Independence Day, also known as the 4th of July, is a great holiday. Aside from it being our nation’s birthday, it is the one day of the entire year where I feel like people slow down and enjoy some of the more simple, old-fashioned pleasures of life.
Our village has a great little parade that’s route follows our street, so the whole neighborhood is currently getting their homes ready for the festivities. We are having a few friends over to watch the parade and then grill and generally be hot and lazy all day. In preparation, I made one of my family’s brunch staples, sausage bread. This is another family recipe that came through my Grandmother, but I believe that it may have originated with my dad’s Italian side of the family. It’s a variation on an Italian Easter Bread but uses pork breakfast sausage instead of an Italian variety. We have always eaten this at Christmas and Derby, but I thought it would be the perfect hearty treat to pass out to friends and neighbors while watching the parade. It’s also a great make-ahead dish that can be baked and then frozen, and makes a great gift for friends around the holidays.
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup butter
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 pound hot pork sausage
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 1 pound Swiss cheese, cubed
- 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, cubed
- 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
- 4 eggs, beaten
- fennel seed, to taste
- To make the crust, place butter, flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined
- Turn on the processor and slowly add water until dough forms a ball
- Reserve about 1/3 of the dough and set aside.
- Roll out the remaining dough on a well-floured surface and line a 13×9 baking sheet, set aside
- Brown the sausage and beef, breaking into small pieces
- Mix meat with the other filling ingredients and pour into crust
- Roll out the reserved dough and top the meat, pinch the sides to seal
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is set