Whether it be traditional, seasonal or with an alternative filling, the comfort of a warm sausage roll is a true seasonal delight. And boy do we love our sausage rolls in the UK – data suggests that Greggs alone sells in excess of 2.5m every week – so whilst it may well be a tradition of the Christmas period, this is one for all year-round enjoyment! What makes the perfect sausage roll? Of course, there are probably as many answers to that as there are bakers with their own special recipe, but the key elements are always the same.
Tradition dictates a pork sausage meat filling – with at least 42% pork meat to qualify as a pork sausage – is the variety of choice. However, the culinary masters have developed some extremely interesting variations, including many fine vegan versions and additions such as chutneys or cheese.
A great filling needs to have the necessary bite, a fine balance of flavours and provide a sense of satisfaction. The gentle blending of bulk meats (or their substitutes) with other materials, spices and seasonings, is needed to deliver the taste sensation we seek. Ensuring an even, homogeneous mix, without damaging any of the ingredients, is also critical to achieving the desired eat from the filling.
EPP’s mixing partners provide the right solution for the production of fillings. Using their mixing expertise, we are able to specify the right mixer and mixing tools to achieve the required results.
Once mixed, the filling also needs to be stable enough so that it can be formed to provide the core around which the pastry shell will be formed.
Just as the filling needs careful handling, so does the preparation of the flaky pastry. The flakiness is a result of the preferred method of pastry production, often referred to as the “scotch” or “rough puff” method. Chunks of shortening, incorporated into the pastry dough at the final stage of mixing, keep the rolled particles of dough in the flaky pastry separate from each other, so that when the dough is baked, they become flakes.
The choice of mixer and mixing tool is again critical in achieving the desired result. The use of large mixers ensure consistency and unlock a potential ‘bottleneck’ of baking at scale, allowing pastry dough to be easily mixed and made ready for use in large batches of many kilograms. EPP works with VMI, leading manufacturer of mixers and automatic mixing systems, to ensure bakers have a solution they can trust, rely on, and get the product they want.
Mixing the pastry is only the first step to achieving the iconic light flaky texture that is so much part of the experience of a perfect sausage roll. The pastry now needs to be gently sheeted, folded and then rolled to the desired thickness; deep enough to give the perfect crunch, thin enough not to overwhelm the eating experience. Getting the balance right between filling and pastry requires a chef’s touch to achieve perfection.
From tabletop pastry brakes to large industrial sheeting lines, EPP has a range of partners to provide bakers with a solution to meet their requirements.
Delivering the perfect golden brown, crispy finish requires careful control of the baking process.
Whilst the science of the bake may be the same, the method of baking will depend on the volume of sausage rolls that need baking. For small quantities, traditional batch baking in a dedicated bakery convection oven will achieve the required results. For large industrial producers the benefits of using a tunnel oven, with the product conveyed through on a continuous steel band, yields consistent results, and minimises product handling.
EPP’s oven suppliers offer a range of options, starting with MIWE shop ovens to bake off product in front of the customer, through to energy efficient MIWE rack ovens for large batch baking, and to continuous tunnel ovens with steel band baking surfaces for dedicated production lines.
Finally, we get to eat our delicacy – a hot, flavoursome filling tucked inside a beautifully crispy pastry coat!
If this season has reminded you that it’s time to treat your business to an upgrade, upscale or optimisation of your sausage roll production, then come and talk to the team at EPP, who will work with you to recommend the right solutions to meet your needs. The team at EPP can help you on every step of the journey, from ingredients to finished product.
For further information on the products supplied, installed and maintained by EPP, please contact Steve Merritt, telephone 01372 745558 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.