So good – cheesy bacon twists

“These used to be one of my most requested bakes, loved by many of my clients. I made so many of these that I trialled them with all sorts of cuts of bacon and pastry types. This recipe is made using what is, in my opinion, the best combination; homemade rough puff pastry and thick cut streaky bacon from a butcher. I also highly recommend the use of lard if you are going to make the pastry – it adds a wonderful crispness to the pastry that you might not get just using butter.
“If you decide you don’t have the time or the inclination to make your own pastry, then I recommend ready-rolled puff pastry, and swap for dry-cured, unsmoked streaky bacon from a supermarket – you may find that the thickness of butcher’s bacon overwhelms the pre-made pastry otherwise.”
Heather x
Cheesy bacon twists – delicious warm from the oven with a cup of tea. Or frankly cold at any time of day…
Image: Heather Brown

Ingredients

  • thick cut streaky bacon
  • parmesan cheese
  • 225g strong white bread flour
  • 115g butter
  • 115g lard
  • pinch of salt
  • some cold water
  • 1 egg

Directions

  • To make the pastry: Mix the salt into the flour and cut the butter and lard into chunks (approx. 1cm cubes) and add them to the mix. Toss the butter and lard pieces in the flour until they are coated.
  • Add the water a little at a time and, using a knife or a spatula, mix into the flour/butter mix until the dough just comes together. The aim is to create a ‘dough’ with the flour, but to still have lots of large lumps of butter and lard.
  • As soon as the dough has come together, tip out onto a floured work surface and shape into a large ‘brick’ shape. With your rolling pin, roll out the dough into a long rectangle of pastry. Take one of the ends and fold it into the middle and repeat with the other end – folding the dough into thirds. Press together with your hands to seal the ends. Cover with a sheet of cling film and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Rotate the dough 90 degrees. Repeat the above by rolling out into a long strip, folding into 3 and sealing in. Cover and rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Repeat this three more times.
  • Wrap the dough completely with clingfilm and pop in the fridge for at least an hour but overnight is also fine.
  • Once the pastry has had a good time to chill and for the butter to get nice and hard, preheat your oven to 200º fan (gas 6) and grease/line two baking trays.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pastry to a large rectangle about 0.5cm thick.
  • Grate over one half of the pastry a generous amount of parmesan and gently press in with your finger tips. Then fold the pastry over and press down. Rotate the pastry and roll out again to a large rectangle 0.5 cm thick.
  • Lay your bacon strips onto the pastry, covering the whole area with bacon. Cut around the pieces of bacon.
  • Take a strip of bacon and pastry together and twist it in your fingers and lay the twisted strips onto the baking tray.
  • Beat the egg lightly and then brush over the pastry that isn’t covered by bacon. Sprinkle over more parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-35 minutes until golden brown and the pastry is cooked through. You’ll need less time for pre-made pastry and thinner bacon and more time for thick pastry and chunky bacon. Enjoy!
Cheesy bacon twists
Image: Heather Brown

Heather Brown is on the committee of the Guild of Food Writers; a home economist with a passion for Dorset’s brilliant foodie scene. Heather runs Dorset Foodie Feed, championing Dorset’s food and drink businesses, as well as working with her food industry clients.

by Heather Brown

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