Spicy Italian Sausage and Cheese Bread
- 1 recipe Basic Pizza Dough, recipe follows, or storebought refrigerated pizza dough from a can or tube
- 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 pound mild Italian sausage, remove from the casings
- 1 cup diced yellow onions
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 egg plus 2 teaspoons water, beaten together
Preheat oven to 375 degree F, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cornmeal onto a large baking sheet pan.
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned and no pink is left, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the basil and parsley, stirring to combine. Cool the sausage mixture completely.
Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of cornmeal onto a lightly floured surface and place the pizza dough on top of the cornmeal. Roll the dough into a 10 by 14-inch rectangle. Spread the cooled sausage mixture over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the sausage. Brush the 1-inch border of the dough with the egg wash. Starting at a long end, roll the dough, jelly roll-style, into a log shape, pinching the edges closed as you roll. Place the bread, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet and brush the top of the bread with the remaining egg wash.
Bake the sausage bread for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow bread to stand 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. To serve, slice the bread into 1-inch pieces and serve warm.Basic Pizza Dough:
1 cup warm (110 degrees F) water
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.
Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Use as directed.
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