Stuffed Sausage & Spinach Loaf

A couple of Fridays ago me, husband and another couple had made plans to go to an outdoor screening of The Sandlot.  (Best baseball movie – EVER.)  The problem was it had been raining for about 3 days straight here with no signs of letting up.  Instead we decided to hang out at home and try something new.

This recipe is from the Early Summer issue of the Penzey’s catalog.  2013 issue, I think.

No substitutions were made.

sausage spinach loaf 1

Stuffed Sausage & Spinach Loaf

First is the recipe for the White Bread.
1 1/4oz package dried yeast, regular or quick rise
2 tblsp warm water (110 degrees)
1/4 c sugar
2 tsp salt
1/3 c butter, softened
1 c hot milk
3/4 c cold water
1 egg, beaten
5 1/2 to 6 c all-purpose flour

Grease and set aside 2 standard loaf pans.  – Skip this if you are making solely for the Sausage & Spinach Loaf.  In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water.  Stir to blend and set aside.  Combine the sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl.  Add the hot milk and stir until the butter is melted.  Add the cold water and let cool until the mixture is lukewarm.  Add the yeast mixture and the beaten egg to the milk mixture.  Gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough.  This will take about 5 cups; the other 1/2 – 1 cup can be used to flour your kneading surface.  Use your hands to mix the dough in the bowl and incorporate as much of the flour into the dough as possible.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Do this by folding the edges of the dough toward the center and pushing the dough away from you with the heel of your hands and rotating it on the board as you continue to knead.  This should take about 5 to 10 minutes.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  This is the point to wrap half in plastic wrap and freeze if desired.  Use the other half for the Stuffed Sausage & Spinach Loaf.

sausage spinach loaf 2
Sausage & Spinach Loaf:
1 lb bread dough
1 lb bulk Italian sausage, hot or sweet
1 10oz box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp oregano
1/2 garlic powder

Thaw bread down on a greased baking sheet, let rise until doubled. – I put my dough into a greased bowl and let rise.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the sausage until nicely browned and crumbly.  Drain and cool slightly.  Roll the loaf of dough into a large 14×12-inch rectangle.  Doesn’t need to be perfect.  Spread the sausage mixture lengthwise down the rectangle, about 1/3 of the way from one of the long ends.  Top with spinach and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Roll up jelly-roll style, staring with a long side; pinch seams to seal and tuck the ends under.  Place on a baking sheet, seam side down.  The the ends under and form in a crescent shape.  Brush with egg.  In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, oregano and garlic powder, then sprinkle on the loaf.  If the egg drips all the way to the bottom of the loaf, be careful removing the loaf after baking because it could be stuck.  Carefully run a spatula underneath to loosen it.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Let rest a few minutes before cutting.  Serve warm.

sausage spinach loaf 3

cartoon-strawberry-9Well.  This calzone/loaf  monster tastes amazing.  Totally worth the time and effort involved.  BUT I would love to meet the person who can jelly roll a pound of sausage, 10 oz of spinach and 2 cups of cheese.  IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!!  I just folded the ends up over themselves and prayed for the best.

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