Bread of country tradition, sausage bread was the more rustic type of Italian bread with high nutritional content that was made in many rural villages over the period of the traditional killing of the pigs.
It was made with a mixture of rye flour and wheat flour enriched with "ciccioli" (pork cracklings , often fried in a pan or roasted on fire), called in some dialect "frizze."
This type of Italian bread is now produced in a more modern and pleasing version: the focaccia or rustic roll with sausage.
The flatbread sausage typically originates from the famous Neapolitan pizza with "friarielli", a dish of humble origins but very tasty. The "friarielli" are fried turnip greens, that is broccoli with just developed inflorescences.
In Italy, this food was famed, especially in Southern Italy in times of poverty and famine, because people had pork and had vegetables, making a good single dish. In Naples, turnip greens are washed first, and then, all wet, they jump in the oil, giving rise to one of the more creative dishes of Neapolitan cuisine which constitute essential complement of pig meat, "salame" or sausage.
The dough is simple: as well as the pizza, it's a mix made of flour, water, salt, olive oil and yeast.
During Easter, several variations of Sausage bread are produced, which are more like a "salty flaky brioche", being basic food for picnics and outdoor walks. So milk, sugar, butter and eggs are often added to the classic ingredients, to give it a sweet taste than the savory one of meat and stuffing.
Obviously broccoli can be replaced with other types of vegetables, and it's great for dinner as a single dish or as an appetizer for parties and birthdays.
Instead of rye flour, the integral one may be used or doing a mix of more flours (for example, in the salty brioche, a mix of white flour and Manitoba one can be used to have a more porous dough). It can also be flavored outside with a brushed of egg yolk of Parmigiano cheese, spices or herbs such as rosemary, garlic and oregano, enhancing all the flavors of Mediterranean products.
There are various types of fillings: often it can be stuffed as well as a pizza roll (then adding tomato, mozzarella and cheese), while in other cases, in addition to vegetables, boiled eggs or other types of meats (ham or raw) can be added, together with waste of the grated cheese.
In the province of Rome, Sausage bread is made using the lard (pork fat) instead of butter or oil, which makes the bread more flavorful and fragrant, mixed with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and pieces of salame.
So, it's now time to get down to work and use a good amount of creativity, looking for the right pairings between sausage and other ingredients!