Do you know what croutes are? According to the French they are a pastry case, or a crust. My husband found this recipe, and requested that I make it. I am not sure he really knew what it was, but he saw it had a sausage filling, and that was enough for him. Turns out they are kind of like a savory hand pie. You can fill them with anything that you want!
I decided to put an Italian twist on mine. I filled the croutes with sausage, ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, and some Parmesan. I know how my family likes to dip things in a sauce, so serving with with a little marinara sauce on the side seemed like the perfect idea. My guys loved these. My 8 year old ate 3 of them, and asked when I would be making them again.
You could really fill these with anything. The original recipe called for sausage, swiss cheese, horseradish, and mustard. There was also an all cheese version. You could fill them with roasted veggies, or ground beef and cheddar cheese. Really, the possibilities are endless. The recipe makes 30 croutes, we ate about half of them, and I froze the rest. You can just bring them to room temperature, and bake them in the oven to reheat and get them crisp again. Croutes would make fun appetizers at a party too.
- 1 cup water (120-130F)
- ½ cup butter, softed
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbls sugar
- 3½ cups bread flour
- 2¼ tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast
- 1 pound Italian sausage, browned and drained
- 1¼ cup Mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup Ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- In the bowl for an electric mixer, combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add softened butter, and hot water. Mix with a paddle attachment until well combined (a couple minutes). Slowly add the remaining flour. Once the dough comes together, switch to a dough hook and continue on low speed for 5-7 minutes. Note - If you don't have a mixer, just knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 to 7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in lightly oiled bowl. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe. About an hour.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling. In a bowl mix together cooked sausage with the rest of the ingredients. Stir until everything is mixed together. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Once the dough is ready, turn onto a floured surface, and punch it down. Divide into 6 pieces. Then divide each of those pieces into 5. You will have a total of 30 balls of dough (they will be about the size of a golf ball).
- Pat or roll each ball into a 4 inch circle. Fill with 1-2 Tbls of filling. Fold the circle in half and press to seal the edges. Use a fork to make sure everything is sealed tightly. Place on a greased or silpat lined baking sheet. Brush the top with the beaten egg.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with a side of marinara sauce for dipping
*Red Star Yeast has compensated me for the use of my photos on their site