For a few years in my teens I worked at an amazing deli and butcher shop called Mulberry Street. Everything about the place was fantastic, but one of my favorite things that they made was a broccoli rabe and sausage bread with mozzarella, it was so unbelievably good. So a few weeks back I had a nostalgic craving and decided I was going to give it a go… Well it came out delicious! A number of people saw the picture I posted on Instagram and immediately started flooding me with requests for the recipe. Unfortunately things have been hectic lately and the time wasn’t there, but at long last, here you are. Enjoy!
Serves 4-6 as a snack or appetizer, 3-4 as an entrée.
2 1/4tsp Active Dry Yeast (1 envelope)
1 1/2c Warm Water, about 105F
2 1/2c All Purpose Flour
1/2c Grated Parmesan
3tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
1/2c All Purpose Flour, for the kneading surface
1tbsp Olive Oil, for the rising bowl
3tbsp Olive Oil, (3) 1tbsp portions, to brush the bread
1tbsp Grated Parmesan. to sprinkle over bread
1/2lb Sweet or Hot Sausage
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 Small Onion, sliced
1lb Broccoli Rabe, cut off thick portion of stems
2tbsp Olive Oil
1/2c Chicken Stock
1tsp Ground Black Pepper
6oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/3c Grated Parmesan
Heat oven at 375F.
In a measuring cup, or bowl, or whatever vessel you want, mix your warm water, dry yeast and 1tsp sugar. Stir together and then set in a warm place… I typically use my stove top when the oven is at temp. It’s warm but not hot. If your stovetop gets too hot you’ll need to find an alternative, maybe right next to it. After 15 minutes you should have a nice bloom.
While waiting for the yeast to activate… In a mixing bowl combine your flour, salt, sugar, and parmesan. Add your yeast and water and mix at a low setting, using a bread hook attachment. Add your melted butter a little at a time, mixing thoroughly between doses. Once all of the butter is added increase the mixing speed to medium and allow to mix for 5 minutes. You’ll have to use some of your own judgment here… if the dough seems too wet add just a touch more flour, too dry more water. But be careful, you don’t want something that is too dense or too wet. Once it’s done mixing it should have a medium density with a slight tackiness to the touch.
Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes until you have a good elastic consistency. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and set in a warm, draft free place. Once again, I use my stovetop, but as I said earlier, if your stovetop gets too hot find an alternative. You do not want to start cooking the edges of your dough, you’ll ruin the batch. Rest your dough until it doubles in size, roughly one hour or slightly more.
While the dough is rising you can work on your stuffing. Cut your raw sausage links into chunks. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or large pot at medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the oil and cook until browned on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium and add the sliced onion and chopped garlic, cook until they begin to sweat, about 3-5 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, salt, pepper and chicken stock, cover and simmer at medium heat until the broccoli rabe starts to get tender, about 5 minutes, stirring periodically to evenly cook the broccoli. Once done set aside and allow to cool at room temperature.
Once your dough has doubled in size turn it back out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it to release some of the air. Using a rolling pin or your hands, spread the dough out into a rectangle, roughly 12″x18″. Make sure that the dough doesn’t get too thin in any section though, or it could tear when rolling. Brush the dough with 1tbsp of olive oil. Evenly layer the shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan over the dough, leaving about 1″ along the edges bare. Strain the sausage and broccoli rabe sauté, then evenly layer that over the cheeses. Next, carefully roll the dough and stuffing into a log, tucking in the edges as you go. Once rolled inspect the dough to make sure there are not any tears, if there are do your best to pinch the edges together to seal them shut. Place the bread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Brush the top with 1tbsp of olive oil, then bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375F. Remove from the oven and once again brush it with 1tbsp of olive, and evenly sprinkle the top with 1tbsp of grated parmesan, then place back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the stuffed bread from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.