Recipe: italian sausage pizza monkey bread
It keeps snowing over here. Our snowpack is inching ever closer to the average, which is pretty exciting. We have sunny bluebird days the rest of the week and then HELLO, chance of snow at the start of next week. Right on. It’s ALL GOOD in my book. I’m in that mood – I could trail run, ski, ride in the mud, whatever. April has been a hella busy and exhausting month. My short hair and I are ready for May.
skiing the backcountry trails after a big storm
then there was another storm
kaweah prefers her walkies in the snow
Rest assured, as long as there is snow on the ground, I am still running the oven. I’m not on pinterest much at all except to piece together ideas for a few projects. I figure it’s best for me to avoid spending (wasting) more time on the computer and it really seems as if the majority of recipes on pinterest call for jello, food coloring, cake mixes, and Pillsbury refrigerated biscuit dough. That scares me. But the monkey bread idea was something one could unscarify if you made it all from scratch. Most of the monkey bread recipes I saw were of the sweet variety, but I wanted savory (of course). So that’s what I did.
pizza dough, mozzarella, italian sausage, garlic, butter, mushrooms, spinach
melt the butter and garlic together
grease the pan with the garlic butter
I found a recipe for pizza bites that originally came from my friend, Annie, and decided to keep the pizza theme, but alter the ingredients a tad. I wanted vegetables like spinach and mushrooms and figured it would be great with some Italian sausage. Obviously, you could make this vegetarian by giving the sausage the boot.
chop the mushrooms
cook the mushrooms with the browned sausage
mix with the cooked spinach
cut the mozzarella
What’s great is that much of this can be prepped ahead of time, like the filling. And I am still in love with this olive oil pizza dough from Zoe’s book. We make a bucket of it and have dough at the ready all the time. For this recipe, I weighed out two pounds of dough. To get 48 balls of dough, they need to weigh 2/3 ounce each. This is why a kitchen scale is so handy. If you don’t have one, I urge you to get one and make your life that much easier.
divvy the dough into little balls and flatten them
stuff the dough with goodies
wrap the dough into a neat little ball
Because I’m OCD, I had to make sure each and every ball of dough was completely sealed, spherical, and without holes. You know, each little ball has its boundaries and all. I didn’t want anyone gettin’ all up in someone else’s business. Once you have sealed a dough ball, brush it with the garlic butter and place it in the bundt pan. I know it seems obvious, but I’m just going to say it anyway – distribute the balls in the pan evenly.
brush with golden garlicky butter
everyone looks so happy
Some of the balls (which become amorphous blobs, but delicious amorphous blobs!) will spring leaks and ooze cheese during the baking process. That isn’t such a bad thing. Serve it on the hot side of warm because, you know, the oozing of the cheese (aka the cheeoozing). Heat up a good pizza sauce for dipping and there will be happy mmm mmm mmm noises emanating from the mouths of your family, friends, or guests. I stepped away for a moment and Jeremy had already devoured three amorphous blobs. When I came back into the kitchen, he mumbled, “These are so good!” as he stuffed the fourth into his pie hole. They really are glorious little nuggety snacks.
this is serious
Italian Sausage Pizza Monkey Bread
based on this recipe
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsps butter
1/2 lb. Italian sausage (bulk and raw)
1/4 lb. crimini mushrooms, chopped
2 tsps vegetable or canola oil
1/2 lb. fresh spinach
pinch salt to taste
2 lbs. pizza dough (I used this olive oil pizza dough)
6 oz. mozzarella, cut into 48 pieces
2 cups pizza sauce for dipping
Place the garlic and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the garlic begins to brown, remove the pan from the heat. Brush a bundt or tube pan with some of the garlic butter and set aside. Brown the Italian sausage in a sauté pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté until cooked (if the sausage is lean, then you can add a little vegetable oil to help cook the mushrooms). Remove the sausage and mushrooms to a bowl. Heat the vegetable oil in the same sauté pan that you used for the sausage and mushrooms. Add the spinach when the oil is hot. Sprinkle salt to taste over the spinach and sauté until the spinach is wilted. Add the spinach to the sausage and mushrooms and mix together.
Pinch off 2/3-ounce lobes of pizza dough which should give you 48 balls of dough. You can do this as you go or you can pinch them all off in one go. If you do the latter, cover the dough balls with a damp cloth or paper towel to prevent them from drying out. Flatten a dough ball into a 3-inch diameter round. Place a tablespoon of filling and a piece of the mozzarella in the center of the dough (or less if it won’t all fit). Wrap the dough around the filling, pinching the ends together to seal the ball. Brush the ball with the garlic butter and place it in the bundt pan. Repeat for all of the balls of dough, distributing the balls evenly in the pan. Cover the pan and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F about 10 minutes before the rise is done. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Invert the monkey bread onto a plate. Serve with heated pizza sauce for dipping. Makes 48 delectable pizza balls.
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