1 package (approximately 12 ounces) breakfast sausage links (the smaller and narrow ones, like Jimmy Dean)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon water
sesame seeds, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/160 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and gently toast the fennel seeds until aromatic but not browned. Transfer the fennel seeds to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and coarsely grind, then set aside (note; if you don't have either a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, you can sandwich the fennel seeds between two sheets of parchment paper and smash the fennel seeds with the flat edge of a chef's knife).
Dust your counter or other surface lightly with all purpose flour. Carefully unroll the frozen puff pastry onto the counter and cut in half lengthwise. Set one rectangle aside. On the other rectangle, arrange the breakfast sausage in one single long row, then sprinkle the fennel seeds on top. Fold the rectangle of puff pastry over the breakfast sausage links and press the edges of puff pastry together at the loose ends, crimping with a fork to make sure they're properly sealed.
With a sharp knife, carefully cut the long puff pastry roll into smaller, 1.5 inch - 2 inch rolls. Arrange on the baking sheet.
Mix together the egg and water. With a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of each sausage roll and sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using). Repeat with the remaining rectangle of puff pastry and more breakfast sausage and fennel seeds.
Bake for 20 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown and puffed. Serve immediately or keep warm, wrapped in foil, in the oven heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius).
Recipe by Grits and Chopsticks at https://www.gritsandchopsticks.com/the-gravy-train/2017/11/mini-fennel-sausage-rolls.html