Bangers and Mash Bread Recipe
Do I ever have a doozey of a Bangers and Mash story for you! And then, I take Bangers and Mash and spin it on its head with a recipe for Bangers and Mash Bread. Yes, that means mashed potato bread loaded with crumbled sausage and red onion. You can’t wait to try it, can you? This is all part of the most recent #MakeItMine Challenge, which, you guessed it, is all about Bangers and Mash.
My professor’s claim that day in class was that each region (and sometimes even each high school) has its own names for its cliques. Many schools use Jocks and Preps but often different words as well. And some schools have a whole slew of unique terms.
She asked us which clique names were used in our schools.
Sure enough, people from my own home city started spouting off clique names that I’d never heard before. Kids shouted out:
I thought about my own high school and tried to remember our clique names. Suddenly one came to me and I yelled out:
My prof turned to me looking puzzled and asked, “What did you say?”
“Ummm…I said ‘Bangers’.”
“That’s what I thought you said.” And then she burst out laughing. And laughing.
My prof was one of those people whose only laugh is a true hearty laugh, a laugh that welcomes you into her fun like a best friend’s would. Her laugh was so big and full that day that the whole room was soon laughing too without even knowing why.
She finally caught her breath and explained, “I grew up in the UK where a banger is a sausage. What kind of clique would be named after a sausage?” And then they all laughed some more.
I mumbled, “Ummm…it’s short for head bangers. They hung out in front of the school wearing leather jackets and smoking.”
“Oh wow! That makes so much sense. Nothing to do with sausages at all, which is good. And that’s really my point. These names are not the same everywhere and they’re derived in a variety of ways….”
And so the incident was over and forgotten be everyone, including me.
Forgotten until I found myself married to a British man who loves to eat Bangers and Mash. Every time he requests this dish I laugh inside and think about that class and about a pile of mashed potatoes with no sausages in sight. Just a long-haired teenaged boy wearing a leather jacket and tight jeans perched on the side of the plate and smoking a cigarette.
And then I go fry up some sausages. And then I eat them because, whatever you call them, sausages taste good!
The below riff on Bangers and Mash is offered as part of the most recent #MakeItMine challenge.
Twice a month us MakeItMiners take on a classic dish and each make it our own. If you’re a blogger who would like to find out how to participate and about which dishes we’ll be tackling in the coming months, subscribe to our newsletter. There is no commitment to participate every time. The only commitment is that when you participate, you make it yours, whether that be vegetarian, kid-friendly, gluten-free or some other fun twist.
If you’re not a blogger (or even if you are) comment below and tell me how you would make Bangers and Mash yours!
- 4-6 cups of all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 packets Quick-Rise Yeast (4 and ½ tsps)
- 2 cups milk
- 3 medium baked potatoes, cooled, peeled and mashed up
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 3 cups cooked crumbled sausage meat (use leftovers or fry up 1 lb of bulk ground sausage meat or your favorite sausages, casings removed).
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- In a large mixing bowl combine 4 cups of the flour, the salt, sugar and yeast. Measure the milk into a large microwave-safe measuring cup. Stir in the potatoes. Microwave them 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each increment, until the mixture is just warm when dripped onto your wrist. Stir the milk mixture into the flour. (I use a stand-mixer. If you do as well, proceed using your dough hook. The remaining instructions are written with no stand-mixer in mind).
- Stir in more flour a bit at a time, just until the dough comes together in a ball but is still a bit sticky. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes, adding a bit more flour whenever it becomes too sticky to handle. Knead in the red onions and crumbled sausage until the dough is evenly peppered with them throughout. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Line an 11x17" pan with silpat or parchment paper (or oil it well). Cut the dough into four equal-sized balls and shape them into loaves. Lay them equally space on the prepared pan. Cover the pan completely with the tea towel (you may need two towels to cover them completely) and put the pan in a warmish place until the loaves have really spread out and are covering most of the pan. It's o.k. if their edges are touching one another and/or the sides of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Put the pan into the preheated oven and let it bake for 30-40 minutes, until both the tops and bottoms of the loaves are well browned. Use a knife to gently separate the loaves from each other. Transfer them to a cooling rack and try hard not to slice into them until they've cooled down.