This recipe connects me to my childhood, I remember my mom use to make this for special holidays and occasions. When I was a kid I thought making this was such a big ordeal, but when I got married and started making it on my own I realized just how simple it was to put together.
You need one batch of pizza dough, you can either buy it or make your own. I have to admit working with yeast is not my favorite thing to do, I use to be more enthusiastic when I was younger, now I avoid it at all costs, I’d rather go out and buy a good quality pizza dough which fortunately I have many sources that surround me.
You’ll also need the best Italian sausage you can find, I like using hot, it adds so much flavor and honestly rolled up in all that bread dough you can hardly taste the heat. You’ll need a good melting cheese like mozzarella or in this case I used a cheese called Tuma, available only at Eastertime here in Chicagoland. Basically you will need a cheese that melts and then binds when cooled. Grated Romano, lots of black pepper and some fresh chopped parsley top off all the flavors.
There are any different variations of this bread but this is my favorite.
You won’t believe how something so simple to make can taste like a million bucks, I hope you try it!
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- 1 ball of pizza dough, store bought or homemade
- 1 lb. of hot or medium Italian sausage, casings removed
- 8 oz. of brick mozzarella, cut into small chunks, do not use fresh mozzarella. I also like Tuma cheese which is only available during Easter time
- a good ½ cup or so of grated romano cheese.
- fresh parsley
- black pepper
- olive oil
- 1 egg for brushing on top
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Have your dough at room temperature before rolling out.
- Brown sausage in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil,cooking until you see no pink, breaking up the pieces into medium crumbles, let it cool down a bit before adding to the dough.
- Roll your dough into a large rectangle.
- Scatter cooked sausage all over dough leaving a 1 inch border all the way around.
- Sprinkle you chunked mozzarella or Tuma cheese evenly all over sausage.
- Sprinkle grated cheese, evenly all over.
- Sprinkle chopped parsley, all over.
- Grate black pepper on top of mixture, at this point you could add some additional red pepper flakes or more grated cheese, it's up to you, depending on the heat of your sausage.
- Start to roll the dough, jelly roll style, tucking in the ends as you're rolling so no leakage occurs while baking, pinching dough making sure it's sealed at the seams.
- Place large log unto a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. ( make sure seam is pinched and sealed.)
- Brush top and sides with beaten egg, (you won't use the whole thing) grate some black pepper on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes then check, you want a deep golden brown, I did 10 more minutes on my top shelf to make it nice and golden, but you be the judge according to your oven.
- Let it rest before cutting into it so that the cheese sets, use a serrated knife and cut small slices, not thick ones.
- Serve as a appetizer, lunch with a salad or an addition to any special meal. You could even have some warm marinara for dipping, but I enjoy it just as is.