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One of my favorite appetizers to serve when having company is stuffed bread. Once again combining both the English and Italian ingredients, I created a pork, sausage and Stilton Blue cheese bread for Thanksgiving this year. First start by making your dough. This is a pizza dough recipe that depending on how you roll it out will determine the consistency for the bread. I roll it out thin and it comes out like a soft bread yet has enough of a crust and browns well with an egg wash. Dough 2 1/2 to 3 cups Flour, 1 cup warm water 110 degrees, 1pkg yeast, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt.
Pour pkg of yeast into water and stir to combine. I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast. Let proof for 3 to 5 minutes. Next put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in your proofed water and yeast, the 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Combine and form the dough into a ball making sure to get all the flour incorporated. If it is too wet and sticky add some more flour. Next knead the dough making sure you dust your hands with flour so the dough is not sticking to your hands. It will get softer and more pliable after a few minutes and then when done about 3 to 5 minutes, form into a ball and put in a bowl that you have greased with oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let double in size about 45 minutes to an hour.
Next take 1 pound ground pork and 1 pound Italian sausage out of the casings and brown with some sweet onion about 1 to 1 1/2 cups (less if you like or you could use onion powder) Add salt and pepper to taste and I also add 1to 1 1/2 teaspoons sage and some thyme leaves and some fennel. You can taste and adjust to your palate, as some sausages have fennel and you might not need to add any. Let the mixture cool down as the dough is rising, as you don’t want to stuff the bread with the hot mixture.
When dough is doubled in size put some flour on your table or surface where you are rolling out the dough and then punch down gently and roll with your rolling pin (remember to put flour on the rolling pin) into a large oval or rectangular shape. When rolled out, lightly spread some extra virgin olive oil on the entire surface and sprinkle black pepper. In the middle of you dough from left to right put out 1/2 your sausage and pork mixture and then your crumbled 3/4 cup blue cheese and you could at this time add some fresh chopped parsley as well. Next take the bottom and fold over the stuffing and then once again lightly with olive oil and pepper and then the meat followed by the cheese and then take the top and fold over the mixture and try and tuck underneath the bread. I shape it into a horseshoe and fold the ends up around the ends and make a ridge like you would on a pie and you can use a fork and press down to stay together or just fold . Then cut little small holes with a knife about an inch long around the loaf so it can vent. (maybe 6 to 8)Next beat 1 to 2 eggs and apply generously with a brush all over the loaf. Line your pan with parchment paper for baking. I bake at 400 degrees till browned about 45 minutes and then cool. A note about Blue Cheese, use according to taste as some cheeses are stronger than others. You want to taste it but not become overpowered by it. As an accompaniment you could put out a sweet chili pepper jelly. I hope you try it and enjoy!