#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected]
I almost didn’t play along with this month’s Bread Bakers theme, yeasty flat breads. Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy a yeasty flatbread, but last month, my bread sort of looked like flat bread since I stuffed and pressed it, and a few months ago, I made some Kashmiri Naan that was a yeasty flat bread. But, as I was looking through all the participants’ breads, I saw all sorts of breads from all over the world, some I’d heard of and others I hadn’t, and nowhere did I spy pizza, my most favoritest yeasty flatbread of all. Probably.
Sausage Gravy Pizza (with Peppers and Onions)
Having decided at the eleventh hour that I was in, I figured I’d better come up with something a bit out of the ordinary. When I realized I had some breakfast sausage that needed a job, I decided to make sausage gravy pizza. Many pizzas I’ve seen that use sausage gravy as the sauce are specifically breakfast pizzas: sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, cheese. And while that sounds fantastic and I wouldn’t surreptitiously feed it to the cats, I took my cue from a hoagie: sausage with peppers and onions. Since I was using bulk sausage and not big links, and since I was making gravy anyway, I didn’t need to be too literal with my interpretation, so I used sweet peppers and spring onions to complete the sausage-pepper-onion trifecta.
As good as the toppings are, the star of the show is really the crust. After all, as far as I’m concerned the crust should be the star of a pizza. While I really like Peter Reinhart’s standard high-hydration pizza dough, I have become a loyal fan of the dough recipe in Revolutionary Pizza (affiliate link). When I first made it for a cookbook review awhile ago, I admit I was skeptical. It’s a relatively low hydration dough. It has sugar in it. Sugar! And just the merest touch of olive oil. Never mind all of that, though. Once I tasted it, it quickly became my new favorite. Please try it. I think you will agree that it’s a great combination of crisp and chewy, and the sugar gives it that little bit of encouragement it needs to char in places on the bottom, even though my oven only goes up to 500F.
Scroll down for my Sausage Gravy Pizza, but first take a look at all the diverse offerings the Bread Bakers have in store for you this month!
Yeasty Flatbreads for Bread Bakers
- Chickpea Moroccan Bread by Food Lust People Love
- Emirati Khameer by The Schizo Chef
- Focaccia by Simply Veggies
- Garlic Naan by Seduce Your Tastebuds
- Grilled Bacon Onion Cheese Flatbread (Flammkuchen) by Magnolia Days
- Grilled Naan by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Homemade Naan by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Hönökaka – Swedish Flatbread by Passion Kneaded
- Kesra – Moroccan Flatbread by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Man’oushe – Lebanese Flatbread by A Shaggy Dough Story
- Margherita-Style Grilled Flatbread by Cali’s Cuisine
- Orange Herb Pitas by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Paneer Kulcha by I Camp in my Kitchen
- Roghni Roti by Sneha’s Recipe
- Sausage Gravy Pizza with Peppers and Onions by Pastry Chef Online
- Simple Pita Bread by A Baker’s House
- Spelt Biskers by What Smells So Good?
- Tigelle – Italian Flat Bread by Cooking Club
- Whole Wheat Pita Bread by G’Gina’s Kitchenette
- Za’atar & Cheese Manakish – Levantine Flatbread by Ruchik Randhap
- Za’atar Spiced Khobez by Cook’s Hideout
Great line-up, right? I hope you go and visit everyone!
And now, for my Sausage Gravy Pizza. Enjoy!
For the Crust (makes 2)
- 252 grams cold water, (I ended up using 1 extra teaspoon for a total of 257. Play it by ear, but 252 will get you very close)
- 20 grams kosher salt
- 25 grams sugar
- 15 grams extra virgin olive oil
- 6 grams active dry yeast
- 420 grams high gluten flour, (I used King Arthur Bread Flour)
- Equal parts cornmeal and flour for rolling and shaping, , probably 2-3 Tablespoons of each
For the Sausage Gravy
- 4 oz (1/4 pound) bulk breakfast sausage
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage, (or poultry seasoning)
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- a touch of kosher salt, , to taste--the sausage is plenty salty, so go easy
- a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, , to taste
- 1/2 cup whole milk, (or 2%)
To Finish and Bake
- 2 Tablespoons butter, , melted
- 3 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, , divided use
- 5-6 small, , sweet peppers, washed and cut into thin rings
- 1 small bunch green onions, , washed. You will use some of the white part and some of the green
For the Crust
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the water, salt, sugar and yeast really well.
- Whisk in the oil and then immediately dump in the flour.
- With the dough hook, mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test. The dough will be just barely sticky and will both clear the sides and bottom of the bowl during kneading.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal portions (my entire batch weighed 727 grams, so I scaled my dough at 363/4 grams.
- Knead each piece a few times on the counter, folding it in on itself in several directions in preparation for working it into a ball.
- With the smooth side of the dough up, cup your hands around it and let the friction of the counter help you pull the skin taut, shaping each piece into a lovely, smooth round.
- Spray with some oil and cover right where they sit. Let rise for at least two hours.
- After 2 hours, refrigerate one piece (or both). You will only need one round of dough for this pizza. If you do refrigerate the dough, make sure to let it come up to room temperature before shaping and topping.
For the Sausage Gravy
- Brown the sausage in a heavy-bottomed skillet.
- Drain the sausage in a colander set over a bowl to catch excess fat. You do want to keep about 1-2 Tablespoons of the fat for the roux, though,.
- Return the drained sausage along with 1-2 Tablespoons of the fat
- Season with the sage or poultry seasoning, a light pinch of salt and as much pepper as you like.
- Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat until the mixture is bubbly, about 2 minutes or so.
- Pour in the milk and let mixture come to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let gravy come to room temperature before spreading on the dough. If you refrigerate the gravy, it will firm up, so stir in enough milk to make it easily spreadable, maybe 1-2 Tablespoons.
To Finish and Bake
- Preheat the oven to as high as it will go. Mine goes to 500F. Place a rack in the bottom position and put your stone on the rack. Place another rack in the middle position. Preheat for a good 45 minutes.
- The dough is really easy to work with. Sprinkle some of the flour/cornmeal onto your work surface and a bit more on top of the round of dough. Gently stretch it out into a large circle or oval with thin center and a slightly thicker rim--whatever fits on your stone (if you don't have a baking stone or baking steel, stack 2-3 cookie sheets together or bakes smaller pies in a cast iron skillet. You want enough mass that it will hold the heat).
- If you have a peel, use that. I don't, so I use the back of a cookie sheet. Regardless, sprinkle some flour/cornmeal on whatever you're using as a peel, and place the stretched dough on it. Make sure it slides easily.
- Slide the naked dough onto the hot stone and bake for 4 minutes. It will bubble up in some places, but that's okay.
- When the time is up, pull the naked, par-baked pizza out. Brush the melted butter all over the outside edges of the pizza. This is optional, but you should totally do it.
- Spread the sausage gravy evenly over the pizza, leaving about 1/2"-1" clear all around.
- Sprinkle on about half the cheese followed by the pepper rings and 2-3 Tablespoons of diced green onions (the white and light green parts).
- Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes. (**See Note below)
- Remove the pizza again and top with the rest of the cheese.
- Bake for another minute on the bottom rack and then broil for a minute or two on the middle rack. (Move the pizza, stone and all if it's not too heavy. If it is, use the peel to transfer the pizza to the middle shelf, stone-free.)
- Remove the pizza from the oven to a rack to cool a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with some more diced green onions (the green part this time), slice and serve.
**If it seems fussy to pull the pizza out and then put it back in multiple times, this is the best way I know to ensure a crisp crust, some crusty cheese and some melty cheese with no burned toppings. Trust me on this.
If you’ve never considered using sausage gravy as pizza sauce, consider it now a part of your arsenal. And if you’ve never made the crust from Revolutionary Pizza, it is worth making. It’s a gorgeous dough that’s a dream to work with and chars nicely on a hot pizza stone even in a home oven.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s Bread Bakers challenge. So many yeasty flatbreads! Thank you Mireille of The Schizo Chef for coming up with such a great theme!
And thank all of you for taking the time to read today. I appreciate your time.
What’s your favorite pizza or flatbread? Sound off in the comments, and have a lovely day.