Sausage Roll is the ultimate party food. It is a crowd pleasing finger food appetizer that holds up well for a couple hours at room temperature. It is not likely to last that long, though. It's also good reheated the next day for breakfast.
1 lb bulk ground medium Italian sausage
1 small red pepper, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Hot red pepper flakes to taste
1 lb refrigerated bread/pizza dough
12oz-16oz shredded cheese (I use half mozzarella and half pepperjack, but cheddar, provolone, etc would work)
1/4 cup Romano (or Parmesan) cheese
1 Tbsp butter (optional)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
Heat oven to 350
In a large skillet, saute the sausage and peppers until the sausage is browned. Season with hot pepper flakes, garlic powder and oregano. When brown, move all the sausage mixture to one side of the pan, crack the eggs into a cup and beat them lightly with a fork, same as making scrambled eggs. Pour the eggs into the other side of the pan in a thin layer. Cook them until about half set, stirring them with a spatula to keep the bottom from sticking. Then mix the half-cooked eggs and sausage together while the eggs finish setting. Remove the pan from the heat, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Measure a sheet of tin foil (or parchment paper) slightly larger than a cookie sheet. Roll the bread dough into a rectangle that will fit inside the cookie sheet (it will expand when it bakes so leave room on the long side). Be careful not to roll too thin or the dough may break when rolled up and cause a mess. Spread the sausage and eggs evenly onto the dough, leaving an inch on all sides clear.
Shred the cheese and sprinkle it evenly on the top, finishing with the Romano. Start with 12 oz of cheese and shred more if necessary to cover to your linking. It depends on the size of the cookie sheet/dough rectangle. Carefully roll the dough up from the long side into a log of rolled up dough and filling. This works best with an extra set of hands to hold one end of the roll in place while the other end is gently tucked under itself. Pinch the seam and ends of the roll sealed.
Roll the sealed up dough roll onto the tin foil, seam side down, and lift the foil onto the cookie sheet. Gently cut 3 or 4 small slashes across the top of the roll to release steam. Optionally you can melt the butter on low heat in the skillet and gently saute the minced garlic until it is fragrant and just barely starting to color. Brush the garlic butter on the top of the sausage roll just before putting it in the oven. This step is not necessary for a great sausage roll and I often don't do it, but it adds a little extra kick.
Bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until lightly browned and the dough is cooked through. Tapping on the roll should produce a hollow sound. Cool until safe to touch, then transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1/2" - 1" slices for serving. Best served warm or at room temperature. Leftovers reheat well and keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Variations on this recipe can substitute crumbled bacon, chopped mushrooms, greens, chopped broccoli, or mixed peppers for the sausage. Saute the alternate ingredients, season as desired, add eggs, and proceed with the recipe from there.
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