Monday, November 17, 2008

Sausage Bread

When the world makes me tired and cranky and life gets a little too hectic, I cannot think of anything better than an autumn day at home, reading, baking, puttering about the house and making this bread.

I am an Aquarius, and not a homebody by nature. Unlike my crabby, cancer husband, who prefers to stay in his shell most of the time. I view home as a resting place. A place to recuperate before venturing back out into the world again. So it is important for me to have a well stocked kitchen, with a lot of delectable foods on hand to cozy up with when I am in nesting mode.

That's the reason I love this recipe so much. It's my ultimate, stay at home, comfort food. Something savory and delicious to bake on chilly autumn days when the oven is just begging to be turned on.

I made this for a neighbor once who had just had a baby, and her family loved it. They devoured the entire loaf in one setting. It's the type of food you can pack up easily and transport. Just add a salad and some red wine and your talking heaven in my book.

You can use any type of bread recipe you like here. A loaf of Rhodes frozen bread dough works fine in a pinch. Just thaw, roll out, add the sausage filling and bake.

Occasionally, I like to add pepperoni slices to the sausage mixture. But most of the time, we prefer it plain, with just the sausage and cheese. There's something so satisfying about the soft, yeasty, bread and the spicy Italian sausage. I can't get enough.

Sausage Bread

For the bread -

1 box Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix
Yeast packet that is included in mix
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cup warm water

In a food processor, add the Hot Roll Mix, sugar, salt, and yeast. Pulse a few times to combine. Add olive oil and 1 1/2 cups warm water and mix until dough forms a ball. You want it to be the consistency of a smooth, thick, pizza dough.
Place in bowl or on a cookie sheet dusted with flour and allow to rise for 1 hour.

For the sausage filling -

1 lb. Italian Sausage
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded mozzerella cheese
1 egg

Cook sausage in skillet along with Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Set aside to cool. After it has cooled, add cheese and 1 egg lightly beaten. The egg will help bind everything together.

On a floured surface, roll dough out into the shape of a long rectangle. Sometimes I make two smaller loaves, sometimes I like to make one giant loaf. It's your choice. Spoon sausage filling into middle of dough, then fold over edges to form a loaf shape and pinch seams shut.

Gently turn loaf onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, seam side down. Brush with olive oil. Allow to rest for another 20-30 minutes. While dough is resting preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Proud Italian Cook said...

This is great Michelle, I love sausage bread, and make mine just like yours,I use spicy Italian sausage usually, and sometimes I change up the cheese, and I always serve a little warm marinara on the side for dipping! Great recipe here!

Michelle said...

Hi Marie-
I was actually wondering whether or not you made this bread when I typed this post. What type of bread do you like to use? I've tried 'em all. I like the idea of serving warm marinara on the side. I'll have to remember that for next time.

Linda said...

Thanks for this! I haven't had this since I was in my early 20's and going with an Italian guy. His Mom made this bread and I loved it then and had really forgotten about it until I read your post. Thanks for the memories and I plan to make the bread sometime during this holiday season. I am very much a homebody. It's my favorite place to be.

Michelle said...

Linda -
Glad to hear that you like this bread. It would be a great thing to make during the holidays.

Cynthia said...

Hey, I'm a crabby girl that likes to stay in my shell too :)

I think I'm gonna give this a try. I like the idea of cutting into the bread and being surprised by the filling.

Michelle said...

So you're a Cancer, too. Nothing wrong with that. Let me know how your bread turns out.

ella at the river said...

did you mean to say add yeast. There is now amount called out for the yeast. I am thinking the ready mix dough already has the yeast, please clarify.

Looks yummy!

Michelle said...

ella -
Yes, the Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix does come with a packet of yeast inside the box. Just dump the entire packet of yeast in with the rest of the hot roll mix, sugar, salt, olive oil, and water to make a nice, soft, pizza dough. Let me know how it turns out.

Greg Turner said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. This bread looks absolutely amazing!