3 cups bread flour
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1 packet (. 25 ounces) instant yeast
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
8 ounces sliced thin Genoa salami
8 ounces sliced thin smoked mozzarella cheese
8 ounces sliced thin provolone cheese
1/3 cup fresh basil, torn
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Sea salt and pepper
For the dough: Mix the warm water and sugar to dissolve. Then add yeast package and let sit until foamy -- about 10 minutes.
In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, add flour with a pinch of salt, then add olive oil and yeast/water mixture. Mix until it comes to a ball, and knead for about 5 minutes.
Oil a glass bowl, and add dough and turn to coat. Cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 1½ hours until it's doubled in size.
Punch dough down and let sit for about 15 minutes to relax it. Then roll dough out on a floured surface into an oval about 22 inches long and 12 inches wide.
To assemble: Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Layer meat, cheese and basil lengthwise down the center of the dough up to 6 inches wide and almost to the edges. Fold short end flaps over the filling by about 1 inch. Then cut strips at 1-inch intervals along the long sides of the dough; bring the strips together over the filling, crisscrossing in the middle like a braid, with some of the filling peaking out
For the topping: In a medium bowl, add the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, and salt and pepper. Sprinkle over braided bread. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and transfer the bread to oiled tray/pan; cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes.
Remove plastic wrap and bake 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves eight to 10.