It is a time honored tradition to wrap meat in bread for Oktoberfest, put it on a stick during September’s state fair (and possibly deep fry it), or crack open a biscuit can and a package of hot dogs during the expensive month of December where time is limited and hanging onto nickles and dimes is of the essence.
Bratwurst, Polish, Irish, Italian, Vienna, American. This dish isn’t really about the sausage, mildly spicy with hints of sweet ketchup or bitter English mustard. An early example of take out, this tradition is as old as the 1600s with the cultural twists and turns indicative of roads traveled, stories told, histories recorded. Sometimes, our cravings are as simple as a bit of protein for the hunger pangs and a crust of bread for energy.
It’s amazing to me, having now made this beautiful homemade edition, how fancy we’ve gone with such a simple soul. Croissant, puff pastry, pancake, French toast. Beer infused cheese dip, hand made sausage. The possibilities are endless, even as I crave something a little more traditional. I think it’s the voice of Fall, when the leaves are a deep cranberry red and the first hints of smoke are creeping from chimney tops.
“I adore meat in bread,” cries from the pages of a beloved cookbook. Don’t we all? Part corn dog, part pig in a blanket, a heartwarming traditional feel and a chip off the ole German beer stein. Hello October, it’s lovely to see you again.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3½ tablespoons softened butter
- pinch of salt
- 8oz of your favorite sausage. Choose wisely and, where necessary, remove the casings
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour to enlighten it and create a small well at the center. To the well, add the yeast, sugar and lukewarm water. Let sit for 1-2 minutes while the yeast proofs. Stir vigorously to mix yeast, sugar and water together and then gently fold the yeast mixture into the flour.
- Next, add the egg, salt and softened butter, vigorously stirring until the dough forms a ball and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Cover tightly with cling film and set aside in a warm place to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly flour a work surface, punch down the dough and begin rolling out a pastry large enough to wrap your choice of sausage (if needed, the dough can be divided in half to create two sausage rolls!).
- Place the sausage at the end of the dough and roll width wise to encase it in the pastry. Tuck the ends under, place it on a quarter sheet pan, brush with egg wash and score the top with three lines.
- Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and the dough sounds hollow when tapped.
- In the past, I've made the following combinations - 1 (7oz) link of Polish Kielbasa, casings removed, or try dividing the pastry in half and wrap it around 2 links of jalapeno cheddar smoked sausage!