The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Puff Pastry

dabrownman's picture

Karin had a great post for Dan Lepard's brat filled Stilton cheese puff paste appetizers here:

Dan Lepard's Stilton Crust Sausage Rolls - My First Bake of 2013


We used half Johnsonville Hot Italian sausage and half Jimmy Dean Sage breakfast sausage in place of brats.  We cooked them together in a skillet, as Breadsong suggested, to try to reduce the fat as much as we could.


We also decided to bake them on their side so that any fat could drain though instead of onto the puff paste below.  This allowed the paste to puff up nicely all around the sausage.


In order to get the cooked sausage to hold itself together in a log, we added some grated aged white cheddar cheese to it while it was still warm and then rolled it into a log using plastic wrap before refrigerating  – it worked.


We rolled the puff paste out thinner than normal like Karin and put grated asiago cheese on it, instead of blue cheese, and then folded it over to make a double thickness with the cheese inside. 


The cooled sausage log was put on top of the puff paste with some slices of brie cheese and then the puff paste was folded over the top and the edges crimped with a fork before refrigerating.


Once cooled, the log was sliced into 6 pieces and the slices were placed on parchment meat side up.  After egg washing additional grated cheese, this time 6 Italian cheese blend, was placed on the meat circles like topping a pizza.


Into a 400 F convection oven it went for 25 minutes and rotated  90 degrees every 6 minutes until golden.

Yummy,Yummy, Yummy…….Thanks Karin – No Hemps seeds in mine either - so I served them on the side!

hanseata's picture

Dan Lepard, master baker from England ("The Art of Handmade Bread"), travels (and bakes) all over the world. He also contributes regularly to the weekend issue of the "Guardian", and is always good for an interesting recipe.

I tried several of them, and never had a bad experience. Whether marmalade, pancakes, pasties, cakes or his "boozy" Ale House Rolls, we liked them all. When I saw his recipe for Stilton Crust Sausage Rolls, I was intrigued by the idea to spruce up simple store-bought puff pastry with layers of blue cheese.

There was still some puff pastry in the freezer, and I overcame my inner Scrooge to purchase real, imported Stilton.

Preparing the crust was easy. I crumbled the Stilton evenly over one sheet of thawed puff pastry, placed the second sheet on top, pressed it down with my hands to adhere, and then rolled it out to two times its original size.

The package is then folded, re-rolled, and folded again, creating several layers of cheese within the pastry. After these turns it needs a nap in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

While the dough was resting, I prepared the sausage filling. An opened package with Johnsonville's "Stadium Brats" - the only American bratwurst that tastes like a German one - was my sausage choice, and, instead of the ground pork the recipe suggests, I took 80% lean ground beef (another leftover in the fridge.)

The idea of a fennel seasoning didn't appeal to me too much. Though I like fennel, and use it regularly in my breads, I do not care for the pervasive anise-y flavor of American Italian sausages (something never heard of in Italy, as my half Italian husband assures me.)

Bratwurst, ground beef, marjoram and white breadcrumbs are mixed for the filling

With the German type bratwurst a marjoram seasoning instead of the fennel seemed the obvious choice (I used only 1/2 teaspoon.) "Stadium Brats" don't have casings that need removing, and my food processor made mixing a cinch. (I recommend chilling the filling until using.)

The next step was arranging the filling on the chilled pastry. I wasn't quite sure what size of rolls I would end up with - you have to consider that before you roll out the dough - but mathematical imagination is not my forte, and my rolls turned out a bit larger than Dan Lepard's.


The blue cheese is visible through the  pastry

I placed the filling on the lower half of the pastry, leaving a free edge for the seam. The upper half is then folded over, and crimped with a fork. To create a neat edge, I used a pizza roller to cut off the excess dough.

Shaped loaf with crimped edges

Since I wanted to freeze some of the rolls, I did not apply egg wash over the whole loaf, but cut it first into slices. My loaf yielded 10 slices/rolls (about 1 1/2 inch wide.)

After brushing the rolls with the beaten egg, I slashed them with a sharp knife, parallel to the cut sides.

The sausage rolls baked for 25 minutes, at 400ºF/200ºC, to be golden brown and sizzling. I realized, though, that a lot of fat was rendered from the filling during the bake, leaving the bottom of the rolls soft. Next time I would follow Breadsong's advice to render the fat from the meat before mixing the filling. Or elevate the rolls with a rack on top of the baking sheet.

We had the Stilton Crust Sausage Rolls for dinner, and LOVED them! The blue cheese in the crust added a pleasant spiciness, and the seasoning of the sausages, plus the marjoram, was sufficient to flavor the whole filling - no extra salt or pepper is needed.

Dan Lepard's recipe in the "Guardian" you can find here.

TO MAKE AHEAD: The cheese pastry and the filling, or the filled loaf (without egg wash), can be kept in the refrigerator for at least a day.

The shaped rolls (without egg wash!) can be easily frozen, individually wrapped in plastic, and placed in a container with lid. They don't need to be thawed, but before baking, brush them with beaten egg, and slash the top with a sharp knife. The baking time will be a bit longer for frozen rolls.

dabrownman's picture

Continuing on with her Puff Paste adventure, my apprentice decided to do a take off on rugelach.  Rugelach has cream cheese in the dough and are just fantastic with any filling imaginable.  If you aren't making them for the Holidays then the Holidays where will be slightly less festive than they should be ;-)

While we love rugelach,we much prefer the ones my apprentice makes with puff pastry - by far!  They are so light and just plain overkill in a really decadent, if sinful, way.

We were trying out a new filling that has cocoa, brown and white sugar, chopped chocolate chips and chopped Heath Chocolate Toffee Bits.  Yummy!

Rugelach are supposed be rolled out as a circle before cutting them into triangle shapes with a pizza cutter.  We had square shapes of puff paste left over from our square snowflake  experiment yesterday.  No worries!  Just roll them out thinner, say a little less than 1/8", brush them with melted butter, sprinkle in he filling, cut them into 8 pie shaped pieces and roll them up, croissant like. from the large end to the point.

Brush them with an egg wash and sprinkle on some Turbinado sugar.  Bake at 400 F convection for 6 minutes, then turn the pan 180 degrees and bake for another 5 minutes or so until golden brown and puffed.  These weighed between 8 and 12 grams each after baking and were just as tasty as tasty could be for one bite.

dabrownman's picture

Now that the AZ weather has turned off the 6 month oven time bake, we can get back into puff pastry and other laminated dough like croissants – Yeaah!!


I took some paper and cut squares with scissors until I got a shape I liked.  You fold the square corner to corner first.  Then you make 4 cuts from the long folded edge toward the opposite point but don’t cut all the way.


Open the square back up.  You put your filling down the uncut middle from end to end.   Mine was chocolate chips dark brown sugar and cocoa.  Then  fold the inside square corners up to a triangle pointing skyward.


The take the inner most cut pieces and fold them over themselves to the opposite side.


Then fold the outermost cut pieces over themselves to the opposite side just like the inside ones.  This encapsulates the filling and after some egg glaze and turbinado sugar makes a weird puff paste shape like this.

I sprinkled turbinado sugar on mine.

I baked this one at 400 F in the mini oven until it was nice and golden. 

Franko's picture


This is a Tarte Tatin made last weekend that I hadn't gotten around to posting till now. Tarte Tatin is a favourite of mine to make for it's delicious combination of baked apples and caramel, all sitting atop a base of buttery pastry. I've been making the tarte for many years, always using a shallow glass pie pan to bake it in. This time I decided to use an 8" cake pan to make it a bit higher to improve the overall appearance. Something else I altered from my usual method was to use an even richer caramel sauce for the coating rather than the simple sugar, water, and cream caramel sauce I've used in the past. The new sauce recipe is from Suas' "Advanced Bread & Pastry" which uses glucose, (I used corn syrup instead), sugar and water for the syrup, with the incorporation of butter and cream once the syrup has caramelized, a small change but with much better flavour and texture. The pastry used were some scraps of puff pastry I've had in the freezer for a few months. In fact it's having the scrap that quite often gives me the notion to make one of these in the first place as I can't think of a better way to use it up. If the scraps have been stacked together before freezing they should give adequate lift for this application. The apples and caramel tend to compact the pastry eventually anyway, so I've always thought using regular puff a bit wasteful for something like this, but no reason it couldn't be used. Once the sauce was made and had a chance to cool slightly it was poured into the pan and swirled around to coat the bottom and sides as evenly as possible, then thick slices of peeled Granny Smith apples were overlapped around the sides, interspersed with pieces of dried apricots to add some chew. The center of the pan was filled with more overlapping apple and apricot and a second layer was built on top of the first to fill the pan, pressing the apples down into the caramel. Out of personal preference I sprinkle some lightly toasted almond slices and cinnamon on top of the apples at this point for extra flavour and texture. The cold pastry was rolled out to slightly larger than the pan then draped over the apples, rolling the edge up all around and tucking it in around the sides. A steam vent was cut and the tart was baked at 350F/176C until the pastry was golden brown, then allowed to cool for 2 hours. After a 5-10 minute warming in a 200F/93C oven it was inverted onto a serving plate. If there is any residual sauce left on the plate it can be served with the tart immediately, or poured off and reserved to serve separately at a later time to keep the pastry from becoming soggy. Using the cake pan and the caramel sauce made a major improvement to the Tarte, resulting in a much better presentation and richer flavour compared to ones I've made previously.



dabrownman's picture

The other half of the puff paste we made the other day was used up on these tasty apple, pear  and cream cheese sleds.  This time I watched them to make sure these didn't over caramelize like the last variety.  I mixed in some apple jam in the cream cheese that is on the bottom and hidden.  Also, we reconstituted dried apricots, raisins and cranberries in some bourbon and also added fresh minced ginger to the chopped apples and pears that were sauted with some brown sugar and mixed spice.   The middle of the sled was docked to keep it from puffing and make a well / seat for the riders on the sled :-)

dabrownman's picture

These sweet little jewels are made with home made puff paste and lemon curd with a little dollop of cream cheese to make it interesting.

I use 1 C AP, 1/4 C WW with some butter and shortening (6 T split 50-50) and few T of ice water (4-5) to make the dough.  After refrigerating, take 2/3 rds of the dough and roll it out as wide as my stick of butter and about 10" long and 1/4" thick.  Slice the frozen stick of butter into 4 slices lengthwise and lay one piece at time on the top of the dough and fold it over laying another piece of butter on top, fold over again and continue until all the slices of butter are encapsulated in the dough roll up.  Then roll out the other 1/3 rd of dough into a rectangle that is 1/4" thick.  Then put the butter layered portion onto this dough and encapsulate it.  Freeze for 20 minutes and then start rolling and folding 2 turns between freezes until you get the number of layers you want.  I did 6 turns folding in 1/3rds for 2,916 layers of butter.   The curd is Rachel Allen's with some  fresh ginger added.  Just cut the 1/4" puff into 3" squares, dock the center and put a T each of curd and cream cheese in the center.  You can mix the two which is what I normally do and wish I had done it on this bake.  Bake at 400 F until nice and brown - hopefully not as dark as mine and spin them in 8 minutes.  These were in 20 minutes because my apprentice was not paying attention tpo check them at 15 the first time.  These 8 used half the puff in various shapes.

 I have been behind on posting so will try to catch up quickly, now that taxes and citrus processing are finally done.  Am starting the retard of 22 hours for a couple of different kinds of baggies - one I promised teketeke I would make with YW since hers came out so well.  YW has really grown on me and this will be the 3rd bread bake in row using YW.  The other baggie is identical to the YW one, after the levain build, but is SD.  Both are around 17-20 % Rye and WWW so will be different than the normal mainly white baggie with poolish.  But, there are some other things to post first.



Urchina's picture

ITJB Week 7: Closed Pockets (1/14/12 - 1/21/12)

January 15, 2012 - 8:44pm -- Urchina

Now that we've had a bit of a baking warm-up with the breads, cakes and pastries to date, it's time to tackle the bakery equivalent of the 3-meter high dive. Danish or puff pastry. I'm a little breathless with anticipation, but it could also be the fear of a metaphorical 3-meter belly-flop, as well. 


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