“Well, I’ve seen ’em on the TV, the movie show”
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It would be a logical assumption to think Pretzel Logic is my favorite Steely Dan album. After all, I’ve previously given drink and muffin recipes theme songs from this album. Truth is, Royal Scam is actually my favorite Steely Dan album. Honestly, I love all of the Steely Dan albums up to and including Aja. They lost me at Gaucho. It just happens Pretzel Logic has far more songs that fit into the Music & Food project. Plus, if one is going to make a pretzel-wrapped sausage roll, there is little doubt what’s the best choice for a theme song.
This recipe sits at the crossroads of a nostalgic crescent dog cranked to 11 and a jacked-up vegetarian English or pizzeria sausage roll. It does require a bit of planning to let the sausage rest overnight and of course the dough to rise, but beyond that, it’s pretty easy to make.
Chickwheat sausages, Swwr Lighnin’ BBQ sauce, & mozzarella wrapped in a pretzel roll
Makes 6 rolls
455g all-purpose flour
7g instant yeast
6g kosher salt
238g water, see yeast package for temperature recommendation
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup baking soda
2 quarts water
6 chickwheat sausages
6-ounces low moisture mozzarella, shredded (divided)
1/3 cup Sweet Lightnin’ sauce
Coarse sea or kosher salt
Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the water and butter. The mixture should be in the temperature range for your yeast. Add to the flour mixture and mix with the dough hooks of an electric mixer for a few minutes or until well combined. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. Transfer the dough to a work surface and continue kneading and punching it down with your hands for a few minutes until you have a smooth and elastic ball of dough. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, take it out of the bowl, and knead for about 30 seconds. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Dust your hands with flour, lay a portion of dough on the palm of one hand, and with the other hand forming a dome over the dough, roll it for about 10 seconds until its top is round and firm. This process creates surface tension and prevents the buns from becoming flat. Continue with the remaining dough, then cover with a tea towel.
Taking one dough ball at a time, roll it out into a rectangle slightly smaller than the size of your sausage. Using a pastry brush, brunch a layer of Sweer Lightnin’ on the dough leaving a 1/4″ border. Then sprinkle about a 1/2-ounce of mozzarella on the sauce. Place a sausage on the edge closest to you and roll up tightly. Pinch the seam to close and roll to smooth the dough. Place on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat for the other sausages. Cover with a tea towel and let them rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until puffy.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a large pot, wide enough to fit a sausage roll, bring 8 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil. Watch the pot. The baking soda-water mixture will foam up. With a slotted ladle or spoon, slip a roll gently into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, turn them over, and cook for another 30 seconds. The rolls don’t need to be completely covered with the solution but mind that they don’t stick to the bottom. Transfer the rolls to the lined baking sheets, make three slashes across on the buns, and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and coarse salt.
Bake for about 16-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and let them rest 10 minutes before eating. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and eaten cold or reheated in a 350°F oven.