Worstenbroodjes date back to the early twentieth century when baking meat in bread was a way to preserve the meat for a longer time. Worstenbroodjes are a big part of the culture and identity of Dutch North-Brabant. It is a tradition in Brabant to eat worstenbroodjes at Christmas, Carnaval, and during the fair (Kermis). In 2016 Worstenbroodjes were even included in the Unesco list of intangible cultural heritage. Each year we consume 25 million worstenbroodjes in the Netherlands!
Ingredients for 15 worstenbroodjes
Preparation time: 60-90 minutes Rising time: 45-60 minutes
For the dough
• 500g flour
• 250ml whole milk lukewarm
• 100g soft butter
• 10g sugar
• 10g salt
• 7g instant yeast
For the sausage
• 750g seasoned mixed pork (80%) & beef (20%) mince
• 50g bread crumbs
• 1 egg
For the egg wash
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp water
• Mixer with dough-hook
• Baking sheet
• 2 Mixing bowls
• 1 small bowl
• Baking paper
• Tea towel
• Rolling pin
• Pastry brush
• Plant sprayer (optional)
* The best Worstenbroodjes are made with good quality meat. So if you can afford it, get your minced meat at the butcher’s shop.
* In the Netherlands it is customary to buy spiced ”Half-om-half gehakt. This is a spiced, premixed pork and beef mince. But this may not be available in all countries. So I asked my Butcher for the spices: a mix of 4,5g (for this 750g of meat) of mustard, coriander, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom (all powders). On top of this, they also add salt. Feel free to play around with the spices and ratios.
How it’s done!
1. Add all the ingredients for the dough in a mixing bowl and knead the dough for 10 minutes with a (stand)mixer with a dough hook or by hand.
2. Cover the bowl with the dough with a damp tea towel. And leave it to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place (but not directly on top of the radiator). Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with baking paper.
3. Mix the ingredients for the sausages in a bowl. Divide the minced meat mix into 15 equal parts of approx. 50-51g and roll them out into sausages. Place the sausages on a plate and keep it covered in the fridge.
4. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces of dough. (I usually weigh the dough ball and divide this weight by 15, to easily weigh down each dough ball.) Shape the pieces of dough into little balls by pulling and folding the corners of the dough over each other (about 6 times until the ball gets tighter). Then turn the folded sight downwards, make a cup of your hand with the side of your hand touching the working bench and roll the dough with your hand in circles.
*If you like to see this process to better understand it, check out this video.
5. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet. Cover the dough balls with the damp tea towel and let it rest for 15 minutes (up to 30 minutes if you tend to forget the dough) in a warm place.
6. Take a ball of dough and roll it one time up and one time down (to deflate the dough a little). Then turn over the dough (with the folded side up) and roll the dough out into an oval shape, about 2 cm longer than the sausage, and 3 cm wider than the sausage. Fold the tips of the dough over the sausage. Then fold the sides of the dough over the sausage. Make sure the dough is properly closed and put the Worstenbroodje back on the baking sheet with the seam side down. Repeat with the rest of the buns.
7. Beat the egg with the water to make the egg wash. Brush the worstenbroodjes with egg wash. Make sure to also brush the sides and the corners. Let the worstenbroodjes rise for 30 minutes (you don’t have to cover them).
8. Preheat the oven to 230°C/446°F.
9. Brush the worstenbroodjes with egg wash again and slide the baking tray into the oven. Quickly spray some water into the oven with a plant sprayer and bake the worstenbroodjes for 12 minutes in the preheated oven.
Serving tip: The worstenbroodjes are the best when they come right out of the oven. Quickly reheating the worstenbroodjes in the oven (175°C/350°F) for 5 minutes will create the same effect. Fresh worstenbroodjes are lovely to eat plain but also very tasty with some mustard.
Storage: When the worstenbroodjes are completely cooled, you can keep the worstenbroodjes in a zip-lock bag in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze them up to 3 months.
What do you think of these typically Dutch Sausage rolls? Let me know in the comment down below and share your Worstenbroodjes with me @Talesofpastry (Insta + FB) or Tales-Of-Pastry (Reddit).