The Ultimate Sausage Breakfast Buns
The Ultimate Sausage Breakfast Buns

The Ultimate Sausage Breakfast Buns

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking; idea first created by Amanda at Treasures of the Phoenix
Yield: 24 servings

These are straight-up incredible. They’re worth every bit of butter, every egg, and every minute spent making them — which is considerable. They’re definitely a special occasion treat! They would be perrrfect for Christmas breakfast! You can prepare them the night before, wake up early to preheat your oven and set them out to rise, and then just pop them in the oven 15 minutes before you eat.

Roll Ingredients:
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups milk minus 2 tablespoons, room temperature
5 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup cold shortening
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for after baking

Filling Ingredients:
2 cup plus 2 tablespoon milk, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup stone-ground grits
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups plus 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds pork sausage
2 cups frozen shredded hash browns
20 eggs
2 tablespoons diced green chiles
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) melted butter
maple syrup for drizzling

Note: I don’t recommend halving yeast recipes; instead, if you don’t want 24 rolls at once, consider freezing some for later. Sometimes I even make two types of rolls (savory and dessert), by making the full amount of yeast dough but halving the filling recipe for both. To freeze unbaked rolls, just wrap them well before the second rise and freeze them. Once frozen, pop them out of the pan all together and store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and in a zip top bag. When you want to bake them, stick them back in a greased pan, thaw them in the fridge overnight, proof for the instructed amount of time, and bake like usual.

Make yeast dough the night before: Mix the warm water and yeast in a medium bowl and let the yeast foam for about 10 minutes. Put 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a measuring cup and then add milk up to the 2 cup line. Set this aside. In a separate large bowl (or the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook), whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and cut the shortening into the mixture with two knives or a pastry cutter until the shortening looks like small peas. Stir yeast mixture and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, kneading just a few turns. Transfer the dough to a large bowl (keep in mind that it will rise) lightly sprayed with cooking spray, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator overnight.

Make grits: The next morning, in a medium saucepan, boil 2 cups of milk and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in the grits with a whisk. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until all the milk is absorbed (see the directions on your package for how long this should take. Mine took 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, heavy cream, and 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese. Season to taste with pepper (and salt if more is needed; I didn’t need to add any). Cover these and set aside.

Make sausage, egg, hash brown mixture: In a large skillet, brown the sausage over medium-high heat. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. In the sausage drippings (add a little butter if there isn’t enough), brown the hash browns by spreading them over the bottom of the skillet in a flat layer. Cover the skillet and let them cook without stirring for around 6 minutes (double check the directions on your hash browns package). When one side is browned, flip the hash browns and brown the other side. Remove these to the sausage plate to drain. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 tablespoon milk until fluffy. Scramble these in the sausage drippings (or some butter if your sausage drippings have run out) over medium heat until they’re almost done but still wet. Transfer them back to the bowl where you scrambled them. Add the sausage, hash browns, and chiles into the bowl and mix gently. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble your rolls.

Roll out the dough: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly spray two 9 x 13-inch baking dishes with cooking spray. Turn the chilled dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick (I carefully cut the dough in half and worked with half at a time to make it more manageable; if you do this, just spread on half of the filling ingredients for each half you roll).

Assemble the rolls: Spread the melted butter all over the top of the dough. On top of this, gently and evenly spread the cheese grits and egg mixtures (I use two spoons to spread the cheese grits mixture. It doesn’t have to be perfect — just get it here and there all around). Sprinkle on the remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese. Gently roll the dough up into a spiral (I use a bench scraper to help me roll) and cut it into 2-inch rolls, placing them close together in your prepared baking dishes (at this point, you could wrap and freeze the rolls for later if you wanted).

Bake and serve: Cover the rolls with a clean dish cloth and let them rise in a warm spot (I set them on my oven’s heat vent) for 1 1/2 hours. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes or until browned on top (if you take them out at just lightly golden brown, they may still be doughy in the center). Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter and return to the oven for 1 more minute. Pour a light drizzle of maple syrup over the warm rolls. Serve immediately.

7 Comments on The Ultimate Sausage Breakfast Buns

  1. April
    December 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm (8 years ago)

    These look SO good!! Lately I’m looking for more savory breakfast ideas than sweet ones, and these look right up my alley. Pinning to try SOON!

  2. Faye
    December 23, 2013 at 9:34 am (8 years ago)

    What a great story! I could actually picture the entire incident in my head. Plus I thought the segue into the recipe was great : ) thanks for sharing both

  3. Courtney @ Neighborfood
    December 23, 2013 at 10:40 am (8 years ago)

    This looks so stinking good. I wish I had them right now! And what a great story! My favorite part is actually that you asked for a briefcase for Christmas. What kid asks for a briefcase?? That’s the best!

  4. vanillasugarblog
    December 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm (8 years ago)

    I lost one front tooth from skateboarding at age 10? I think.
    Talk about embarrassing–it took 2 days to see the dentist that my parents wanted to go see as he was on vacation.
    I had to walk around with this horrid temp piece, which you can imagine back then dentistry wasn’t what it’s like today.
    And I LOVE you wanted a briefcase!!! LOL
    Merry Christmas to you!!

  5. Suzy
    December 24, 2013 at 11:41 am (8 years ago)

    These look amazing! Love love love your life lessons…definitely things we all need to learn (and be reminded of from time to time)!

  6. Carly
    March 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm (8 years ago)

    These look amazing – is there any way these could be made without grits and possibly without has browns, or would this affect the texture too much? Can’t wait to try a variation of these, thank you!!

    • Julie Ruble
      March 1, 2014 at 12:36 pm (8 years ago)

      I think it’ll be just fine to do that, Carly. Hope you enjoy!


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