How to Make a Sausage Zombie

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Anyone growing up in the SF Bay Area, specifically attending high school in the Mount Diablo Unified School District, will remember the culinary masterpiece of the "zombie"

A zombie in this context is not your undead wife looking to eat your brains. It is a small white bread loaf filled with either:
1) just melted cheese
2) sausage and cheese

For the 2009 SuperBowl I thought I would try to resurrect some fond food memories by making my own sausage zombie.

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Step 1: The Ingredients

I have seen some recipes out there that give instructions to make the bread dough from scratch. I tried that and it didn't come out like I hoped. I realized that making the dough from scratch was trying too hard. This is junk food and all "ingredients" should reflect that.

To that end, the entire ingredient list is as follows:
1) One package of pre-made, frozen white bread dough (use loaf bread only.  Dinner rolls don't rise like you want them to)
2) One package of Kraft American cheese, deli slices (non-wrapped kind)
3) One package of 'Lil Smokies. (I like the pork ones)

That's it.

Step 2: Combining the Ingredients

Defrost the dough. I left the frozen dough in the fridge overnight and it was workable the next morning.

I used one quarter (1/4) of a bread loaf per zombie. In the end this actually made a lot of bread around the filling, but I remember in high school there was often the need to work through a lot of bread to find the filling so it seemed appropriate.

1) Work the blob of dough til its a rough circle about 1/2 -1/3 inches thick.

2) Take two slices of cheese and fold them over twice to make a stack of 4 quarter slices.

3) Place the two cheese stacks and two lil smokies onto the circle of dough

4) Fold the dough up around the filling so it looks like a little bun (Be sure to pinch the dough closed tightly. If you don't it will come apart when the dough rises)

Step 3: The Pan

I used a 12x8 baking pan to hold 8 Zombies.

I used tin foil to make dividers. I figured if you didn't put dividers into the pan, the Zombies would rise (wow... there is a pun I didn't look for)... the *dough* would rise and bake into a single item. No good. We need to be able to separate the zombies easily.

Then I sprayed the pan and tin foil dividers with Pam.

Then place the Zombie buns into the pan.

Step 4: Let the Dough Rise

I've seen versions of the Zombie that look like little bread pockets or envelopes. My memory has the bread risen until it looks like a little loaf of bread. That's where I was going with letting the dough rise here.

I placed the pan into a oven set at its lowest temperature (170 F) to jump start the yeast and get the bread to rise quickly.

After an hour it looked like this.

(You can see a couple of buns that I didn't pinch close all the way and the rising dough is starting to pull apart)

Step 5: Bake 'em

Pre-heat the oven to 350F and place the pan back into the oven.

Bake for 12-18 minutes or until the top of the bread is brown.

Pull them out, grab a chocolate milk, and don't be late for 3rd period Choir.

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    10 Discussions

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    tledin

    8 years ago on Step 4

    BEST INSTRUCTABLE EVER!!!

    I can't wait to make these.

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    SoberG

    9 years ago on Introduction

     I taught at Acalanes High School for almost 40 years, and I'm now retired. The Acalanes district also has/had both cheese and sausage zombies. Early on, they used a very good home-style bread and REAL American cheese. Recently the dough is not as good and the cheese is processed cheese.

    The school newspaper did an article on zombies once, and they said that schools received a lot of surplus cheese after WWII and the cooks developed the zombie as a way to use all that cheese.

    None
    greenmia

    10 years ago on Introduction

    MU HAHA. I made this with fresh bread dough, and vegedogs, it is fantastic :) (eating 1 at the moment)

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    Scncgeek

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I made these and I think these are brilliant and delicious. I use a mini loaf pan instead of an improvised tin foil set up. I used some leftover easter ham and broccoli lightly sauted. I leave the frozen bread dough in the fridge overnight and then weigh out the bread pieces. There is a fair amount of dough to work through but I enjoy that. Nice job.

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    Jynko

    10 years ago on Introduction

    In Texas we call that a Kolache. It was brought here by the czechs who would filled them with fruit. The germans got ahold of the idea and put sausage and cheese in it instead of the fruit. Now there are a few varieties. You might want to try ham and cheese. My favorite though is sausage and cheese with jalapeno. Good job on the instructable.

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    Danielfish

    10 years ago on Introduction

    They look amazing! Definitely going to try (albeit with veggie sausages / just cheese)!