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Sausage Cheese Braid

Meet the Cook: My husband and I have three married daughters, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren - and they all like this. It's good for a snack anytime, too. -Christena Weed, Levant, Kansas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, 1 egg, butter and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink; drain and set aside to cool.
  • Punch the dough down; divide in half. On a floured surface, roll each half into a 14x12-in. rectangle. Cut each one into three 14x4-in. strips. Combine cheese and sausage; spoon 1/2 cup down the center of each strip. Bring long edges together over filling; pinch to seal.
  • Place three strips with seam side down on greased baking sheets. Braid strips together; secure ends. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Beat remaining egg and brush over loaves. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 185 calories, 8g fat (4g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 327mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.
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