I don’t even recall how I stumbled upon this recipe. It seems the stars were aligned and the food gods were shining down on me though, because this recipe was one for the books.
What I do remember was printing it off and pocketing it. Thanksgiving was approaching and I was going to help cook whatever needed to be done. And I was going to cook this as well, regardless of whatever else I was tasked with bringing. Just what every family needs at Thanksgiving – more food!
I had also decided that they were going to be a surprise. I would walk in and proclaim that I had brought the rolls to top all rolls! But as I talked to Nick’s sister and she tasked me with bringing the stuffing, I kept my surprise rolls a surprise until maybe the 2nd message. When I’m really excited about something, I’m terrible at keeping it to myself. I think it stems from being an only child and not having anyone to tell exciting news to – but this isn’t a self-help blog and I’m digressing. So, the rolls!
They were make-ahead which was amazing for me. Not only did we have stuffing to bring, but we had to bring drinks and I just had to bring my rolls, so it was a huge timesaver to make them the night before.
So you all know my golden rule by now – PREP! Seriously, I can’t stress it enough. Have everything you need out and ready to go. It will make cooking so fast!
Once all your veggies and herbs are chopped up, cook the sausage, dicing it into very small pieces. This is very important – the smaller the pieces, the better they stick to the rolls. Transfer to a bowl when cooked through.
So the next part I totally spaced on taking pictures. This was my fault, but not without a little leeway. I was home alone, rolling dough, and had a hard time taking pictures of tying the dough into knots with floury hands. I guess I’ll just have to make these again and get some pictures. Sacrifices.
Anyway, once you have them tied into knots (and mine were NOT pretty or even sized), you’re going to roll them in the sausage mixture.
Next, you’ll line them in a pan and let them sit.
So here’s where the recipe wasn’t true to form. It said that I could put them in the refrigerator overnight, for 12-16 hours or until they rose. I made it 15 hours before I had to bake them, and let me tell you that there was no rising happening. Of course when I baked them they rose, as dough naturally does, but not a damn thing happened in my fridge overnight. Ultimately, while delicious, the rolls didn’t quite look like the poofy, beautiful rolls that are on the original recipe. Naturally the only solution was to eat them quickly so no one noticed.
Pull-Apart Stuffing-Flavored Rolls (Recipe from Serious Eats)
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 8 ounces of sage sausage, or breakfast sausage
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 c.)
- 1 stalk celery, fine chopped (about 1/2 c.)
- 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 c. minced fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 c. minced fresh parsley leaves
- 1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and break into fine pieces (largest pieces should be no greater than 1/4″). Cook, stirring frequently until only a few pits of pink remain – about 8 minutes.
2. Add onions, celery, garlic and sage, stirring frequently until the vegetables are softened – about 10 minutes. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer contents to a large bowl and set aside until completely cool.
3. While filling cools, make knots. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into two even pieces. Working one piece at a time, roll or stretch into and oblong strip about 8″ long and 4″ wide. With a knife, cut crosswire into 12 strips. Repeat with the other half of dough.
4. Tie each strip into a knot and transfer to bowl with sausage mixture. Toss and fold with your hands until every knot is thoroughly coated in mixture. Grease a 9 x 13″ casserole pan with 1 tbsp. of butter. Transfer the knots to the casserole dish in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, cover tightly with plastic, and set aside until doubled in size – about 4 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until doubled in size – 12-16 hours.
5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees and adjust oven rack to center position. Unwrap rolls. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and crisp – 25-30 minutes.
6. When rolls are almost ready, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the microwave. Remove rolls from oven and immediately brush with butter. Enjoy!