This Sicilian-style lasagna bread is part pasta, part pizza. The crust is crunchy and sturdy, but inside the layers are soft and chewy like lasagna. The filling is a classic blend of homemade tomato sauce, salty cheese and fresh basil, but you can add your favorite toppings such as pepperoni or sausage.
Total: 2 hr 40 min(includes standing and cooling times)
For the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, basil and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened and the flavors are melded together, about 15 minutes. Discard the basil and let cool while you make the dough.
For the dough: Add the flour and 1 teaspoon salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the oil and 1 cup of lukewarm water and mix until a sticky dough forms. If the dough doesn't hold together when squeezed, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead until smooth and springy, 5 to 7 minutes. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Put a pizza stone or large inverted baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and preheat to 400 degrees F.
For the filling and topping: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 20-by-27-inch rectangle with a long side facing you. (Add more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.) Mix together the provolone and Parmesan in a bowl. Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Top with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and 3 tablespoons of the torn basil. Fold the left and right sides of the dough into the center so they meet in the middle like a book (it's ok if they overlap slightly).
Spread 1/2 cup of sauce over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Top with 3/4 cup of cheese and 2 tablespoons torn basil. Fold the top and bottom of the dough into the center. Spread 2 tablespoons of the sauce over the bottom half of the dough. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and remaining torn basil. Fold the top of the dough over the bottom to so that the top hangs just slightly over the bottom.
Carefully transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment and prick the top all over with a fork. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Slide the dough (on the parchment) onto the hot stone. Bake until the bread is deep brown and crusty, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, reheat the remaining tomato sauce. Slice the lasagna bread into wedges and serve with the tomato sauce for dipping.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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