The amounts are not written in stone. You only need one layer of each ingredient. I was able to get fresh basket cheese in Connecticut where I grew up. However, in the last two places that I have lived I could not find it. So, I improvised. I used ricotta cheese with an egg mixed in to bind it somewhat. Not quite as good as the basket cheese but it worked. You will get a "feel" for the recipe as you make it. The most difficult step is not getting the dough too soft with the lard so as not to tear it when placing it in the pan. This makes a huge pan. It can be frozen very nicely. And given as Easter gifts. I have also adapted it to a loaf pan which worked well. I have served this as an hors d'oeuvres or as a lunch.
- Bread Dough:
- 3lb dough divided - a 2lb piece for the bottom and 1lb piece for the top
- 1/2 lb lard, preferrably, or Crisco
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 lb fresh, basket cheese, sliced 1/4" thick
- 1lb mozarella, sliced 1/4" thick
- 1 stick abruzzi sausage, sliced 1/4" thick
- 1lb fresh Italian sausage, sliced 1/4" thick
- 1lb ham, sliced 1/4" thick
- 10 eggs(12 if small)beaten with some grated parmesan & salt & pepper to taste
To make the dough:
Flatten each piece of the dough on a floured board or table. Randomly place a pieces of lard(about a tablespoon each)on the dough. Grind the fresh black pepper all over the surface. Knead the lard and pepper into the dough. As you get to a dry spot add a little more lard and pepper and knead it in. As to how much lard you actually use is a judgement call. You do not want the lard to overtake the dough; but rather, to add flavor.
Place the dough in a lightly greased pan, cover & let rise til double in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
You will need a large pan (13 X 9 X 2). Roll, stretch & work the 2lb piece of dough into a rectangle that is larger than the pan. Place it in the bottom of the pan, working it with your hands to bring it up the sides of the pan & over the edge about an inch. Work gently so as not to tear the dough or you will lose the egg mixture.
Starting with one of the meats, begin arranging alternating layers of the meats & cheeses until all are used. Pour the egg mixture over the top, while gently letting it trickle to the bottom of the pan.
Roll, stretch & flatten the 1lb piece of dough so that it will fit across the entire top of the pan. Fold the bottom dough over the top piece & seal by squeezing & pressing together. Again, take care not to tear the dough.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the oven to 350 & bake for 1 3/4 hrs. Cool to room temperature before cutting. Can be served cold from the refrigerator or gently warmed in the oven or microwave.
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Source: Family Recipe
Submitted By: Linda Yoo