Italian Lasagna Bread
This Italian Lasagna Bread is a fun crossover between bread and pasta! Crispy like flatbread on the outside, chewy like pasta on the inside…and 100% delicious!
Robbie: Ah, it’s a bear!
Robbie: Right there. Behind you!
Sometimes the bear is a friendly bear. Sometimes the bear is a mean bear. Either way, you never quite know when the bear is going to show up in our house. This is entirely make-believe, of course. We don’t actually have bears living in our house. Instead, we have a 3-year-old with a very active imagination. Oh, and speaking of imagination, sometimes the bear shows up with his friends Lion and Crocodile. (Don’t worry…they’re almost always friendly lions and friendly crocodiles.)
This past Christmas, my sister decided to play up the bear angle. She sent me a pair of oven mitts that look like bear paws! I just busted out laughing when I opened that gift. Now those bear paw mitts hang near the stove in the kitchen. (Truthfully, I think I use them more in playing with Robbie than I do for actually taking things out of the oven.) However, I did use those mitts to reach in and pull this delicious Italian Lasagna Bread out of the oven…with my “bear hands,” of course!
Italian Lasagna Bread
What exactly is Italian Lasagna Bread? It’s actually really cool! Pasta is traditionally made out of durum semolina flour. Semolina is made from a type of wheat called ‘durum wheat,’ and it’s a bit courser than traditional flour. In fact, it often has a bit of a golden color, so it looks like a cross between cornmeal and regular wheat flour. Semolina is most commonly used to make pasta as the high gluten count in semolina helps pasta hold its shape once cooked.
To make this Italian Lasagna Bread (called Scaccia in Italian), you simply make a dough out of semolina flour. That dough rests for a bit and then gets rolled out into a huge rectangle. Add fillings, fold it up, add some more fillings, fold it up some more and then tuck the whole thing in a bread pan. Here comes the fun part though: the top layer gets crispy while baking but the middle layers stay soft…and you would swear the middle layers are pasta. In a way, they kinda are pasta. After all, that semolina dough is the base for making pasta. Talk about a fun recipe!
I kept this version of Scaccia fairly classic in terms of ingredients. Tomato sauce, ricotta, provolone and spinach. You could certainly add cooked Italian sausage, sauteed eggplant or any other combination of your favorite lasagna fillings. This is just a different and unique way to serve a favorite Italian comfort food!
One interesting note is that this bread is often made with caciocavallo cheese. Caciocavallo is a stretched-curd cheese common in southern Italy. I’m sure there are Italian markets or specialty cheese shops that sell caciocavallo. I just couldn’t find ’em. I did make one stop at a specialty store here in town, but no luck. I just used additional provolone cheese to replace the missing caciocavallo, and it worked just fine.
If you’re a fan of baking and pasta, then this Italian Lasagna Bread needs to be on your baking list. Just don’t let the bear catch you when you go to take this bread out of the oven! (Unless it’s a friendly bear. In that case, you have nothing to worry about.) Cheers!
Did you make this Italian Lasagna Bread at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
Looking for more fun Italian recipes? Check out these other favorites:
Spaghetti with White Wine Pasta Sauce
Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pasta Bake
Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Prosciutto and Pea Pasta Salad
Italian Lasagna Bread
For the Dough
- ¾ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- ½ cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
For the Sauce
- 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp Italian seasonings
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup basil leaves chopped
For the Filling
- 6 oz. whole milk ricotta
- 4 oz. caciocavallo cheese grated (see note)
- 3 oz. provolone cheese grated
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp Italian seasonings
For the Dough
- Using the bowl for an electric mixer, add sugar, yeast and water; stir until well combined. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Add semolina flour, olive oil and salt; mix on low speed until mixture comes together into a dough.
- Increase speed to medium-low and mix for 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
For the Sauce
- Using a small saucepan, add olive oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add tomato sauce, sugar, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper; stir until well combined. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil leaves; set sauce aside.
For the Filling
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Line a 9”x5” loaf pan with parchment paper; set pan aside.
- Transfer dough onto a well-floured surface. Roll dough into a 26”x18” rectangle. (Note: Dough will be very thin.)
- With one of the longer sides facing you, imagine the dough is divided into 3 long rectangles. Spread half of the sauce down the middle third of the dough. Sprinkle half of the ricotta, caciocavallo and provolone cheeses on top of the sauce. Finally, sprinkle half of the spinach on top of the cheeses.
- Fold the top and bottom thirds of the dough over so that they overlap in the center.
- Spread the remaining sauce over the left two-thirds of the dough. Sprinkle remaining cheeses and spinach on top of the sauce.
- Fold the right third of the dough (unsauced portion) back on top of the sauce. Fold the left third of the dough (sauced) on top. Finally fold the entire dough in half crosswise and place into prepared loaf pan.
- Using a small bowl, combine olive oil and Italian seasonings. Brush this mixture on top of the dough.
- Bake for 60 minutes. (Tip: Tent the top with foil after 40 minutes to prevent burning.)
- Remove the bread from the oven and place inverted onto a cooling rack. Remove the loaf pan and parchment paper. Let cool upside-down for 15 minutes. Flip bread over and let cool for at least 15 more minutes before slicing.
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Love those bear paw mitts! I’ll bet Robbie loves them too! I also love this lasagna bread. What a brilliant idea. It’s a meal in a loaf! Great tip about tenting the loaf with foil part way through cooking. This bread would get pretty crispy on the outside without it. Looks delish!
Oh, half the time the bear paw mitts aren’t on the rack because Robbie took ’em off somewhere to play with them…and didn’t bring them back! Haha. This bread is seriously a fun recipe, Kathy. The semolina bakes crispy on top but basically turns into pasta in the center. It’s delicious…and really unique, too! Hope you had a great weekend, my friend!
Hi David! This looks complicated to make, but you explain it so that it is not! This would be a real show stopper at a party! I like that you can swap out ingredients for whatever you want. I’m definitely going to give this a try! Have a woderful weekend!
I agree with you, Dorothy. The photo looks complicated, but it’s really just a huge piece of dough that’s rolled up and folded back and forth. Not too bad at all! And it’s really unique. The top gets all nice and crispy while the middle portion tastes like pasta. It’s definitely a different recipe that will leave folks talking about it! We did indeed have a good weekend here. Did a bit of yardwork (cleaning up branches and such) and then took Robbie to see the Easter Bunny. (He was less than amused by him…haha!) Hope you and Gary had a great weekend, too! 🙂
Ok, so, firstly bread meets pasta? Um, you genius, you!! Secondly, the bear thing is HILARIOUS! I love it! You guys must have lots of chuckles with that one.
This bread is just in time for Friday night eats…..who am i kidding? This would be awesome any day and would disappear so so fast in our home. Can’t wait to try 🙂
Yes, this really is bread meets pasta! It’s basically carbs in all their glory! 🙂 But it really is a fun recipe to make and serve…and the bear paw mitts just add to the fun. Thanks, Dawn!
This may be my favourite recipe of yours yet! I LOVE it! I have never seen anything like it, which makes me very excited – plus, it basically contains all of my favourite ingredients, so I know I am going to love it. YUM!
Wow, that’s such a complement! Thank you so much, Alexandra! This “bread” really is quite unique. The top gets wonderfully crispy while the center portion baked up into pasta. It’s fun to make and even more fun to serve! 🙂
I’ve seen stuffed breads before but this is so different. It looks fantastic.
This really is a unique recipe, Karen…and it’s delicious! I love how the center of the bread basically turns into pasta. 🙂
OMG This is SO cool, David. I love recipes that involve rolling and/or layering, and this one has both. So unique and sounds absolutely delicious! (And very cute bear claws.) 🙂
Same here, Valentina! I love making stuffed breads and such, and this recipe is totally along the same alley. It’s really cool how the center portion basically bakes into pasta while the top gets nice and crispy. Delicious! (And it tastes better when you remove it from the oven using bear claws. Proven fact. Haha!) 🙂
David, Scaccia is a lunch special at an Italian joint a town over and a fav of mine for sure. But, I’ve never made it. Don’t know why just never made it. Now, I’m inspired, it’s on my “Must Make” board as of now.
Very cool bear hot pad mitts. Are they from the same sister that gave you the jammies with feet? If so I starting to see a pattern. She must be an older sister.
Great post and one I bet you enjoyed making. Have you ever tried Lángos?
Yes! Definitely put Scaccia on your list of things to make at home. If you love baking bread, then you’ll enjoy this project. 🙂
Also, yes, those bear paws are indeed from the same sister who sends me footie pajamas. However, she’s a younger sister. We both have a quirky sense of humor, though, so it works well.
Also, I’m not familiar with Langos…I’m going to google that one right now!!
Interesting! It’s a stuffed bread, that’s kind of a lasagne? I know a lady in this house who would go wild for this! I’d need those bear mitt gloves to chase her away to stop her eating it all! 🙂
Exactly! That’s a great description for this one, Neil. Stuffed lasagna bread. It’s crispy on the top, but it tastes like lasagna in the middle. Totally delicious! And, yes, a pair of those bear claw mitts would be really helpful for keeping unwanted visitors out of the kitchen! Haha.
David, I hadn’t heard of scaccia before but it’s so cool! Bread and pasta in one – awesome! It looks so delicious!
The bear mitts are so cute! It’d be so fun chasing Robbie around the house in them! 🙂
I agree, Kelly! Scaccia is a unique recipe for sure. I love baking bread, so I had a blast making this recipe. It’s cool how you roll/fold it up, and the result is a bunch of really awesome layers of deliciousness! 🙂
Also, chasing Robbie with bear mitts is a regular occurrence around this house. Haha!
Hahaha! Robbie’s imaginary bear friends and over-active imagination remind me of Lil S’s – we used to walk our dog in this neighborhood that was under construction – the roads were there but nothing else other than pipes poking out of the ground and tree stumps everywhere – Lil S named one of those Stumps “Valkerie” and pretended Valkerie was the vulture guardian of “Narnin” and guess what narnia was – yup – that abandoned under construction neighborhood! 🙂
Dude – this layered lasagna bread is EPIC! I bet you don’t have leftovers of this often …cos if you did, my drone will make it’s way up there 🙂
Haha! That’s awesome that Lil S explored Narnia back in the day. I bet you hadn’t thought about those walks in quite some time, huh? 🙂
Also, this lasagna bread is amazing! I had a blast making this one…partly because it’s so fun to roll and fold and fold and roll. Haha! Thanks, Shashi!
Lasagna bread, where have you been all my life? I can’t wait to make this.
Definitely make this, Jeff! I found it fun to make (lots of rolling and folding), and then it’s delicious to eat, too. Happy baking, my friend!
OMG! A real bear would have scarfed this up fast! I know I sure would! (Also been meaning to thank you for the link to the TIME LIFE book a while back. I don’t know where time goes, but yet that is the book my mom cooked from!)
Haha! You are totally right, Abbe. A real bear would’ve polished this lasagna bread off in no time…and probably the oven mitts, too. 🙂
Wait…is that really the TIME LIFE book that your Mom cooked from!? I’d be stunned if we actually found it!!
Ohhh david, Came back on blogging after a break. I am slowly checking what I have missed during those days and your recipesssss- goodness 🙂
now, I want to make a confession here. I never had lasagna bread before and even heard about this too. In india, we do have that baked super cheesy lasagna but inform of bread is totally a new thing 🙂
saving this recipe.
Welcome back, Priya! I hope the blogging break was nice and relaxing! 🙂 I appreciate the kind words about my site here. You are too kind, my friend! So I had never had lasagna bread either until I stumbled across a recipe. It’s super unique! The semolina flour bakes into pasta in the center, but it gets nice and crispy up on top. It’s delicious! Thank you for stopping by!
this looks like a really fun recipe and very tasty too. yum… cheers sherry