On Saturday night we had a party to go to in Oxford and seeing the weather was unusually sunny we decided to make a bit more of an adventure out of it. So early Saturday morning we headed out of London for Oxford and for a 10 mile walk along the Thames Path. The Thames Path actually runs the whole length of the River Thames, 184 miles in total. If you fancy walking a bit of it yourself, details can be found here. We started in Oxford City Centre and headed north.
The Thames Path ... headed North from Oxford
The walk was beautiful. Though being that it was the first day of sunshine after a lot of rain we got very muddy! Luckily we had a picnic to make us forget our muddiness…
Time for a break
Delicious Sausage Rolls, but the quick and easy kind made with sausages rolled up in home-made salt and pepper shortcrust pastry. They were certainly very hearty and good fuel for the return mileage back to Oxford.
Past Sail Boats, Ruins and a rather old houseboat
The party that night was great fun and was actually the real reason I’d made the sausage rolls. We’d all been asked to bring some nibbles along so I’d cut a whole bunch of the sausage rolls up into much smaller bite size sausage rolls (before baking) … I forgot to take a photo of those though, oops!
On the Sunday, after a hearty breakfast in Oxford we headed back to London. Lucky me, I got a pre-Valentines surprise from M on the way home!
A surprise on the way home!
Recipe: Quick Sausage Rolls with Salt and Pepper Pastry Recipe
Salt and Pepper Shortcrust Pastry (see below for recipe or else you could always buy plain shortcrust ready made)
- Roll out shortcrust pastry and trim to long rectangle shape.
- Lay sausages end to end along the middle of your pastry rectangle (lengthwise). Gently bring one side of pastry around and over the sausages so they are completely covered, and tuck under.
- Brush remaining pastry ‘flap’ with the egg. and then roll the sausage roll towards it.
- With the join sitting on the bottom, squeeze together to allow it to be closed.
- Using a sharp knife, slice into desired size.
- Place on greased tray and brush tops with egg. Sprinkly with sesame seeds.
- Bake 180 degrees Celsius, about 40minutes, though the time will depend on the size you’ve cut your sausage rolls to.
- Can be eaten cold or hot.
Note: You can use Puff Pastry for these if you like but I like using Shortcrust as it makes them a bit more sturdy and they also stay nice a bit longer without going soggy like puff.
Very simple to make
Perfect Salt and Pepper Shortcrust Pastry Recipe (1 kg)
500g Plain Flour (and some extra for rolling out)
200g butter cut into cubes
Dash of Milk
A couple of tablespoons of cheese, I used cream cheese but only because I didn’t have any cheddar.
- Before you start, remember that pastry works best when kept cold so all stages should be done with minimum amount of handling.
- In a food processor place flour, butter, salt and pepper. If you are using a hard cheese, grate it and add it now. Blitz on the pulse setting until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add eggs and the soft cheese if that’s what you’re using. Add a small dash of milk and pulse for a few secconds until the mixture starts to form a dough.
- Check the consistency. If it’s too dry and crumbly add a little more milk, but you want to do this gradually as the worst thing is a claggy pastry. If you add too much, just add a little flour.
- When you’re happy with the texture bring it into two separate balls. Flatten them a little and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let them rest in fridge for at least an hour.When it comes to rolling it out just dust your surface lightly with flour, but if you’ve got the right texture it shouldn’t really stick. Remember it’s best to work with pastry while it’s cold, so if youre going to be a while you can always just take small amounts of pastry out of the fridge at a time. It’ll stick less when it’s cold too.
Note: You can make the pastry the day before if you like. It also freezes well. I often separate it into several smaller balls and wrap them all separately and freeze them. That way they are easily to hand when I need some pastry and you’re not making them from scratch each time.