Sausage Bread for Easter

stuffed-breadAfter forty days of Lenten fasting (no meat on Fridays for practicing Catholics!), the Easter feast always includes a variety of carnivorous dishes.  Ham and lamb are probably most common in American households.  In my family we usually have one or the other, but I also like making some Italian dishes. 

Sausage bread is not  something my family traditionally made at Easter, but I have incorporated it into my celebrations after reading that it is typical this time of year in many Italian households.  In fact, I make it all year long since it is so easy and delicious.  It is basically a stuffed bread, and I make it easy by using store-bought pizza dough. 

A few tips—-you can fully assemble this ahead of time, place on an oiled baking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  It will hold in the refrigerator up to one day.  Then, all you need to do is bake it.  It is good hot or at room temperature.  Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Sausage Bread

Makes 1 large loaf

1 lb prepared pizza dough (from a pizza shop or in a bag from the refrigerator section of your grocery store)

1 lb bulk Italian sweet sausage (or links with the casings removed)

4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated

2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a large baking sheet with olive oil.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage until no longer pink.  Be sure to break up the chunks with the back of your spatula as it cooks.

On a floured surface, press out the pizza dough into a large rectangle (about 24″ by 18″).  Scatter the cooked sausage in an even layer all over the dough, followed by both cheeses.  Be sure to leave about a 1″ border around the edges.

Starting on the long side, carefully roll the dough into a loaf (like a jelly roll).  Pinch the ends to seal, and place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet.  Brush with egg wash and bake for 45-60 minutes, until golden and the dough is cooked through in the middle (you can test by making a small incision in the middle).

Slice and serve.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

Above photo from Cheezemaster on Flickr.

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