Recipe: Sausage Pinwheels

  • , by Hannah Lee Leidy
  • 3 min reading time

Take a break from the typical sausage balls, and catch everyone's eyes with these flaky sausage pinwheels. Pretty enough to give as a gift, the easy-to-make breakfast treats were a holiday mainstay at chef Rob McDaniel's childhood home.

"Growing up, we always had sausage pinwheels for breakfast over the holidays. It was something that my mother could make in advance and simply slice, bake, and serve—they are always a crowd-pleaser," the chef says.

Now the chef and co-owner of Helen in Birmingham, Alabama, McDaniel recreates his mother's recipe for the pinwheels, but he dresses it up with 'nudja  sausage and the restaurant's angel biscuit dough. His mother used this classic recipe below, which calls for the creator's favorite breakfast sausage. We at the Local Palate love it with ground bratwurst sausages from the Georgia-based Pine Street Market.

These bratwursts burst with savory seasoning, like black pepper, garlic, and nutmeg, which make the pinwheels a perfect holiday party appetizer in addition to a savory breakfast treat. Serve them with mustard (this sweet potato mustard, perhaps?), as chef McDaniel recommends.

Sausage Pinwheel recipe


1 pound of your favorite breakfast sausage; TLP recommends Pine Street Market Bratwurst Sausage, casings removed.

3 cups self-rising flour, plus extra for rolling out

1 1/2 sticks cold butter

1 1/2 cups cold whole fat buttermilk

1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Use a box grater to grate the cold butter into the flour. With your hands, carefully toss the butter in the flour to coat the outside of the butter slivers. This should be done rather quickly.
  2. Form a well in the center of the flour and pour in the cold buttermilk. Using a floured hand while turning the bowl with the other, carefully fold the flour into the center of the buttermilk. Once the flour and buttermilk come together, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface, lightly dusting the top, into an even square that’s about a ¼ inch thick.
  4. Cut two pieces of parchment paper slightly larger than your square of dough and spray both with non-stick spray. Remove the sausage from the wrapper and place it between the two pieces of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the sausage out into a sheet that’s slightly smaller than your sheet of dough. Remove the top sheet of parchment and place the sausage onto the dough, then remove the remaining sheet of parchment.
  5. Starting with the edges of the dough closest to you, roll the dough and sausage to form a log. Trim the edges off the log, and then cut in half. Wrap each piece separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to 2 days.
  6. When it’s time to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  7. Slice the log into ¼-inch round pinwheels, and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until the bottoms start to brown for about 15 minutes, then turn them over to brown the other side for 5-10 more minutes.


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