Another Saturday Night Special at home! I’ve converted Mama Carmela’s ham bread recipe into a “busy chef” version using Alfredo sauce as the base and also for dipping. Most pizzerias will sell pounds of their dough to the public. Find your favorite place and ask for a couple of pounds. This luscious bread is best served warm or cold. It’s easy, delicious and quite fun to make. Great for picnics and parties too! Why order in when you can make this at home? AND have leftovers for the next day! Serve with a nice crisp green salad, some sliced figs drizzled with balsamic glaze and a couple Gorgonzola stuffed peppadew peppers! Or anything your little heart fancies!
2 pounds good quality pizzeria-style pizza, or bread dough (please email me for my made from scratch version)
1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and drained
1 cup each: shredded, sharp cheddar mozzarella and Parmesan
½ cup sliced red onion
½ cup sliced mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
a handful of fresh sliced basil leaves
Divide equally between the 2 loaves.
1 jar or container of good quality Alfredo Sauce; using about 1 1/2 cups for filling and rest for dipping.
Additional ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Remove dough from wrapping and follow manufacturer’s directions through the thawing and first rising process. If using dough from your local pizzeria start here:
Deflate dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough into a 10×14 inch rectangle. Make parallel cuts 3/4 inch wide and 2 inches long on the two long edges of the rectangle.
Evenly spread Alfredo sauce into the center of the rectangle—leaving a 1” section all around. Top with cooked sausage, cheeses, veggies and sliced basil. Alternately, stretch strips from the two sides across the filling so the strips overlap diagonally. Repeat all of the above for 2nd loaf.
**If the above it too intimidating you can use the jelly roll method instead of braiding.
Transfer the loaves to a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Bake at 400* for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets for 30 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool for another 30 minutes before slicing. Makes 2 Hearty Loaves
NOTE: The add-ins are endless! Chopped olives, peppers, spinach, various cheeses—mix and match just about any meat, cheese and veggie!