After going vegan, I never thought I'd be able to enjoy my mom's delicious pork bread.
It’s a sesame seed-covered warm loaf of awesomeness, filled with a savory fennel-infused swirl that brings me back to my childhood. Everyone who has had the original recipe has raved about it.
But I wondered if I could duplicate it vegan-style. The people at Field Roast have made that possible. They’ve created an Italian sausage that tastes just like the one my mom used to make her signature dish. There are a lot of imitation meats out there and I don’t usually use them in my recipes, but Field Roast’s product is exceptional. It’s about as authentic tasting as it gets. I didn’t have to add any additional spices to this sausage because it tasted exactly like my mother’s. Since I am 100 percent Italian, I do feel like a bit of an authority on the subject! I’m just thrilled that no piggies were harmed in the making of this “pork” bread.
My twin sister helped me give the original recipe a makeover since she has made it multiple times. She told me the secret was letting the dough rise twice and she was right. The new version tastes exactly like the real thing. My girlfriend walked into my house just after I took it out of the oven. She grabbed a wedge of the bread, dunked it in the marinara sauce and gave me a look that let me know it was fab-u-lous! She said she would have never guessed it was vegan.
So, now it’s yours to enjoy. It takes a little bit of time to create because I did make the dough from scratch. You can purchase pre-made pizza dough to make this easier, but if you don’t have access to it, here’s the old-school way of making it. .Enjoy!
- 1.5 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon organic cane sugar
- 1/2 envelope instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 T. olive oil (plus an additional few teaspoons used in preparing the bread)
- 3/4 c. water (110 degrees F – this is important – if it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast and we vegans don’t like to kill anything, besides the yeast never did anything to you…)
- 4 links of of Field Roast brand sausage, Italian Flavor (click the link to find a retailer in your area that carries this brand). There are six links to a package so you’ll have some extra.
- 1- 24 ounce jar marinara sauce (my favorite is Barilla brand tomato and basil)
- 1 T. raw sesame seeds
- Fresh Basil (optional garnish)
Mix 1.5 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Blend by hand or preferably with an electronic mixer using a dough hook. Add the warm water and oil and mix until a dough ball forms. if the dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it pulls away from the side of the bowl and the ball forms easily.
Use the extra olive oil to oil the inside of a glass bowl. Form the dough into a ball with your hands and rub oil on it. Place in the glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for forty minutes in a location that is warm or room temperature. The dough will double in size.
Remove the field roast sausage links from their plastic wraps. The plastic is just like the casing of a regular sausage. Crumble the sausages with your hands until they are broken down into small pieces, resembling ground beef. Pat the crumbles thoroughly to remove any excess moisture or liquid. Allow to sit at room temperature. Do not use while the mixture is still cold from the refrigerator because it will prevent the dough from rising the second time.
After removing the dough from the bowl, roll it onto a floured table or board. Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness into a rectangular form. The dough should be about 18″ x 13″ in dimension.
Spread the crumbled, room-temperature Field Roast on the dough evenly, covering as much of the dough’s surface as possible, all the way to the ends. Start rolling the dough from the longer side toward the opposite side, just like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls. Keep the roll fairly tight and when you reach the end, seal the edge of the flap onto the long cylinder you have just formed. Then go to the small end of the cylinder and start rolling it inward toward the opposite end. You will be rolling it into a circular loaf of bread. When done, you’ll have a round loaf that has a swirl in the middle (it will look like a giant cinnamon roll.).
Lightly rub olive oil onto the dough and put back in the large bowl, covering with a dishcloth for another 40 minutes. Leave in a warm or room-temperature location. It will rise slightly the second time.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a cookie sheet. Brush with additional olive oil and sprinkle 1 T. of sesame seeds on the top. Bake on the middle rack for 40-45 minutes until the top starts to brown.
Cut into six equal wedges and serve each wedge with 1/2 cup of heated marinara sauce.