“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”

James Beard (1903-1985)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brat Buns

This weekend I had planned to make traditional Dutch sausage rolls, worstenbroodjes, but I never got around to it. I had already thawed a pound of hamburger but with laundry, friends, work and a lazy Saturday evening watching my favorite show on PBS.....no worstenbroodjes. What can I say? I only have myself to blame.

Nevertheless, by Sunday evening, plagued by procrastination guilt and the slight yearning for a snack from my homeland, I found myself in the kitchen wondering what I could fix that would at least tend to the craving. Ha! My always faithful freezer came to the rescue: I found a six-pack of brats and I was ready to go!

Brat Buns
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup of milk, warm

6 brats*
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk

Add the yeast to the warm milk and let sit until foamy. In the meantime, put the flour in a bowl and add the sugar. Now pour in the yeast with the milk, stir several times until well mixed, then add the salt, butter and the beaten egg. Stir or mix until the dough pulls away from the sides, scoop out and place on a counter that's lightly dusted with flour. Knead for five or six minutes until the dough comes together and is flexible, then put it in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double the size (approximately one hour). Punch down the dough carefully, then weigh and cut in six equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover and rest on the counter for about ten minutes.

In the meantime, heat your oven to 375F. Roll each piece of dough into an oval, slightly longer than the brat. Place the dough oval with the long side horizontally towards you. Put a brat on top of the dough , fold the left and the right short ends over the meat, then wrap the dough half that is closest to you over the sausage, and roll the whole thing over onto the top half. Pinch the seams and give it a quick roll back and forth so that it becomes a tight roll around the brat and set aside. Do the same with the rest of the dough and the brats.

Place the sausage rolls on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let them rise for about 30 minutes. Brush the rolls with egg wash, score with three diagonal slashes and bake the rolls golden brown in about 15 minutes.
(Make sure that the internal temperature of the meat supersedes 165F degrees, for food safety reasons).

* I prefer my brats grilled. In this case I was too greedy and hungry to mess around much longer so I placed the brats on the dough as they came, straight from the package (they are already cooked). And they were great, hence the fact that the brat bun above was the last one left before I realized I had not taken any pictures yet :-). The next time however, I'm going to grill them first, then let them cool down before I wrap them in dough. In either case, make sure that the internal temperature of the meat supersedes 165F degrees, for food safety reasons, before consuming it.

Think about all the great possibilities you have here: wrap the brat in cheese before you wrap the dough around it, or brush some spicy mustard on the brat before putting the bun together. All these choices! This would be a great Superbowl food: brat bun in one hand, the remote in the other :-)

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