I will detail every step of the process and add in tips to help with that prepping, cooking, and baking.
As with most recipes, this one is open to interpretation. These directions simply show you how I like to make it. If you want to do something different, do it. Cooking is a great way to experiment and try new things.
Enjoy and eat well.
Step 1: Gather the Equipment and Ingredients
- Wooden Spoon
- Garlic Press (optional)
- Mixing Bowl
- Frying Pan
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Sheet (you can use a pizza stone as well)
- Hot tap water
- 1 package of instant rapid rise yeast (I use Freischmann's)
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 Teaspoon of salt
- 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 3 Cups of flour (plus a little extra for kneading), I use All Purpose
- 1 package (at least 4 links) of Hot Italian Sausage
- 1/2 Onion
- 1/2 Green Pepper
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1/8 Teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1/4 Teaspoon Oregano
- 1/2 Teaspoon Basil
- 1 Tablespoon parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons of bread crumbs
- 8 ounce package of mozzarella cheese
It seems like a lot, but if you want to make it really easy (I like to make everything home made) you can buy dough from a bakery or from a grocery store.
Also, the spices listed are for increasing the flavor. If you don't like them or don't want to include them you don't have to (just remember that you will be sacrificing taste).
TIP 1 - Buy cheap spices. No need to waste your money on expensive brand names.
Step 2: Make Some Dough
- Put your faucet to hot (until the water comes out of the tap steaming) and fill a measuring cup to 1 cup
- Add 1 package of instant rapid rising yeast (Freischmann's in my case) and stir a few times
- Let the yeast proof (the yeast will start to bubble and solidify - approximately 4 mins)
- Add a pinch of sugar to the yeast
- Dump the yeast mixture into a mixing bowl
- Add the teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Mix in (1 cup at a time) the 3 cups of flour
- Dump the mixed ingredients onto a clean surface with roughly a 1/4 cup of flour to knead into
- Knead the bread three times (push your hands through the dough in a forward motion) then turn it a quarter turn and repeat the process
- The dough will be done when it feels smooth and elastic
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and then a towel. Put it aside for rising (about 1 hour at room temperature until it is roughly double in size)
TIP 1 - Be prepared to make a mess.
Step 3: Sausage Time
- Remove the outside casing from the 4 Hot Italian Sausages
- Cook the sausage in a frying pan (a non-stick pan, or use cooking spray/olive oil) on medium to high heat
- While the sausage is cooking break it up into tiny pieces (see picture) until it has browned
- Reduce the heat to somewhere between low and medium
- Mince (chop up into small pieces) 1/2 peeled onion, 1/2 green pepper cored and seeded and add to the cooked sausage
- Add 2 peeled garlic cloves through a garlic press (if you don't have one, just cut the garlic into very small pieces)
- Let the mixture cook for a few minutes
- Add in spices: 1/8 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon basil, and 1 teaspoon parsley. Let it cook for a few minutes longer and turn off heat
- Add 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs (this thickens up the sausage filling. It can be omitted if you don't want it)
- Finally, add the 8 ounce package of mozzarella cheese
TIP 1 - Use Turkey Sausage (I like Shady Brook farms Hot Italian Sausage). Its healthier for you and tastes great
TIP 2 - Use low fat/part skim mozzarella cheese for a healthier result
Step 4: Putting It All Together A
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. I like to use the convection setting that circulates the heat, but not all ovens have this.
- Uncover the dough and roll it out into a rectangle (14x6). You may want to put down some flour during this process
- Add the filling mixture to the top of the dough
- Roll the dough length wise to shape a long tube like object
- Pinch the two long sides of the dough together after it has been completely rolled. Pinch the ends as well to seal the bread (see pictures)
- Put the dough onto the cooking sheet seem side down (I used parchment paper but you don't have to) and add a little olive oil to the top and bottom of the loaf.
- Place the bread into a pre-heated over
TIP 1 - If you don't have a rolling pin don't panic. Try using a wine bottle, it works.
Step 5: Feast
TIP 1 - Some people like to eat this bread with a dipping sauce. You can make a quick marinara sauce or serve it with soup.
TIP 2 - This bread tastes great re-heated too. Simply refrigerate and re-heat in an oven or toaster oven