Rustic Sausage and Mushroom Bread

Rustic Sausage and Porcini Loaf

Hearty sausage and mushroom-filled bread makes entertaining easy, wherever you are.

Whether you’re packing up a picnic or simply hanging out at home, this delicious, no-fuss loaf requires no additional preparation once it’s baked. Just slice and enjoy!

We’ve adapted a classic Italian holiday favorite that can be enjoyed any time of the year. There’s no need to assemble a sloppy sandwich when you make this loaf, which combines both bread and filling into one easy-to-enjoy package.

The recipe scales up easily, so doubling the ingredients to make two loaves (as we did) is simple, giving one loaf to enjoy now and one to share – or to save for later!

Sausage and Porcini Rustic Loaf

 INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp olive oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, uncooked
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 oz dried porcini or other dried mushrooms
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese (optional)
Directions:

Reconstitute the dried mushrooms in a bowl by covering them completely with hot water.  Allow to stand for 20 – 30 minutes, then drain the mushrooms, reserving the flavor-filled soaking liquid for use in soups or sauces, if desired.  Rinse the reconstituted mushrooms gently under cool running water to remove any residual grit.  Drain completely, chop coarsely, and set aside.

Pour 1/2 cup warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the top and let stand for about 5 minutes. Add the milk, sugar and 1 tsp olive oil, stir to combine, and set aside.

In a separate large bowl, mix together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and the salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the liquids.  Using a dough stirrer (see picture) or your hand, gradually stir the wet & dry ingredients together, working the mixture until it holds together.  Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.  If the dough seems too sticky, add a little more flour as needed.

Place the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Bread Dough and tools

While the dough is rising, put the sausage into a large frying pan (remove it from the casing if you’re not using bulk, unstuffed sausage) and turn the burner to medium. Brown the sausage, stirring to break it up, until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked meat from the pan and set aside to drain on a plate or colander lined with paper towels. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan and return the pan to the burner.  Add the chopped onion and chopped reconstituted mushrooms and cook until the onions are translucent.  Remove from the heat and put into a medium bowl together with the sausage mixture and the chopped sun dried tomato, if using. Stir it all together, taste and add a little salt & pepper as needed.  Allow the entire mixture  to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and sprinkle a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of  cornmeal.

When the dough has doubled in size, place it on a floured work surface, and using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into large rectangle, approximately 10″ x 14″ in size.

Spread the cooled sausage-mushroom mixture over the rolled-out dough, leaving a border of an inch or more around the edges. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, if using.

Rustic sausage & porcini loaf, ready to roll

Ready to roll

Brush the entire border of the dough with the beaten egg/ water mixture. Starting at one long side, carefully roll up the dough (like a jelly roll), keeping it tight and pinching the ends closed as you go.Two loaves ready for the oven

Gently lift the rolled loaf and place it, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet, tucking the ends under.  Brush the top of the bread with the remaining egg wash. Set aside to rest and rise slightly, about 15 minutes.

Slip the loaf into the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool to room temperature before slicing.  Wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate when completely cool.

Variations:  This recipe is very adaptable to your personal preference.  Substitute chicken or turkey sausage for the pork sausage if you like, or omit the sausage altogether and double the amount of dried mushrooms.

Out of the oven

 

Curly Divider

 

Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.

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