What follows are three variations of filled breads adapted from the following sources: Pane di Spinaci della Nonna (Grandmother's Spinach Bread) from "Gusto Italiano" by Ursula Ferrigno; Grams Scaccia (Grandmother's Scaccia) by Lisa Calo from the June-July 2002 issue of "Italian Cooking & Living"; and My Fathers Nfigghiulata (Stuffed Bread Roll) from "Little Italy Cookbook" by David Ruggerio.
Preparation of the Dough
1 1/2 Tsp. Active Dry Yeast 1/4 Cup Water - Warm (60 ml) 1 Cup + 8 Tsp. Water (280 ml) 3 3/4 Cups Flour - all purpose unbleached (500 g.) 1 1/2 Tsp. Salt
Dissolve the yeast in warm water (60 ml) and allow it to stand for 5-10 minutes. Mix the salt (8 g) with the flour (500 g). Add the additional water (280 g) to the dissolved yeast mixture. Add the flour mixture, and mix until a shaggy mass is formed. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until it is at least double in size, approximately 1 1/2 -2 hours. (If desired, the dough may be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. In this case, shape the dough into a ball, and flatten the ball into a disk. Place the disk into a plastic bag, and set the plastic bag in the refrigerator. Remove the plastic bag from the refrigerator approximately 1 1/2 hours prior to baking. Remove the dough from the plastic bag and allow it to rest covered on the work surface. When the dough reaches an internal temperature of at least 62°F, proceed with the following instructions.)
Prepare one of the fillings and shape the bread according to the sets of instructions included below.
Prior to baking, preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a baking pan, and place the dough in the center. Allow the dough to rise in the baking pan, covered, for 30 minutes.
Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. By this time, it should be golden brown in color. Remove the filled bread from the baking pan and allow it to cool on a rack. Serve pieces of the bread reheated or at room temperature, drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
Preparation of fillings
Spinach and Olives
4 Tbl. Olive oil - Extra virgin 2 Cloves Garlic - finely chopped 1 Lb. Fresh spinach - cooked, squeezed dry and chopped [Frozen O.K.] 1/2 Cup Olives - Pitted and coarsely chopped - Kalamata are very good Q.B. Black pepper and Salt
Heat the olive oil in a large skilled over medium heat, add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is just golden in color. Add the spinach and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the olives and black pepper, to taste. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the ingredients to cool completely.
Tomato, Basil and Parmesan
2 Tbl. Olive oil - Extra virgin 4 Cloves Garlic - finely chopped 1 14 1/2 Oz. Tomatoes - chopped fine or crushed 1/2 Cup Basil, chopped coarsely 1 Cup Parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is just golden in color. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium heat until much of the liquid has evaporated. Add the Parmesan cheese, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil. The mixture will be fairly thick. Allow the mixture to cool completely before using.
Sausage and Greens
3 Tbl. Olive oil - Extra virgin 2 Cloves Garlic - sliced finely 3/4 Pounds Sausage meat, or ground turkey or chicken 3/4 Cup Broccoli - chopped 13/4 Cup Arugula or Sqiss Chard - cooked, squeezed dry and chopped 1 Cup Mozzarella cheese - sliced thinly
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the garlic and sauté until just golden in color. Add the sausage and sauté over medium high heat until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Place the sausage and garlic in a bowl and set aside. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet and sauté the greens over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until they turn a bright green. Place the greens in a bowl and set aside. When the sausage and greens have cooled completely, combine both of them in a large bowl with the mozzarella.
"Jelly Roll or Sausage"
When the dough has risen, place it on a floured work surface and stretch it into a rectangular shape approximately 1/2 inch thick. Spoon the filling onto the dough and spread it to within one inch of each of the edges. Roll the dough carefully, keeping it compact. Turn the ends of the roll under to seal them. Place the dough, seam side down, on the baking pan. Slit the top of the roll with 1/2 inch deep slits approximately 1 inch apart.
When the dough has risen, place it on a floured work surface and stretch it into a rectangular shape approximately 1/2 inch thick. Spoon 4/5ths of the filling onto the dough and spread it to within one inch of each of the edges. Fold the top and bottom edges in 2 inches toward the center of the dough. Fold the left and right edges toward the center until they barely meet. Spread the remaining filling on the surface. Fold the left side over the right side as if closing a book.
When the dough has risen, place it on a floured work surface and stretch it into a rectangular shape approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, with the shorter sides at the top and the bottom. Spoon the filling onto the center of the dough and spread it within 1 inch of the top and bottom edges and 4 inches at either side. Fold the left and right edges toward the center until they meet and seal them. Turn the top and bottom ends toward the center and seal them. Carefully lift the dough, turning it seam side down, and place it onto the baking pan.
If you wonder why there are no baking instructions here, they have been provided above.
Last updated on: 09/19/02 08:56:20 PM