There are events that are seared into your memory. Some are serious , some are hilarious and some – trivial in retrospect, but none the less with lasting results.
At 8am the big bell would ring to call us all to breakfast. Served in a massive gold-crest hung room, alongside lugubrious portraits of former Headmistresses and various Benefactors, peering down on us as we trooped to our benches to await grace. With thirty eight to a table, it took a while for the food to reach the youngest in the ‘house’, sitting at the far end. This wasn’t usually a problem except on Tuesdays, Tuesdays were sausage days. Cereal followed by one sausage and a piece of toast. A large baking tin filled with the slippery pink, undercooked and over warmed, bangers was placed in front of the housemistress at the head of the table. Any that were even tinged with brown were snaffled by the seniors and the further down the table the food was served the paler the sausages got.
There was an understanding that we could put the undercooked boiled looking bangers straight into the ‘pig bucket’, but one morning I was caught disposing of my breakfast. Perched on the top of the waste pile in the centre of the table was my almost raw sausage. After terse enquires and some prevarication, I had to admit it was mine, remove it from the waste and after 45 minutes of resistance, eat it! It was some years before I would eat any sausages again, except hot dog frankfurters.
All In One Hot Dogs
- 20g ( 1 and 1/2 tablespoons) butter
- 3 large red onions, thinly sliced
- 12 sausages
- 500g (3 and 1/2 cups) strong white bread flour
- large pinch of salt
- 25g (1 tablespoon + 3 and 1/4 teaspoons) caster sugar
- 7g packet dried yeast
- 30g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 150ml (scant 2/3 cup) milk
- 2 large eggs beaten, plus 1 egg and one egg yolk for glazing
- 85ml (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) lukewarm water
- ketchup/mustard/sweet chilli sauce to taste
- Melt the 20g of butter in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat and add the onions. Toss until coated and reduce the heat
- Leave to cook stirring occasionally to prevent them catching, until completely soft and very fragrant. Set aside to cool (this can be done the day ahead)
- Meanwhile in another pan brown the sausages, this is to colour them as they will be cooked through later. Once browned on all sides, set aside to cool (this can be done a day ahead)
- Place the flour in a large bowl, add the salt and stir to completely combine
- Then add the caster sugar and the yeast and stir again to combine
- Make a well in the centre and add the melted butter, warm milk and about half of the water
- Stir together, preferably with your hand but otherwise a wooden spoon, to combine. Add the remains of the water, if needed, just a little at a time, until a dough is formed
- Remove from the bowl and sprinkle a little flour on a work top and knead for 7 to 10 minutes until silky and elastic
- Put into a well oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and put in a warm place for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in size
- Knock back the dough and divide into 14 equal pieces, form into a ball and roll out into a small circle with a diameter slightly smaller than the length of the sausages.
- Place a blob of ketchup or mustard or sweet chilli sauce on the centre of each one, top with the cooled onions and then a sausage. Fold the dough over the sausage like a pasty with the sausage sticking out of each end and seal the outer edge with a little water. At this point the hot dogs can be put in the fridge and kept to the next day. They would need to come to room temperature before continuing with the recipe)
- Place on a lined baking tray and leave to prove again for 1 hour covered with a damp tea towel.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220c (425f)
- Beat the remaining egg and the egg yolk together and Once the hotdogs have had their final rise glaze all over with the egg wash
- Place in the hot oven for about 10 minutes until just starting to look golden, slide out of the oven, glaze again and return to the oven reducing the heat to 190c (220f) for a further 15 to 20 minutes until dark golden brown
- Eat hot or cold with additional onions
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