This recipe won the 2010 King Arthur Flour National Festival of Breads. So I figured it must be yummy. It is. I really wanted to try it, but I needed something for dinner. So I changed the filling, and it was still delicious. :)
Using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I followed the dough recipe.
After halving the dough, I rolled it out. This was a huge hassle, because this stuff is springy. J said there was something I could have done that would have made it less springy... but I forget what it was now. More kneading? More resting? Combo roundhouse throat punch?
And then I had to take a picture of the Potato rocking a zucchini to sleep.
We still had the ingredients from making pizza couple days before. Unfortunately, we were still out of tomato sauce. So, I made my own. I washed about 12 cherry tomatoes from the garden. On the bottom of each tomato I scored an X with a kitchen knife. In small batches and using a spider strainer, I placed the tomatoes in boiling water for about 10 to 15 seconds. With the tomatoes still in the spider, I placed to tomatoes under cold running water for about 20-30 seconds. You can have a bowl of ice water to move the tomatoes to if you prefer. Now that my tomatoes were blanched, the skins were easy to pull away. If any give you trouble, just dunk them again.
I diced some orange bell pepper, onions, and garlic to add to my sauce.
After emptying the pot of boiling water and lowering the temperature on the stove, I added my diced tomatoes and other veggies to the pot. I seasoned the vegetables with salt, pepper, oregano, sage, basil, and balsamic vinegar. After allowing it all to simmer for a little while, maybe 10 or 15 minutes, I used my stick blender to puree it all into something a bit more sauce like. This amount of sauce was enough for the one half of dough I was using. So, if you are using all of the dough or you like a heavy amount of sauce, use more than twelve cherry tomatoes. I'm terrible at measuring for recipes like this, so go with what feels right. You'll learn. ;)
While my sauce was simmering, I cooked up some sausage and some bacon. For some reason, when I cook bacon, it always ends up a little burnt. No matter what. It's like the lawn mower beginning to smoke. It just happens.
Returning to my rolled out dough, I layered on the tomato sauce and some mozzarella cheese.
Then the sausage, bacon, and tomatoes. I meant to add pepperoni, but I forgot since it got moved about to keep a certain toddler from scarfing it down.
Beginning with the edge furthest from me, I began to roll the dough lengthwise.
Using the edge of the dough, I pinched the roll together to make a seam to keep it together.
And rolled it over, seam side down.
With a pair of kitchen shears, begin cutting lengthwise starting from about a half inch from the end. You want to cut about one inch deep, as well. Mine didn't turn out as pretty as the recipe I was following partially because I did not cut deep enough.
The roll will fall apart, and that's okay. You can fix that after you finish cutting.
Now, taking each end of your roll, place them on alternate sides at the middle of the roll.
Underneath the middle of your roll, pinch the two ends together.
Let me take a step back. I would suggest that you move your roll to the baking surface before shaping it into the figure eight. It will be easier to move. Actually, maybe even move it before you cut it.
I used a large round baking stone. Let it sit and rise for about 45minutes.
While you are waiting for your loaf to rise, turn the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your loaf has risen, place it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
When your timer goes off, tent a piece of foil over your loaf in the oven. This will prevent over browning. I recommend sizing up your sheet of foil before placing the dough in the oven. Bake for another 15-20 minutes before removing your delightful concoction from the oven. If you are making both halves of dough, place the finished loaf on a cooling rack and begin baking the second one.
After your loaf has cooled for 10-15 minutes, slice and serve. My kids loved this for dinner. So did J. The next morning, J sliced some of the leftover bread, added more cheese and baked until the cheese was melted. Very nummy breakfast.
Obviously, I used a filling a bit different than the original recipe. I highly recommend experimenting with all kinds of combinations.