Italian Sausage Stuffed Bread
My husband remembers the first time I made Italian Sausage Stuffed Bread; the flavors are definitely memorable! I was living in a college apartment with my sister at the time. While she was getting ready to go out to dinner with friends, this bread was in the oven baking. As soon as she was ready to go, my husband (at that time, my boyfriend) insisted she try my creation…
I don’t know how much she actually ate when she went to dinner with her friends.
Advertised by Taste of Home as an appetizer, I have found that this stuffed bread makes veritable main dish for us. I also believe the idea of this bread could be transformed into many different stuffed breads of sorts… It is a great “starter recipe” on which to build your own creation.
Start by getting your bread ready. I have made the bread with a thawed loaf of frozen white bread dough as the original recipe calls for, and it tastes fine that way. We prefer to use a doubled batch of pizza crust now, as it’s pretty easy to make, and doesn’t require an overnight thaw.
Next, I mix together the cream cheese and garlic. If you have the forethought, try roasting the garlic until it becomes soft. It gives the garlic such a delicious flavor. Mixing this up first will allow some of the garlic flavor to blend in to the cream cheese.
Brown up the Italian sausage, drain it, and set it aside.
If I have some mushrooms on hand (in other words, they have not become these), I like to slice them up and add them to the mix.
Roll out the dough into a nice, big rectangle about 1/2″ thick.
Spread the center third with the garlic cream cheese.
Top that with the sausage.
Then layer the red peppers. Notice how I put them the same direction? I did that on purpose. That’s because I will slice the bread perpendicularly, cutting through the peppers and making the presentation a little neater.
Olives are next. I usually just use regular black olives, though Kalamata would be delicious. I also slice my own. The reason is that I buy cans of whole olives so I have the option of keeping them whole, slicing them, or chopping them. Additionally, you can rinse them very easily when the olives are whole and wash away some of the extra sodium they acquire from the brine.
Top with the mushrooms, if you’re using them. I had crimini on hand, though any common mushroom would probably taste good.
Lastly, top with Swiss cheese. I’ll let you use pre-shredded here if you can find it. I was quite surprised to see Swiss shredded in a bag, and it was $0.20 (super cheese sale!!) so I grabbed it. Did you know that you can freeze cheese? If you please. Oh geez. Back to the recipeez. (All right, I’m done. Sorry!)
Fold up the short sides of the dough, followed by the long sides and crimp it shut.
At this point, spread a thin layer of cornmeal on the baking sheet so that the bread won’t stick. Carefully transfer the bread to the sheet.
Brush with a small amount of water and sprinkle with poppy seeds. This is for not much more than presentation, so don’t go buy them if you don’t have any on hand.
I also like to add a few sliced olives. For extra flair.
Bake it until the crust is golden. Let the bread sit for about 10 minutes before you slice into it. It will slice easier, and the stuffing won’t fall out as much.
Let me know if you come up with a delicious variation you’d like to share!
Mix together minced garlic and cream cheese. Set aside. Brown Italian Sausage and drain off grease. Roll out bread dough into a rectangle about 1/2 ” thick. Spread cream cheese mixture across the middle third of the dough lengthwise. Layer with sausage, peppers, olives, mushrooms (if using), and cheese. Fold over edges of dough to seal, and pinch seams shut. Brush with a small amount of water and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cut slits for steam to escape about every two inches along top. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Let sit for about 10 minutes before slicing.