seven balls. Wrap each ball individually and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Then roll out each ball into a long tin cylinder of dough and wrap it around the sausage. Line these on a baking tray; make sure that the seals of the dough of each roll are on the under-side. Wrap with cling wrap and leave to proof for another 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
- Brush the tops of the rolls with whisked egg white. Sprinkle a few black sesame seeds over each roll.
- Bake for 30 minutes on 150 degree Celsius or until golden brown.
These Sausage rolls are just delightful. When they are in the oven, you’ll have the amazing aroma of freshly baked bread wafting around in your home. When you take your first bite, a feeling of wholeness will over come you – the bread is soft and moist and it just melts in your mouth. The slight sweetness of the bread and the spice of the chilly sausages was just the right combination.
I loved every bit of my first experience with baking Sausage Rolls. From the minute I made the tangzhong, to the extremely messy and tiring kneading of the dough, to letting the rolls proof, to baking them – and the best part, eating them! I just loved these rolls, and no matter now time consuming and tiring the task is, I’m definitely going to bake bread rolls with different kinds of stuffing again and again and again. You should try these too!
A little tip: If you have a bread maker, use it to knead the dough. Kneading with hand will result in a terrible elbow, shoulder and upper-back pain the next day. (Still not a good enough reason for me to not bake these again!)