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Broccoli Sausage Bread

April 1, 2010

This is really more like a stromboli than just a broccoli bread, which doesn’t sound all that exciting.   This

broccoli bread

bread is exciting, though.  It has a really flavorful filling of Italian sausage, broccoli, red pepper and cheese.  I served this with a marinara for dipping, and changed up the cheese with some mozzarella to give it a little gooiness.  This could easily be made vegetarian by substituting some mushrooms for the sausage.  One word of caution- the dough was really malleable, which was great, but, it was so easy to move that the toppings moved right through it when I was trying to roll it up and popped right through the dough.  I think this was because I used my Kitchenaid mixer to mix it, and perhaps didn’t add as much flour as you would if you were hand kneeding it.  To avoid this problem and simplify the recipe, use a store bought pizza dough.  It will come together even faster!  This recipe is adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible and serves 6.


1 pound Italian turkey sausage, crumbled

6 cups broccoli florets, cut into very small bite-size pieces

1 large onion, thinly sliced (optional)

3 roasted red peppers, chopped

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

kosher salt

red pepper flakes

1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella

3/4 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan

3¼cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 t instant yeast (1 envelope)

2 t sugar

1½ t salt

1 1/3 c water, at room-temperature

whole-wheat or unbleached all-purpose flour for rolling the dough

olive oil


Preheat oven to 475 degrees 1 hour before baking and place a baking stone or baking sheet on the lowest shelf before preheating.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, and sugar, then whisk in the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour, add the water, and stir until blended.  Sprinkle the counter with some of the whole wheat (or all-purpose) flour. Scrape the dough out onto the counter and knead it for 10 minutes until it is smooth and resilient. It will be very sticky during the first 5 minutes of kneading. (If it is still sticky after 5 minutes, cover it with the inverted bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes.) Add more flour if necessary only after the first 5 minutes. (The dough can also be made in a stand mixer with a dough hook; mix on medium speed, #4 if using a Kitchen-Aid, for 7 minutes.)  Set the dough on top and allow it to sit, covered with plastic wrap, for 20-30 minutes to relax before rolling.

Cook the sausage (or mushrooms with 1 T olive oil) in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink and drain off any fat.  Add broccoli, onion, and roasted red pepper and saute, stirring constantly, just until broccoli changes color, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until broccoli is tender-crisp. (The broccoli will continue cooking slightly in the oven.) Let cool and then combine with cheeses.  Set filling aside.

Brush about a 4-inch band of olive oil down the center of a 20-inch-long piece of heavy duty foil so that your bread won’t stick.  Roll the dough into an 18×16 inch rectangle or thereabouts. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough.  Roll up from the longer side jelly-roll style, using a bench scraper to help support the dough as you roll it. Pinch the edge of the dough firmly to make a tight seam. Turn the dough so that the seam is underneath. Pinch the ends of the dough firmly together and tuck them under.
Roll or lift the loaf onto the foil so that the seam stays underneath, and lift the loaf and foil into the pan. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and make 3 slashes in the top of the dough.

Bake the bread for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and continue baking for 7-10 minutes or until the loaf is golden all over.  It baked for about 27 minutes total in my oven.

Brush the loaf with oil, then let cook for10 minutes on a wire rack and serve with marinara.

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