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Herb Bread with Sweet Sausage




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is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight..."

- M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

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Friday, November 10, 2006

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Herb Bread with Sweet Sausage

The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook
The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook

by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins with Sarah Leah Chase, 1985,  Workman Publishing Co., Inc.

“A spectacular looking and tasting loaf. The chunks of Italian sausage and smoked mozzarella make this practically a meal in itself.”

And, might I add, perfect for a festive gathering…

2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried chervil
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 packages active dry yeast
2 cups warm dry white wine (105 to 115 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
5 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, removed from casings and crumbled
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
8 ounces smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 egg
2 teaspoons water

1. Combine the oregano, basil, thyme, chervil, rosemary, fennel, pepper, and oil in a small bowl. Let stand at least 1 hour.
2. Stir the yeast into the warm wine in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar, salt, and herb mixture. Stir in enough of the flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a soft dough.
3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary.
4. Place the dough in a buttered large bowl and turn to coat with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. While the dough is rising, combine the sausages, onion, and garlic in a skillet and cook over medium heat, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is browned. Stir in the tomatoes. Set aside.
6. Punch the dough down and roll into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Spread the sausage mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. Arrange the mozzarella slices evenly over the sausage mixture.
7. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll and shape it into a spiral in a buttered 10-inch springform pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
8.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
9.  Beat the egg and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl. Brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash.
10.  Bake in the center of the oven until the loaf is brown and sounds hollow when the bottom is lightly tapped, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from the pan. Cool to room temperature and cut into wedges to serve.
1 round 10-inch loaf

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