Bacon Roly Polies

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bacon (2) 22/04/2017

Yes, you read that correctly – wheels of cheesy bacon! Simple to make, yet deliciously moreish to eat, these bacon rolls make a great savoury snack, picnic staple, or side for soups and stews. A tasty filling of bacon, cheddar and cream cheese is rolled in an easy pastry, and then these little rolls only take 15 minutes to bake.

Ingredients:

Bacon filling:

  • 8 bacon rashers
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 100g of soft cheese
  • 100g of cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Pastry:

  • 250g of plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 75g of unsalted butter, diced and cold
  • 225ml of milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 20g of butter, melted

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Crumb the butter into the flour using your thumbs and forefingers. Mix in the milk until just combined.
  3. Place onto a floured work surface and roll into a 1cm thick rectangle, trimming the edges of the dough if desired.
  4. Brush the dough with some of the melted butter then layer the bacon on top to cover the pastry, making sure to leave a 2cm edge free on one of the long sides of the dough,
  5. Mix the onion, cheeses, parsley and garlic together and spread over the bacon.
  6. Brush the gap at the edge of the dough with water then roll into a spiral, sealing the edge brushed with water to the body of the roll.
  7. Wrap the roll in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes
  8. Slice the roll into 1.5cm slices and place, spiral side up, onto the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.

Cheese & Pesto Whirls

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IMG_20150729_184149[1] 30/07/2015

If you like pesto, this one’s for you. I always find I have a jar of pesto hanging around in the fridge and apart from stirring it through a bit of pasta, I never really use it that much but it is full of fresh flavours and teamed with salty sun dried tomatoes and tangy cheese that are swirled through a fresh bread dough, this recipe results in a fantastic roll perfect for taking to a picnic or dunking in a big bowl of soup.

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 450g strong white bread flour, plus a little for dusting
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle
  • 3 Tbsp pesto
  • 75g semi-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • handful basil leaves

Method:

  1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and 1 1/2 tsp fine salt in a large mixing bowl. When adding the salt, make sure it does not directly come into contact with the yeast. Measure out 300ml warm water and add roughly 280ml to the flour, along with the olive oil, and start mixing until the ingredients start to clump together as a dough. If the dough seems a little dry, add the remaining water. Once combined, knead for 10 minutes by hand on your work surface. The dough is ready when it feels soft, springy and elastic. Clean the bowl, drizzle in a little oil, then pop the dough back in, turning it over and coating the sides of the bowl in oil. Cover with some oiled cling film and set aside in a warm place to double in size – this will take 1-3 hrs, depending on the temperature of the room.

2. Line a baking tray with parchment. Uncover the dough and punch it down a couple of times with your fist, knocking out all the air bubbles. Tip out onto a floured work surface and dust the top with a little flour too, if it is sticky. Roll the dough out to a rectangle, roughly 40 x 30cm. Spread the pesto over the dough, then scatter over the tomatoes, both cheeses and the basil. Roll the dough up from one of the longer sides, into a long sausage.

IMG_20150729_184335[1] IMG_20150729_184258[1]3. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Place on the baking tray, cut-side up, in a 3-by-4 formation, making sure the open end of each roll is tucked in towards the centre on the arrangement – this will prevent them from uncoiling during cooking. Leave a little space between each roll as they will grow and touch as they prove. Loosely cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove for 30 mins–1 hr until almost doubled in size again. Heat the oven to 180C.

4. Uncover the bread when it is puffed up. Bake on the middle shelf in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and the centre looks dry and not doughy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes.

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Store in an airtight container or bread bin for a couple of days. The rolls can be frozen. Defrost thoroughly and warm through in a warm oven for 5 minutes to refresh before serving.

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