I love baking so much that I used to do it professionally. But now that my livelihood no longer depends on getting up at 4 a.m. to make pounds of brioche, it’s hard to find the motivation to build my schedule around tending to a yeasty dough blob in the tight quarters of my galley kitchen. Still, a life devoid of fresh baked bread sounds like the worst way to exist, so acquainting myself with store-bought canned biscuit dough has been a recent lesson in delicious compromise. Not to mention it has inspired me to try recreating my first love: the sausage-ppang.
For those not acquainted, sausage-ppang (direct translation: sausage bread) is a meat-studded, veggie/mayo/cheese-dotted handheld treat that is a staple at Paris Baguette, Tous Les Jours, and other Korean Euro-Asian bakeries and serves as a wonderful snack or meal. It’s basically a hot dog all glowed up.
The origins of sausage-ppang are hard to pinpoint, but as a culinary history nerd, I suspect it was conceived sometime during the American occupation of Korea in the 1940s. The occupation spurred the popularity of processed foods like sausage and cheese in part because whole, authentic foods were incredibly scarce throughout this period.
Bread dough for sausage-ppang is typically handmade, but I quickly realized that store-bought biscuit dough can proffer the same fluffy crust with one pop of a canister. Plus, it aligns nicely with all of the other ingredients in a traditional sausage-ppang, which tend to be premade and processed anyhow.
The humble Korean bakery bun is quick to bake in the oven, but even quicker in the high-powered biosphere we know as the air fryer. Batch-baking is best, because it will give you plenty of room to play around. You can prep and bake all six sausage breads on the spot (in three batches of two) to serve a hungry crowd. Alternatively, bake them all and freeze the uneaten breads for later; they freeze beautifully and come back to life in a flash—in the air fryer, of course.
If batch prep sounds overwhelming, you’re more than welcome to keep the separate components—dough, sausage, veggie topping—in the refrigerator for a few days and pull them to assemble a smaller batch of sausage-ppang à la minute whenever the hunger pangs strike.
Let this recipe work for you, not the other way around.
I still love baking in my oven, I do! But to anyone who thinks there are few things better than warm bread fresh from the oven, just wait until you bake some in the air fryer.
Makes 6 servings
- ½ green bell pepper, finely diced
- ½ large onion, finely diced
- ¾ cup canned corn, drained
- 3 Tbsp. Kewpie mayo
- ½ cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 (8-count) can biscuit dough
- 1 (6-count) package sausage franks of choice (I like turkey)
- Dried parsley
- Ketchup, for garnish
In a medium bowl, add bell pepper, onion, corn, Kewpie mayo, and mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to fully combine. Cover and keep in the fridge while you shape the sausage bread.
On a clean countertop or cutting board, roll or stretch out a piece of biscuit dough into an oval measuring about 7 inches long and 4 inches wide. Place a sausage frank in the center. Fold the smaller top and bottom flaps over each tip of the sausage. Now working from the longer side, fold the dough flaps so that they meet at the center of the sausage. Pinch them together to fully seal the sausage in dough. Flip the sausage over and gently roll a couple times to smooth out the dough seams.
Using kitchen scissors, make eight incisions at a 45-degree angle. This cut should go through the top layer of dough, and all the way through the hot dog inside the dough, but not cut through the bottom layer of dough, which should stay intact.
Position the sliced sausage long-ways on your work surface, and start by pulling the end piece directly south and downward toward you so that the “coin” of meat is flat against the countertop. (It will stay connected to the rest of the sausage via the bottom layer of dough.)
Then, carefully pull and twist each following sausage coin in alternating left and right motions. The shaped dough should look like an oak leaf studded with sausage coins. Don’t worry if it looks a bit rough; if any coins tear off completely, just tuck its doughy border back into the shaped bread. It will all meld back together when you bake! Here’s a video of the process.
After forming the breads, spread the veggie topping (about 1 heaping tablespoon) down the center of each one. Finish with a few light shakes of dried parsley.
Line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil, making sure to leave about a 1" border of unfoiled space on all sides to ensure proper air flow. Preheat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Give the foil a light coating of nonstick cooking spray. Use a spatula to carefully transfer two breads into the lined, preheated basket, leaving about a 1" gap between each one.
Bake bread for 15 minutes, or until the tops catch a deep golden brown. Remove from the air fryer using the edges of the foil or by fishing out each slice with a spatula. Garnish the tops with ketchup in a zig-zagged drizzle. Repeat with remaining bread. Let cool slightly before serving.
- Veggie topping can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.
- Opened package of unbaked biscuit dough can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight storage bag for one week. After making this recipe, you will have two biscuits leftover. Eat those for breakfast with butter and jam!
- Wrapped in foil and sealed in an airtight storage bag, fully baked sausage bread slices can be stored in the freezer indefinitely. To reheat from frozen, air fry at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.