Jalapeno, Sausage, and Egg Braid
Remember that really simple pizza dough that I was talking about before? Well, I’m going to let you in on a secret. Ready? Did you brace yourself? It’s not just for pizza… If you haven’t had that thunderstruck moment yet, don’t worry, you will in a few moments. I’ve been trying to figure out for ages now another excuse, er, recipe to make a bread braid.
After experiencing the magic and rapture that was the apple cream cheese braid, I wanted to make another braid, but of the savory variety. I had already brainstormed a variety of different filling combinations to try out, but I was a little uncertain about what I should do about the bread part, you see, because the dough I used in the cream cheese braids was more of the sweet sort. I was unsure how a sweetened dough would pair with savory fillings and so I kept putting off the braid making extravaganza…that is…until simple pizza dough came around.
Yes, that’s right…I used that oh so simple and so great pizza dough as the basis for my savory braid. And let me tell you, it was the culinary epiphany that I needed to drive away my cold spring blues. I had been toying around with a recipe for a breakfast braid for a while now and I figured now was as good as any time to try it out with the homemade dough…I mean why not? What says, “I’m brilliant and am culinary genius!!” more eloquently than a bright and sunny eggy bready thingie?
Who’s to say that eggs are relegated to just breakfast? If you’re anything like me, you’re not a morning person and fixing anything requiring more effort than ladling some cereal in a bowl and sloshing some milk on it is totally beyond your capabilities. So while this may have been intended as a breakfast dish, in my house, this evolved a weekday “breakfast for dinner” special. The results were delicious and just as amazing, if not more so, than if I had braved making this in the morning before my first cup of coffee.
The homemade pizza dough served as a perfect vehicle for this savory braid…it provided enough depth of flavor and texture to hold its own against the plethora of filling that I decided to throw in there…jalapenos, sausage, scrambled eggs, red peppers, and the usual suspects of my fridge raid. Enough gushing though…hurry up and go and make this! Because I know I’m going to be making this braid again this weekend, but I think this time filled with some gruyere, caramelized onions, and ham. Oh yes…the floodgates have opened…
Jalapeno, Sausage, Jack, and Egg Breakfast Braid
Adapted from Cooking Light
1 pizza crust (I used the simple pizza dough recipe but feel free to use your own or a 14oz can of refrigerated pizza dough)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 ounces your favorite chicken sausage, chopped
2-3 jalapenos, minced (seeded if you prefer less heat)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Olive oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Get your pizza dough to room temperature and roll out into approximately a 15″ x 10″ rectangle onto a baking sheet coated with a light mist of cooking spray. Sprinkle monterey jack cheese down the center of the dough lengthwise, leaving about a 2.5″ border on each side.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, sausage, and jalapenos and saute until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in eggs and cook for another 2 minutes or until set. Remove from heat and allow to cool about 5 minutes. Spoon egg mixture evenly onto pizza dough over the cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over egg mixture.
Make 2″ diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart along both sides of the dough using a very sharp knife. You’ll want about 1/2 inch gap between the dough strips and the filling. Alternating from side to side, fold the pieces in over the filling. When possible, gentle press on the tabs to seal the folds. After all of the strips have been folded over, brush the braid with egg white. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into slices and serve.