That’s How We Roll
Check out the recipe that blew Tony G.’s mind
Have you ever eaten something that just blows your mind? Twenty years ago it happened to me at a restaurant called Frankie, Johnny & Luigi, Too in Northern California. They call it Sausage Bread, and I have seen it called a Sausage Roll other places since then. It is one of my favorite things to eat.
In some cases puff pastry can be used, but for this recipe I prefer to use pizza dough. It’s similar to a Stromboli, but slightly different as you’ll see. The secret to getting a uniform spiral of sausage encased in dough is to roll out a thin sheet of sausage between pieces of plastic wrap, and then lay that sheet over the dough.
There’s no cheese in this roll, but it’s super-rich and flavorful without it.
I originally published this recipe in The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani, Published by Ten Speed Press.
- 1 9-ounce dough ball
- 1 part flour mixed with 1 part semolina, for dusting
- 5 ounces sweet fennel sausage, cold
- Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
- Garlic oil, for brushing
- Grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, for sprinkling
- Dried oregano, for sprinkling
- Red pepper flakes, for sprinkling
- ½ cup marinara
- Remove the dough ball from the refrigerator and leave wrapped at room temperature until the dough warms to 60 to 65 F.
- Preheat oven to 500 F.
- Put the sausage in the center of a piece of plastic wrap 12 inches long.
- Top with a second piece of plastic wrap and press or roll the patty into an even rectangle, about 9 by 6 inches and ⅛ inch thick.
- Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and trim the sausage as necessary to straighten the sides.
- Recover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
- Dust the work surface with the dusting mixture, then move the dough to the surface and dust the top.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 12 by 8 inches, then dock the entire surface of the dough.
- Position the dough with a long side facing you.
- Remove the top piece of plastic wrap from the sausage.
- Using the bottom piece of plastic wrap, flip and center the sausage on the dough. Position it ½ inch from the edge nearest you, then remove the plastic wrap. Trim the other three sides of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border at the top and on both sides.
- Fold up the border of the dough nearest you and then continue to roll up as you would a jelly roll. Next, follow these precise steps:Turn the roll seam side up and stretch the edge of the dough over to compact the roll as much as possible.
- Press on the seam to seal and then pinch it closed.
- Trim the ends to straighten them, leaving about ¾ inch of unfilled dough on each end. Just as you would wrap a gift, fold in the two points of dough on each end and fold the end over them.
- Using the handle of a pizza wheel or the end of a wooden spoon, press along the folded edge for a tighter and more decorative seam.
- Brush the top with olive oil. Brushing the dough with oil will help soften it and prevent it from shattering when the roll is cut.
- Carefully lift the roll and transfer it to the oven.
- Bake for 6 to 7 minutes.
- Lift the roll onto the peel, rotate it 180 degrees,and then transfer it back to the oven.
- Bake for another 7 minutes, or until a rich, golden brown.
- Transfer the roll to a cutting board and let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Brush the top with garlic oil and sprinkle with Pecorino, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
- Using a serrated knife, cut on a slight diagonal into six to eight pieces.
- Arrange the pieces on a serving platter or board with the marinara on the side.