Italian Style Herb Bread

I have had this recipe written down for almost a year and happily rediscovered it the other day. Since our new favorite garlic rosemary focaccia bread tastes so amazing, why not try another herb bread? But what makes this one even more fabulous is the addition of Italian sausage and mozzarella cheese rolled up inside. It’s kind of like our other fave, sausage bread. It marries our two favorites – the savory herb bread with a meat and cheese filling. I can’t wait to try this!

Verdict: This recipe could easily feed 6-8 people. The four of us took down half of it served with a side salad and marinara sauce for dipping. This is a winning combination of flavors for us – even my picky eater had seconds. The next time I make this, we’ll have to have company over to help, but I’m sure the leftovers will be just as tasty. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Italian Style Herb Bread – adapted from The Bread Bible

For the bread

  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp each – dried oregano, basil and rosemary
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 TBSP dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 5 1/2 cups of AP or bread flour
For the filling
  • 1 1/2 pounds mild Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces whole milk mozzarella, diced
Directions:
1. In a small bowl, combine pepper, herbs and olive oil.
2. In your standing mixer bowl, combine wine, water, yeast, and herb oil mixture. Using your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add flour 1 cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Remove the paddle and replace with your dough hook and knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy.
3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until the dough is doubled in bulk, about 60 – 90 minutes.
4. While your dough is rising, brown your sausage along with the onions and garlic. Drain the meat mixture well and set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pat the dough into a 14 x10 inch rectangle. Sprinkle meat mixture over the center third of the dough. Top with cheese then fold dough into a rectangle by bringing the two long ends together. Pinch seams to close and fold ends over to close. Carefully turn over seam side down onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Cut shallow slashes diagonally down the length of the loaf and brush lightly with olive oil. Let rest for 10 minutes then bake in the center of your oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer the finished loaf to a cooling rack.
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