Italian Sausage Bread

(Mary Jane Scouten)

6 cups all purpose flour, divided
2 packets active yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 cups warm water (120-130 degrees)

Mix together ONLY 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt.  Add remaining flour and warm water to make a thick dough. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead dough until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1-1 hours, or until double.  Meanwhile, make sausage filling.  When dough is doubled, punch down dough and divide into two loaves.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out a loaf of bread dough into a 15-inch square.  Spread half of sausage mixture on dough to within an inch of the edges and roll up like a jelly roll.  Seal ends.  Repeat with other loaf.  Place seam-side down on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until bread is golden and baked through.

Sausage Filling
1 lbs mild or sweet Italian sausage loose
1 lb grated Mozzarella cheese
cup grated Romano cheese
1 tsp. Basil
1 tsp Parsley
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 large eggs

In a large frying pan, cook sausage thoroughly and drain completely. Return sausage to pan, over low heat add cheeses, spices, stirring until cheese is completely melted and mixed with sausage. Turn off heat.  Beat eggs, cool sausage a bit then place in eggs and turn mixture until sausage is completely covered in egg.  The eggs keep the moisture in the cooked sausage mix so that the bread can bake, if you do not use eggs, the dough around the sausage mixture will be sticky and raw.