"The secret is the bacon..." It really takes this sausage roll to another level! Also, sautéing the onion and celery before mixing into the filling makes it sweet and more moist than the usual. The addition of fennel adds an extra burst of flavour (optional) - pork and fennel are great mates - and using panko instead of normal breadcrumbs also contributes to making the filling of this sausage roll so moist.
1. Toasted fennel seeds (optional) - heat small fry pan over medium heat. Add fennel. Shake pan and toast for 1 - 2 minutes, until you can smell the fragrance of the fennel seeds.
2. Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese breadcrumbs which are larger than normal ones. For crumbed/breaded things, it makes them even crunchier. For fillings, they make the filling less dense, more moist. You can find them in the Asian section of most supermarkets in Australia nowadays (see here
for Woolworths) and even alongside normal breadcrumbs.
You can substitute for normal breadcrumbs, but reduce the quantity to 1/2 cup otherwise the filling won't be as moist.
3. Puff pastry in Australia comes in sheets that are 25 x 25cm / 10 x 10" squares. Cut them in half so you have five 25 x 12.5cm / 10 x 5" rectangles.
4. To make ahead: Best assembled, cut, then frozen or refrigerated unbaked. Place in an airtight container in single layers with baking paper between each layer. Brush with egg wash just before baking (optional - could just spray with oil, helps make it golden). Bake from frozen for 40 minutes, or from fridge per recipe.
It is perfectly safe to thaw then refreeze puff pastry, it is not like meat. If you want the absolute best results, use a puff pastry made with a combination of butter and oil/shortening because it will puff up better after thawing. But the difference is negligible. Another great tip I learnt from Cook’s Illustrated
5. Recipe originally published June 2014. Republished with new photos, new words but the same recipe (just tidied up the writing a bit!).
6. Nutrition per sausage roll. If you use low fat / turkey bacon, it reduces to 205 calories. If you use "light" puff pastry, it reduces to 150 calories.