The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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

hanseata's picture

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

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.


GSnyde's picture


This blog post should not be read before breakfast.  I can almost smell them.  

Nice adaptation.  This recipe reminds me of a ham and bleu cheese pastry I had a few years ago.

Happy New Year!


Wild-Yeast's picture

At first I thought, Stilton laced puff pastry with a wurst stuffing?..., by the end of your post I was thinking sunnyside up or even a soft scrambled eggs to go with the puffs..., Thanks for the nice find.

Bien Cordialement, Wild-Yeast

dabrownman's picture

a non dinner roll that was crying out for Hemp Seeds- this was it!

Yes, the store bought sausage available in America is nothing like real sausage found anywhere else in the world.  Odd how every one of them can be so far off.  Just another reason to make your own  is what my German baking apprentice regularly says but, she says that about anything you can find in the grocery store it seems.

What a great combination of flavors and texture these meat rolls have and they have to taste pretty good too - even without some hemp involved in the mix somewhere.

Nice baking Karin.

hanseata's picture

We still have six more in the freezer to be baked whenever the good olde stomach growls again...

Thanks, Glenn, and Happy New Year to you, too.



hanseata's picture

Though I was very curious how this combination would work, I hesitated before sprinkling the whole amount of cheese on the puff pastry sheet. I was afraid it might be too sharp. But when rolled out and folded, it was all well distributed, and not at all too sharp.

The filling you can really adapt to your taste, but it's good to know that the sausage is salty enough to that no extra salt is needed.



hanseata's picture

and my meowing and barking would-be apprentices would have looooved to snatch some of the sausage - German or other!

You should try making them, DB, they are really good (and you can always throw in some hemp seed)


dabrownman's picture

to mind and I got the home made puff paste from the freezer after reading your post!  Can't wait for the Hemp Crunch version to take shape.  There is no blue cheese in the house as hemp seeds have taken over  every open spot and we too have to make do with store bought, but gussied up, hot Italian sausage or Jimmy Dean Sage.   We have lots of cheeses to choose from though.......

Janetcook's picture


These look great!  I especially like that you can make up a bunch and freeze then bake straight from the freezer!!!

I like how nice and thin the puff pastry turned out.  I don't usually mix stuff in with breads like this because the bread always seems to dominate but I can see that isn't the case with these....Time to get the heavy rolling pin out!

Happy Baking in 2013!


hanseata's picture

I was a bit amazed myself, how easy it was to roll out the pastry and then work with it. It didn't break or leak, it's really a wonderful idea with the cheese layers.

Happy 2013 Baking to you, too!


grind's picture

I've been think alot about sausage rolls since getting into lamination, so thanks for the idea.  If only eyes could eat pixels ... they'd be all gone (wink).

hanseata's picture

So I guess I'm lucky that one can't devour pixels...

Happy Baking,


breadsong's picture

Hi Karin,
Cheese-laminated puff pastry for sausage rolls - wow!
I wonder if you could partially cook the sausage filling, to render out some of the fat, let the sausage cool and then fill the rolls?
Hmmm, fennel or marjoram as flavoring options - was just reading in The Flavor Thesaurus (author Niki Segnit) that sage pairs with blue cheese...
Adding to favorites as something to try for my next appetizer.
Many thanks!
:^) breadsong


hanseata's picture

You are absolutely right, Breadsong, that's a better idea than placing the rolls on a rack in the oven to avoid their getting soggy from beneath. I will update my post with this suggestion.

I'm sure that sage would be a great pairing - I like sage a lot, and it grows profusely in my garden (not now, of course.) I'll check into that book, never heard of it before, but that might come handy.

Let me know how they turn out.


dabrownman's picture

on your fine appetizer.  Used hot Italian and Jimmy Dean Sage sausage half and half. Pre cooked the sausage and, while still hot, added shredded aged white cheddar cheese to bind it together as we wrapped it in a log with plastic wrap and refrigerated.  Then wrapped it in puff paste when cold with slices of brie in the inside too.  Then sliced the log into sections and set them on their side meat side up and egg washed them.  Covered the top in 6 Italian cheese blend - then in  the oven.  Yummy!  Thanks Karin.


hanseata's picture

Looks very appetizing, DB!

So you pre-cooked (fried it in the pan?) the sausage, too. Definitely better than having the fat all on the baking sheet. Lepard probably used sausages that were less fatty than mine.

Guten Appetit!


dabrownman's picture

was my daughter's last night home before going back to college.  We were going out to eat but we decided to stay home, eat these Meat Puffs and have a salad.   Forgot to note that we put asiago between the 2 layers of puff paste - so it was even more cheesy.  Pan frying the sausage was the way to go and baking them on the  side allowed what fat there was to go right through.  I used the mini oven broiler pan where the top part was perforated.  Not greasy at all.  They came out light as a feather at 2oz each.

No hempiness though :-(

EvaB's picture

with what the local butcher shop calls sunrise sausages, which are a small breakfast sausage, I learned to make mine from a neighbour, she cooked them to the non browned stage most resturants seem to use (not the way I cook them, I cook them crisp, and they have casings) and simply wrapped them in regular pie crust. she made them in the regular crust as her husband was pre diabetic and couldn't eat lots of carbs. But the cheese filled puff pastry would be wonderful. I would cook the filling to done, adding in the spices desired, and roll into a log shape and chill, fill the pastry, with open ends and simply slice and bake. I am not a fan of the local shops sausage rolls, the bread is gluy, the sausage is half done, and the mix is heavy on the beef and spiced with something I don't like which is cumin, or five spice powder. Have no idea why they think that is the spices to use! UGH! I prefer sage and pork sausage and well cooked before rolling in the dough! Yours look wonderful though, and the blue cheese caught my eye as my brother loved it!