Bacon and Onion Roly Poly Pudding - Cooking through the Decades

Rennie® have just launched a campaign called 'Cooking through the Decades' where they are challenging food bloggers to cook a recipe from Britain’s past or present over the past 100 years; from 1920's to 2010.  I was allocated the 60's which is great as I was born in 1962 (oh my I feel so old), but I do remember a quite a bit about the 60's and especially the food we ate.

My all time favorite dinner from my childhood has to be Bacon and Onion Roly Poly Pudding.  The pudding is  made with suet pastry, bacon and onions and then rolled up like a Swiss roll (think suet dumpling with a bacon and onion filling) steamed for about 2 and a half hours.

*Update; I notice on the BBC TV series Back in Time for Tea they cooked this while they were in 1937 but they boiled it (as did my nan) but if you steam it instead it's far better.

Nothing fancy is added and it's simply seasoned with white pepper; but this is good stuff.  Until this challenge was given to me I'd never made it myself before and it tasted just as good as I remember.

roly poly pudding

Each decade sees iconic dishes that were popular at the time, whether because of necessity.  Bubble and squeak came from the need to be thrifty in the Second World War or through economic factors; for example in the 80s the privileged few’s increasing disposable income allowed them to spend more on exotic foods.

In the sixties the younger generation were ready to start enjoying themselves again.  Music, miniskirts and swinging London encouraged people to spend more money, while cheaper flights meant more exposure to foreign influences; especially in the kitchen.

A bit about the 1960's
  • The average house price in the UK was £2,530 and most houses now had a refrigerator and a cooker.  
  •  Sliced bread went on sale and a loaf cost 5 pence.
  • The ever popular television program Coronation Street first aired in December 1960 and Dr Who appeared on our television screens at the end of 1963
  • BBC 2 was the first channel to have colour in 1967 and broadcast its first colour pictures from Wimbledon in 1967
  • Sindy Doll and Tiny Tears were just the best toy doll any little girl could wish for; I remember getting Tiny Tears one Christmas and by Boxing day I'd given her a hair cut - I can't believe I did that but I did.  I've just checked with her and my mum still has the said Tiny Tears doll!
I've always had an interest in food and cooking and I remember me and my mum used to watch Graham Kerr's cooking program 'The Galloping Gourmet' and absolutely loved it; does anyone else remember that program?

Anyway, back to the Bacon and Onion Roly Poly Pudding!  

Print Recipe 

Ingredients - serves 3 to 4
220g self raising flour
120g suet - I use Atora
180ml water
a couple of pinches of salt
6 rashers of back bacon - trimmed of any fat
1 medium sized onion
white pepper

Slice the onion thinly and cut the bacon into bite size pieces.

Put the flour, suet and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix together.  Add the water and stir to mix well.

On a floured worktop, roll the pastry into an oblong to about 1cm thickness.
Put the bacon and onion over the pastry and sprinkle with a little white pepper.and roll up like a Swiss roll.

roly poly pudding

Now flour a clean muslin cloth and put the pudding on the cloth and roll up.

roly poly pudding

Tie both ends with string and place into a steamer basket.  Cover and steam for 2 and a half hours taking care that the water doesn't boil dry.

steamed pudding

Slice the pudding and serve with potatoes, peas and gravy.  Simple, delicious and filling.

bacon and onion roly poly pudding

I really enjoyed taking part it this challenge and I can't wait to see what decade other bloggers were picked for and what dishes they come up with!

Check out this delicious Quinoa Buddha Bowl from 2010 by Diana over at Little Sunny Kitchen.

What's your favorite decade and meal?  Tweet #RennieHappyEating

A bit about Rennie®
Many adults suffer from heartburn and indigestion at some point in their lives.  The symptoms are triggered by what you eat, how you eat or a busy, stressful lifestyle.  Rennie® is a range of fast-acting, effective treatments that help to relieve the associated pain and discomfort so you can get on with your life.

Disclosure: ’This post has been supported by Rennie®, but all thoughts are my own’.  I received supermarket vouchers to cover the cost of ingredients and my time.


  1. Never made anything like this, going to save via Pinterest to add to my To Make list!

  2. Now I love Jam Rolly Polly but I've never had a savoury version. Definitely going to give this a try. I love retro food.

  3. Ooh what a fun campaign. I was a 1962 baby too - where has the time gone? I used to love jam roly poly, but I bet your savoury one was delicious too.

  4. Reminds me of Primary school in the late 70's... What a lovely recipe!

  5. Sadly, you don't hear about suet pastry much these days. Your photo looks just like one of my mum's dinners when I was a kid. Times have changed I guess, but oh this brings back memories!

  6. I have got to try this, it looks simply divine

  7. Made this today mmmmm both me & my partner loved it will be making this again soon

    1. Unknown - So pleased you liked it :)


Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.

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