Before fridges and freezers were invented, we used other methods to keep our food good. Meats especially were vulnerable. Common ways to preserve meat included salting and drying. Another method, which might not immediately remind you of preservation, were pies. By incorporating meat in a sturdy pie, the meat would be protected from the outside. Most likely, the doughs wouldn’t be as delicate as the doughs we eat now, since they wouldn’t protect as well.
With this Dutch food ‘worstenbroodjes’, I’d imagine they were invented for this same reason, to keep the meat inside good for a little longer. Whether that’s actually the case, I’m not sure, but they are ideal for taking along on a day out!
What is a worstenbroodje?
A worstenbroodje is essential a sausage roll, it’s a meat mix wrapped around in a bread dough. It origins from the south of the Netherlands, a province called Noord Brabant. Even though the Netherlands is quite a small country, there still are quite a lot of region specific foods and this is one of them. Most of them can nowadays be bought all throughout the country, but in the ‘original’ region itself they seem to be just a bit more prevalent and flavourful.
The trick of a worstenbroodje is to have a nice and light dough on the outside, but a moist meat filling on the inside. The meat tends to be slightly flavour as well, with spices such as nutmeg.
Making worstenbroodjes isn’t very complicated, you just need a bit of patience and time.
- 350g of flour
- 1½ tsp yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 50g butter (melted)
- 150ml milk
- 1 egg
- 300g mince meat (beef or porc are the traditional meats, but chicken should work as well)
- ½ egg
- 1 grated medium sized potato or bread crumbs
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp piment powder
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- black pepper
- ⅛ tsp salt (or to flavour)
- Mix the dry ingredients for the dough. Melt the butter and add that with the milk and egg to the dry ingredients.
- Knead the dough into a soft smooth dough, it will be slightly firm, but it will soften during the rise.
- Leave the dough to rise for approx. an hour, it should have doubled in size at least.
- Mix the ingredients for the meat together. If using breadcrumbs, use enough for the meat to become less soggy, moisture shouldn't be running out.
- Once the dough is finished, split it in 12 small balls and roll them out in a slight rectangular shape. They should almost be squares.
- Shape the meat into small cylinders and place one in the middle of each piece of rolled out dough.
- Fold the dough over in the length and close the ends (see photo at the top of this post to see how the final rolls should look like).
- Place the rolls on an oven tray, coat with some egg wash for a shiny appeal (but not necessary) and bake in the oven at 200C for 17 minutes, they should be a nice brown on the outside.