Prep 2 hrs
Cook 25 mins
My FIL used to make this bread. It may be a bit labor intensive, but it is soooo tasty. It can also be made in advance and frozen before baking.
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 3⁄4 cup chopped red pepper
- 1 1⁄4 cups warm water
- 4 1⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1⁄4 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs, room temerature
- 4 1⁄2 cups flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cook sausage and pepper until sausage is brown breaking up the meat as you go along.
- Drain and set aside to cool.
- Pour warm water into large bowl, stir in yeast until dissolved.
- Proof 10 minutes.
- Add sugar, salt, seasoning, butter, 1 egg and 2 cups flour.
- Beat until smooth then gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough.
- Knead for about 10 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl, turn to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and divide into 6 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a 14" x 4" strip.
- Stir cheese into sausage mixture then spoon down the center of each strip.
- Seal long edges of strips together to form a 14" rope.
- Braid 3 ropes together and seal.
- Place loaves on greased baking sheet, cover and let rise until doubled about 45 minutes.
- Beat remaining egg and brush on loaves.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Serve warm.