There is nothing quite as wonderful as the smell of fresh bread baking – unless of course it’s the first warm bite with butter dripping off your chin!!
We bake almost all of the bread the family eats – partially because it’s better for us – but mostly because it’s so much cheaper!
On bread baking day during the winter months we like to have soup for supper with our fresh bread. But in the warm months – we often make a sandwich loaf.
This week’s was a pizza loaf – but you could fill it with anything you wish. (My sister made a yummy ham and cheese version that she shared at a recent family get-together.)
The process is simple.
Take a hunk of dough – the equivalent of about 1 loaf (you can use frozen bread dough for this) and roll it out on into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick on a greased cookie sheet.
Take a knife and very lightly score the bread into 3 sections lengthwise. There should be 3 long skinny sections.
Working on the outside sections, take a knife and cut slits diagonally from the outside edge to the scored line – making cool little dough fringe .
Do this to both outside sections.
Now look at your middle section – and get creative.
Pile it with whatever toppings you wish, leaving about an inch at the top and the bottom.
Here’s some filing ideas – but don’t be limited to these – this is a great way to be creative with your left-overs:
- Spread the dough with butter, sprinkle with some garlic and layer ham and cheese
- Pizza – pizza sauce, pepperoni, sausage, ham, green peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, etc..
- Alfredo sauce with cooked chicken, ham, and swiss cheese
- Left-over barbecued pork or sloppy joe’s with some cheddar cheese
- Sliced steak with onions, peppers, and provolone cheese
- Go Mexican with seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, refried beans, and sour cream
When you have the filling all laid out – start closing in the loaf by pulling the bottom inch of bare dough up to cover the filling. Repeat with the top inch of bare dough.
Starting at the bottom, take one horizontal dough fringe from each side over the filling and cross them. Repeat until the entire loaf is “tied up”.
Cover with a clean cloth and let the loaf rise for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 40 minutes or until golden brown and the bottom is firm.
You should let it cool slightly (about 15 – 20 minutes) before cutting – if you can wait that long!