Sweet Italian Sausage Rolls

So this weekend, I ended up playing with more yeast dough. I looked through my bread recipes from cooking class and decided to make the sausage bread. However since I didn’t have cabbage I decided to deviate from the recipe and create a different filling. Instead of cabbage and sausage, Pat and I decided to fill our bread with sun dried tomato cream cheese, sweet Italian sausage and red bell peppers. I really like making this bread because not only do I get to sort of braid the dough, but it’s also a really good bread to eat on the go. With all the fillings wrapped into it, it becomes a sort of sandwich without having the fixings spill out on you. You can definitely make your own fillings with this. I’m dying to try and make this with my pimento cheese dip or maybe make it into some sort of sweet bread and fill it with Nutella, but that’s another post.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Bread:
-140 g bread flour
-3/4 tspn instant dry active yeast
-1/2 tbspn granulated sugar
-1 tbspn egg (beaten)
-70-80 cc warm water
-1/3 tspn salt
-15 g butter (about 1 tbspn)
Filling:
-sun dried tomato cream cheese
-2 sweet Italian sausages
-1 red bell pepper

Direction:

  1. In a large bowl place half the bread flour. To one side, place the sugar and the yeast. Make a small well in the flour and pour the egg inside. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the other half of the flour, the salt and the butter. Pour the warm water over the yeast and mix until well combined. Once it is well blended, add in the other half of flour.
  2. Once the flour is well incorporated, place the dough on a clean surface and knead. I suggest using a pastry scraper like this. It’ll make it easier to knead the dough/ You will need to knead the bread until it comes together and, once rolled into a ball, the surface of the dough is smooth and sort of “bounces back” when gently pressed.
  3. Place the dough in the large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to let it rise. To create the perfect temperature for bread rising (which is about 104 degrees), I placed a bowl of steaming hot water in the microwave and placed the dough in the microwave for about 40 minutes to an hour. The hot water will warm the small enclosed space in the microwave and allow the gluten to be developed. Once the dough has doubled in size, proof it by covering your finger in flour and poking the dough. If the hole doesn’t immediately close up, your dough is ready.
  4. Punch down your dough and remove it from the bowl. Divide the dough into four equal parts. Roll each amount of dough into a ball and place under a damp cheesecloth for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. While the dough is resting, prepare your filling. Make the sun dried tomato cream cheese and slice the red peppers. Take you sweet italian sausage and cut them in half horizontally. Then cut them in half again, but this time cut them lengthwise. Wrap the sausage in a paper towel and plastic wrap and microwave it for a minute. If you want a grilled flavor, grill them in the frying pan until it forms a crust. Set aside.
  6. Take one ball of dough out from under the cheesecloth. Roll it out until it’s about 18 cm long and 10 cm wide. Spread the sun dried tomato cream cheese in a straight line down the middle.
  7. Line both sides with the red peppers, and top the cream cheese with the sausages.
  8. Cut diagonal lines into the sides of the dough (using a pastry cutter) so that it looks like this:
  9. Fold the strips of dough over the top of the sausage alternating sides. It should end up looking like this:
  10. Place the dough a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover the dough with the damp cheesecloth and let it rise for another 15 to 20 minutes. Once the dough has risen, brush the tops of the bread with a beaten egg.
  11. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Let them cool a little bit and eat.

Pat and I realized that we should have removed the casing to the sausages, but other than that it came out pretty delicious. I can’t wait to try and make these with different fillings. I also realized that if I made them smaller, they would make really cute bite sized party snacks. I also think that if it were a Halloween themed party they could look like mummified food. The possibilities are endless!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

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