I will go as far as to say that bacon and egg pastries are a unique Sri Lankan hybrid that we should be very much proud of. Yes?
Bacon and egg being a classic western breakfast, if anyone should come up with a snack that captures the goodness of this breakfast within a buttery, flaky pastry, it should be us – this melange of cultures, colonial influence, western tang and well, a little bit of our own fertile imagination thrown in.
I LOVE bacon & egg pastry. In fact I was craving a proper bacon and egg pastry, like the kind they used to make in the olden days but I could not find any. What I came across were rather dry and insipid, even at Do & Sons whose bacon & egg pastry I adored. Some were even tainted with the likes of Seeni sambol incorporated within – sacrilege!
So the matters were taken into own hands. I’ve even taken the trouble to make my own puff pastry because I am not happy with the stuff that is available in the stores. Okay, let’s just say that what I really wanted to do was to find out if I really can. And as it turns out, anyone can!
Let the games begin!
- Prep Time : 40 minutes
- Cook Time : 40 minutes
- Yield : 16 pastries
- Puff Pastry
- Butter - 250g, cold and cut into cubes
- Flour - 250g
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Cold Water - 100 ml
- Boiled eggs - 8
- Bacon - 400g
- Onion chutney - (Optional. Can substitute tomato ketchup or sweet chili sauce)
- Onion chutney
- Onions - 3 large, chopped
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig, diced finely
- Chili flakes - 1 tsp (add ground green chili for a stronger 'kick')
- Tamarind paste - 1/4 tsp
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Add to this 100 g cold butter and rub it through the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Add to this the ice cold water and quickly combine with a knife. Then with your fingers, quickly knead the mixture into a dough without handling it too much.
- Once everything is well combined, roll out the dough to about 1/2cm thickness. Layer half the dough with the rest of the ice cold butter sliced thin. Fold the rest of the dough over the butter. Roll it out with a rolling pin.
- Refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Take the mixture out and roll it out again. Fold in half. Roll out again and refrigerate. Repeat process 3 times.
- Fry the bacon to desired amount.
- Boil the eggs and halve them. Keep both aside.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add to this the onions and sautee till translucent.
- Add the chili flakes and the tamarind paste. Sautee.
- When properly combined add the curry leaves, salt, pepper and sugar.
- Once everything resembled something of a jam, take off heat.
- Roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thickness. Cut out 8cm x 8cm pieces (or any size you desire).
- Spread about 1/2 tsp onion chutney in the middle of the dough. Wrap the egg half with a strip of bacon. (If it is bacon bits, spread out a layer of bacon bits on top of the onion jam and place the egg half on top) Salt & pepper as desired.
- Fold the corners of the pastry dough towards the middle. Pinch the corners shut with your fingers.
- Place the pastries on a greased tray and brush the top of the pastries with a beaten egg.
- Bake on moderate heat till golden brown.
And the result is just so magical that I just couldn’t believe I made them! The pastry is so buttery and crumbly and SO addictive, the middle salty, slightly sweet and so, so rich! THIS is what a bacon pastry means to me! And the textures! First thing you encounter upon biting in is layers upon layers of light, soft pastry, the creaminess hitting you upon the first chew, the soft bulkiness of the egg wrapped in the salty lusciousness of the bacon, combining in a flavoursome orchestra in the mouth. Oh, this is bacon heaven right here!
It does take a little bit of elbow grease to roll out the pastry, but dear God, isn’t it worth it! Beats the store-bought pastry by miles!
- Bacon strips are the easy way out, but I like bacon bits for several reasons. (a) They help spread right through the hollow of the pastry (b) they are more flavoursome and (c) they are cheaper too!
- Between each rolling out, refrigerate to keep the butter solid. This is important to achieve buttery, soft pastry.
- Fold the dough at least 4 times. This gives the pastry layers.
- Keep the butter very cold. Keep the water ice cold. Don’t handle the dough too much as the temperature may melt the butter and make the dough slippery.
- Always sprinkle some flour on your work surface to keep the dough from sticking. Flour your rolling pin as well. This makes your life much easier.
- If you can’t bother making onion chutney, simply use sweet chili sauce. It’s an easy way out that also gives the pastries some flavour. And if you are not fond of extra flavour layers, simply use bacon and eggs only with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Heaven!
- Okay, so if you are REALLY lazy, you can use the store-bought puff pastry. But I’m warning you, it’s nowhere near as yummy as the pastry that you turn out with your own two hands!
Craving for a different tea-time treat? Try these for a change. You will LOVE them!