When I posted a picture of last week’s proofing cinnamon rolls, someone asked if they were sweet or savory. She asked this because her mother made a similar looking treat with sausage and cheese instead of the sugary filling. I vastly prefer savory items to their sweet counterparts, so my curiosity was piqued and I vowed to experiment. Experiments are of course perfect for Fearless Friday as we never know exactly how they will turn out.
While the dough was rising, I realized that the finished product might be a little dry, so I started brainstorming a way to solve the potential issue. As I was browning sausage I realized the answer was right in front of me. Instead of a sweet icing, why not sausage gravy? I’ll tell you why not, because it’s so frakking good you’ll have to hide the leftovers to avoid acts of gluttony.
Sausage Pinwheel with Sausage Gravy
Pinwheel Dough Recipe:
Since this is the exact same as the cinnamon roll dough, I’m cheating and C&Ping from that write up.
- 1 cup warm* milk
- 1 packet or 2 1/4 tsps of active or instant dry yeast
- 5 1/3 TBSP or 1/3 cup butter – melted
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 – 5 cups** of all purpose or plain flour (this is highly dependent on humidity)
*Don’t let the milk get warmer than 110F
**If it’s very humid expect to use much closer to the full 5 cups of flour.
To get started, stir the yeast into the milk and set aside for a moment. While the yeast gets started, beat the eggs, melt the butter, measure the flour, sugar and salt. In a mixing bowl combine the yeast & milk mixture, the beaten eggs, melted butter, sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. If you have a stand mixture, life just got easy. Add half the flour mixture and mix on medium low until combined. If you’re stirring by hand, same thing, but your arm might get tired. Begin adding the second half of the flour by half cupfuls until you reach the 4 cup point. Continue mixing the dough during this process.
If you are using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead for 2-3 minutes on low. Add the last cup of flour by scant 1/4 cups, only if necessary. If you are mixing by hand, turn the dough out onto a heavily flour dusted work surface and knead for 5 – 10 minutes, adding the extra flour only if necessary. This dough is very soft and we don’t want to create too much gluten, but it is important that it have enough structure to not fall apart when rolled into the spiral.
Spray or oil a large bowl and place the dough inside to rise. Set the dough in a warm, moist area, cover and let rise until nearly double in size. This will take an hour to an hour and a half.
While you wait, brown the sausage for the filling and butter a 9×13 pan.
- 1 lb sausage (pre-cooked weight) browned
- 1 – 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese – optional, I’ll skip it next time
After browning the sausage, reserve 1/3 lb for the gravy and set aside Do not wipe out the pan, those browned bits add flavor to the gravy. (You’ve heard this here before, haven’t you?)
Roll longways into a log. Do not roll tightly or the center will pop out.
Pinch the seam closed and place the dough log seam side down.
Grab a serrated knife or a long string of unwaxed and unused dental floss. Yes, I worry about some of you out there.
Many thanks to Eugene for the floss trick.
If you cut each pinwheel slightly under 1.5 inches, you’ll end up with 12 rolls, which will fill your pan.
Remove both the pan of water and the pinwheels from the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- 2 TBSP sausage drippings, bacon drippings, or butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 1/3 lb sausage, browned and crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
In the skillet that browned the sausage add enough drippings or butter to equal 2 TBSP of fat. Modern sausage is leaner than old fashioned and may not have enough dripping on its own.
Heat the pan over medium heat.
We’re only making a light roux, so your chances of burning it are slim. Stir the roux constantly until it darkens a shade or two. While I’m doing this, I usually microwave the milk or if I have a pan handy, heat it over low. I’ve found doing this speeds up the gravy making process considerably.
Turn the heat to low.
Slowly add the milk, first by a few tablespoons at a time, gradually increasing with each addition. Between additions, stir vigorously until your doughy roux is smooth. This prevents lumps.