It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Not because of presents, but because of the eats. And friends, let me tell you something, it ain’t the cookies, but this sausage bread that makes Santa shimmy on down the chimney (and Hanukkah Harry pop out of a dreidel).
My best friend of nearly 30 years, April, is who introduced me to this addicting, cheesy, meaty delicacy rolled up in a thin crispy crust of pizza bread, jellyroll-style. She would make 40 sausage breads every holiday season, giving one to her loved ones (I was happy to be on that receiving end) as well as to her father’s clients. Forget those sham fruitcakes. THIS is the gift that you can eat and have your eyes roll back in your head when you do.
After much begging, I finally got her to share the secret to her family’s Scrumptious Sausage Bread with the world. A Jew and an Italian in the kitchen together. It’s as if Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett got together and served you up the treat of a lifetime.
Oh. And there’s no Instant Pot or air fryer for this one folks. We’re bringing this one to you the old-school way. Baking sheets and the oven.
This is an EASY recipe, but a bit labor intensive depending on how many breads you’re making. So grab your bestie or a family member (but really, aren’t they the same?) and a few filled-to-the-brim martinis because the most delicious thing of the year is about to grace your kitchen.
Here’s How I Made It! (Scroll down for the fully-written recipe):
First, enlist the help of a friend or loved one. You know, someone who you can wear sweatpants and baggy clothes and handle sausage with totally free of feeling judged. Why? Because it all starts with some Italian sausage (a few packs of Premio from Costco is the bomb).
I like to do a mix of sweet & hot sausage, but you can use any kind you fancy. Because YOU’RE fancy.NOTE:This is obviously a LOT of sausage in this photo (10 pounds to be exact) which will make 6-10 sausage breads, depending on how much sausage you use per bread.
Pop it in the oven and bake it until fully cooked with the outer casing nice and firm.
Once the sausage has cooled, slice each link longways and then slice it longways again and dice it up. (This is gonna be messy/greasy – so have plenty of paper towels).
If making different types of sausage, separate them into the different bowls for each specific sausage bread (this way someone who hates spicy can just have sweet sausage and vice versa).
Now, take a large-sized pizza dough you got from a decent pizza place (or make your own).
One pizza dough equals two breads, so slice it in half.
Then, stretch out the bread by hand…
…and form it on a flour-dusted countertop until it forms a flattened, rectangular shape (you can also use a flour-dusted rolling pin if you wish).
Brush some olive oil onto the dough…
…and then sprinkle black pepper and grated Parmesan.
Now add ONE (see April’s finger?) layer of sliced Provolone on top of the oil, pepper and Parmesan-kissed dough.
Make sure it’s all covered with that ONE layer of Provolone (or April will getcha!).
And then, with the dough positioned vertically and starting at the edge closest to you, add some sausage…
…and some shredded Mozzarella. Once rolled, this will be the center of the bread.
As if making a jellyroll, take that edge of the dough and cover the sausage and cheese so it’s under a roll of the dough. From here out, we will be able to roll our dough as we continue.
Now, for the next notch, lay in JUST some sausage against the rolled edge of the bread…
…and roll it until it’s covered.
For the next notch, add ONLY some Mozzarella…
…and, you guessed it, roll until covered.
Repeat the alternating of the sausage (and rolling) and Mozzarella (and rolling) until…
…you have about an inch of dough left.
Pull the remaining edge of dough so that it stretches…
…and wrap it over the bread.
…so that it’s nice and rolled and completely formed. Like a jellyroll!
Carefully place the rolled dough into a non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.
Brush on some additional olive oil…
…and sprinkle on some poppy or sesame seeds, if desired. Pop it in the oven and bake.
When done, the sausage bread should be golden brown in color and the dough should have a nice crisp!
Also, make sure the bottom is fully cooked.
Once the bread’s cooled down a bit, it’s time to slice it up!
Just looks at how perfectly it cooked! All that cheese and sausage rolled between thin sheets of soft, flaky pizza crust!
Slice it up however you wish.
When you try it, cheers your co-cook with a slice of Sausage Bread.
Try it out…
…and there are no words. Because this stuff is THE BOMB!
In fact, you may want to just skip slicing and eat up a whole bread!
Your holiday party just got a whole lot more merry and delicious!
- 1 round large-sized pizza dough from any decent pizza place (1 pizza dough = 2 breads) OR make your own
- 2/3 cup (approx) extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons black pepper
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 30 slices of Provolone
- 32 ounces (8 cups) shredded Mozzarella
- 3 pounds Italian Sausage (Sweet and Hot and I use Premio brand. You can also use any other type of sausage you desire but a true Sausage Bread is Italian-style sausage!)
- Poppy or Sesame seeds, if desired
Let The Dough Rise
- Keep the pizza dough covered for 30 minutes in a dish towel so it rises (you can let it sit for as long as 4 hours)
Bake The Sausage
- Meanwhile, place the sausages on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375° for about 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes (you can do this the night before, place in the fridge and slice the next day).
- Slice each sausage link longways so it’s halved and then slice each half longways so you have 4 sausage sticks per link. Chunkily dice them up from there. This is gonna be messy/greasy, so have plenty of paper towels on-hand.
Prepare The Ingredients
- Place all the ingredients into separate bowls for easy access.
- Take the risen pizza dough and cut it in half. Remember, one half of the dough equals one sausage bread.
- Lay flour on table and stretch/spread dough out so it’s a long rectangle, about 18-20 inches long by 12-14 inches wide. You can do this either by hand or with a flour-dusted rolling pin. DON’T WORRY if the dough feels thin – it won’t be when baked.
- Brush all of the dough’s surface with the olive oil (not too much – just a nice, light coating).
- The, sprinkle the black pepper and parmesan all over to coat the olive oil.
- Lastly, cover with ONE layer of sliced provolone (don’t go over one layer).
Rolling The Sausage Bread
- First Notch: With the dough facing you vertically/longways, start at the edge closest to you. Cover about the first 1 1/2-inches of dough with sausage AND shredded Mozzarella – making sure there’s plenty also towards the edges. Roll to about an inch and a half so the filling is under the dough.
- Second notch: Sprinkle in about 1-inch of sausage and roll about an inch and a half so it’s under the dough.
- Third notch: Sprinkle in about 1-inch of shredded Mozzarella and roll about an inch and a half so it’s under the dough. In addition to being amazingly cheesy, this also serves as a glue to keep the roll together once baked.
- Repeat second & third notch steps until about 1/4 inch of dough remains. Pull and fold it over the top and seal with olive oil. Top with Poppy or Sesame seeds, if desired.
Bake The Sausage Bread
- Carefully transport the rolled dough to a parchment paper-lined baking tray OR use a non-stick baking tray.
- Place in a pre-heated oven at 375° and cook for at least 30 minutes, checking on it at that point. All ovens vary, so it’s very likely it will need about 45 minutes and you can increase the temperature to 400° after the 30 minute mark. When done, the top of the sausage bread should be a nice, crispy brown and the bottom should be nice and baked.
- Allow the bread to cool for a solid 30 minutes and, like a jellyroll, slice to the desired size
- Dip in some of your favorite marinara sauce or eat just as is!
You can make this Sausage Bread ahead of time and place it in the fridge for up to a week OR freeze it for up to six months! Jut make sure it’s tightly wrapped in foil.
To reheat, simply keep it wrapped in foil, and place on a baking sheet at 350° in the oven for about 15-30 minutes. Again, all ovens vary so check on it while heating and be careful not to overcook.
This makes a DELICIOUSLY GREAT holiday gift for loved ones!