This cheese and bacon pastry twist recipe 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… 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 than you might get just using butter.
thick cut streaky bacon
8oz strong white bread flour
pinch of salt
some cold water
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 bit by bit and using a knife or a spatula, mix the water 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 3 more times.
Wrap the dough completely with cling 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 200 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 the pastry a generous amount of parmesan over one half of the pastry 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 easy 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.