Friday, December 18, 2009

Savory Sausage Rolls...

Jeff was busy with a project he started in another room tonight and hadn't come in the kitchen for awhile. When he finally came wandering through, he looked at a big log of dough I had on the counter and said "Isn't it pizza night? That looks like a log of cinnamon roll dough... not that I'm complaining or anything because I'd love to have cinnamon rolls for dinner!".

I let out a little snicker and instead of replying, I just sliced a couple rolls off and had him take a peek. "See, I knew I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up!" was all he could manage to say. These were definitely not cinnamon rolls, but the Savory Sausage Rolls I made tonight were prepared in a very similar fashion.

I did make a couple of changes from the original recipe, most notably using our favorite whole-wheat pizza dough instead of the canned French bread dough, along with swapping out the pork sausage for a couple links of sweet Italian turkey sausage. Once the twelve-ounce version of the dough had rested, it was stretched out into a large rectangle, then brushed with melted butter. Throughout the whole assembly process of these rolls, including the butter, you'll want to leave a strip along the edge of long side clean. Why? I'll get to that in a minute.

On top of the butter, we scattered cooked crumbles of sweet sausage that we spiked with minced garlic as it cooked away in the skillet. That mix was also seasoned with a spoonful of chopped fresh sage and a touch of salt before being added onto the dough. Since this is standing in for our weekly Friday Night Pizza, you know cheese needs to be stuffed inside too - we used Gruyère because not only does it melt well, but it has a sweet nuttiness that is fairly aggressive and would stand up to the sausage and bread around it. Remember that edge that should still be clean? When you roll up the dough, à la cinnamon roll style, leaving that edge untouched will allow it to stick to itself and create a tight seal to close up the log.

And just like cinnamon rolls, I don't use a knife to slice the dough into the rolls - instead, I glide a piece of unflavored dental floss under the log, crisscross the thread over the dough and pull the ends firmly to cut through - easy and no squishing of the dough! Now, the recipe actually called for cutting the edges of the dough off and throwing them in the trash - I don't think so! Yes, the ends may not be as stuffed full of the filling as the center pieces, but that doesn't mean they should be discarded in my opinion!

Now, while I've talked about the similar assembly style to cinnamon rolls, I'm sure you can imagine that we didn't smear these with a sweet frosting after they came out of the oven... hee hee! I wondered if using a full tablespoon of the sage would end up being too in-your-face, but we found it worked well to support the sausage instead of stealing the show. Serve them as is, or warm up a bowl of your favorite marinara to serve along side for dunking. We had these for dinner, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to serve these sausage-swirled golden rolls for breakfast or arranged on a large platter for a buffet-style brunch.


  1. Those look spectacular!! I'll definitely have to give that a whirl sometime soon.

  2. Cindy - Enjoy!

    Sophie - Thanks!