4 hrs 30 mins
There will be two versions of this recipe posted on here - one is the traditional (and being able to be planned/shopped for), and the other is the improvised (because I'm snowed in and don't have half of the ingredients) version. This is the traditional version. For both versions, a baking stone and wooden peal are required.
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 1/4 ounce active dry yeast (One package)
- 1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 -8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon butter, melted
- 1Place yeast in 1cup warmed water and let sit for 10-15 minutes until it starts to foam.
- 2Dissolve salt in remaining 2 cups of warm water.
- 3Place 5 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast and salt mixtures and mix well. Dough will still be wet and sticky.
- 4Either continue kneading the dough or place it in an electric mixer with a dough hook.
- 5Continue adding flour until the dough forms a kneadable mass. At this point, it will pull away from the mixing bowl or kneading surface on its own. Typically, it's another 1-3 cups of flour.
- 6Once the dough has a satiny sheen and pulls away from mixing/kneading surfaces easily, knead for another 10 minutes, or knead with the dough hook in the electric mixer on low-medium for about 7-8 minutes.
- 7Remove dough from mixing bowl and place into an oiled bowl (olive oil works the best). Flip the dough once to coat the top of the dough as well.
- 8Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-1,5 hours, until dough doubles in size.
- 9Once dough has risen, punch it down and knead again for either 5 minutes by hand or three minutes by machine. After re-kneading the dough, separate it into two equal portions.
- 10If you're running low on space, place both dough balls into the same bowl (oil it again with olive oil if you don't feel it's slippery enough).
- 11If you have enough space, place both halves into separate bowls, both oiled with olive oil.
- 12Allow the dough to rise again for about an hour (doubling in size).
- 13While the dough is rising its second time, it's time to start the filling.
- 14Combine the loose sage sausage , sweet onion, and raw pine nuts into a large skillet.
- 15Brown sausage mixture until cooked.
- 16Drain excess liquid/fat.
- 17Once the dough has risen for its second time, remove one ball of dough at a time, and roll out flat (a rectangular shape is preferred).
- 18In the center of the dough, place the cheese - roughly 3" in from any edge - right in the middle of the dough. Use half of the filling for each loaf.
- 19After the cheese is placed, layer the cheese with 1/2 package of spinach per loaf, and again with 1/2 of the sausage per loaf.
- 20Once all of the stuffings are laid in place, fold over the long edges of the dough, followed with the short edges. Squeeze/roll the edges flat - this prevents leakage of the stuffing, and seals the bread shut.
- 21Coat the wooden peal with corn meal.
- 22Flip the stuffed and closed bread over, presenting the untouched side as the top. Place both loaves on the corn meal coated wooden peal.
- 23Let the dough rise, covered, and in a very warm place, for another 40-50 minutes.
- 24Preheat oven to 350 (or 325, if you have a gas oven).
- 25Once ovens are hot and dough has risen, use a very sharp knife to make a slit down the top of the loaves - be careful and don't slice into the stuffing!
- 26Brush melted butter over the tops of both loaves.
- 27Once the loaves have risen again (I've gotten the best results after rising loaves on top of the heating oven), place in the oven to bake for 20-50 minutes. Since ovens vary greatly, keep an eye on your bread. It only took me about 20 minutes in a gas oven, on a baking stone, heated to 350 on the dial (which was more like 375 in reality). The bread is ready when the top is a nice golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you thump on it. The crust will be crunchy and hard. The insides will be tender and moist.
- 28Once bread is done, remove from oven and allow to cool for 30-40 minutes before serving.
- 29To serve, slice into 1/2" wide slices. It's best served warm, but can also be warmed up in the microwave at about 15 seconds per slice, or in the toaster oven at 350 for about 5-7 minutes for as many slices as you can lay flat (or you could just toast it).
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Nutritional Facts for Stuffed Italian Bread (Traditional)
Serving Size: 1 (194 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 10
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 434.8
- Calories from Fat 113
- Total Fat 12.5 g
- Saturated Fat 6.4 g
- Cholesterol 36.8 mg
- Sodium 1015.0 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 60.2 g
- Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
- Sugars 0.9 g
- Protein 19.3 g
The following items or measurements are not included: