Saturday, August 16, 2008
I was watching Jamie Oliver this morning and he make the most beautiful rustic tomato and sausage dish. I've been dreaming of it all day. It was basically just some simple roast tomatoes cooked with the sausages and sopped up with bread. But it looked divine, and let me tell you - it is!
I've also been eyeing Kris's Cheddar Bubble Bread for a while now, and I thought - why not make bubble bread with Italian flavors instead? One thing this bread has plenty of is flavor! This was also a great way to clean out my fridge of all the odds and ends of cheese I have stashed away, and I bet it'd be good with just about any cheese.
Italian Herb & Cheese Bubble Bread
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1/2 packet)
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Stir together yeast and water and let bloom about 5 minutes. Mix in flour. Let sit at least 1 hour. It should be mushy and bubbly.
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1/2 package)
1 cup warm water
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 - 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
Mix together yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let set 5 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly. Add sponge and olive oil and mix well. Add remaining ingredients, including 3 cups of flour and mix on low speed until combined. Add more flour as needed until dough is soft and only slightly sticky. Knead on medium-low speed for about 5 minutes. Let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
2 cups mixed italian semi-soft to hard cheeses (such as asiago, parmesan, provolone, fontina, romano, etc)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large scallion, sliced thin
5 large cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1/4 cup smoked sundried tomatoes, minced fine
3 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp crushed dried oregano
2 Tbsp pesto
1 Tbsp white truffle oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl. Mix well with your fingertips, breaking up any chunks.
Grease 2 loaf pans or pie plates or pans of your choice.
Roll dough out on a floured surface until it's between 1/2 and 3/4 inches thick. Use a pizza stone to cut the dough into small squares. (Don't bother being fussy - they don't need to be the same size). Roll the squares into balls and roll them in the mix-ins. You may have to press the mix-ins into them a bit.
Pile the dough balls into the greased pans. Sprinkle any leftover mix-ins over the bread (there should be very little left). Let rise at least 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees in the last 30 minutes of rising.
Drizzle tops with olive oil. Bake bread 25-35 minutes or until browned and crispy on the outside. Best served warm.
Roasted Sausage & Tomato "Sauce" (deconstructed!)
2 strips bacon
6 sprig fresh oregano
2 bay leaves (preferably fresh but dry will work)
2 sprigs rosemary
handful of thyme sprigs
6-8 large heirloom tomatoes
5 large pork sausages such as bratwurst
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F. Saute bacon until it has rendered most of its fat. Add herbs and let them flavor the fat. Add tomatoes, bake on top rack until skins burst - about 20 minutes.
Remove skins, trying your best not to burn your fingers! Top with sausages. Roast 40 minutes, until sausages are browned on one side. Turn sausages and roast another 20 minutes, or until sausages are browned and a thin sauce has formed in the bottom. Remove stems of herbs and bay leaves. Mash up the tomatoes a bit. Serve with bread or over pasta.