This is another bread that I made from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Once again, he didn’t lead me astray. This was a fantastic bread. I had actually never heard of Casatiello until I got this book, but I was almost immediately drawn to the beautiful picture. I knew that this would be a bread that David would like, so I put it at the top of my list of bread to make. This bread makes a wonderful addition to dinner and it’s great as a snack as well. Casatiello is a savory bread and Peter Reinhart describes it as “a rich, dreamy Italian elaboration of brioche.” After I made brioche for Tuesdays With Dorie, I knew that this recipe had to be good. It had a light, buttery flavor and I loved the addition of the meat and cheese. The dough was very easy to work with and the whole process went very smoothly. I would definitely make this again. I chose to make this bread with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni, which I thought was a good combination. I divided the dough in half and make two loaves.
½ cup( 2.25 ounces) bread flour
1 tablespoon (15ml) instant yeast
1 cup (236ml) whole milk or buttermilk, lukewarm (I used buttermilk)
4 ounces Italian salami (or other similar meat)
3 ½ cups (16 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon (5ml) Salt
1 tablespoon (15ml) Sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup coarsely shredded or grated provolone or other cheese (I used mozzarella)
To make the sponge, stir together the flour and yeast in a bowl. Whisk in the milk to make a pancake-like batter. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 1 hour.
While the sponge is fermenting, dice the salami into small cubes and saute it lightly in a frying pan to crisp it slightly.
Stir together the flour, salt, and sugar with a spoon. Add the eggs and the sponge until the ingredients form a coarse ball. If there is any loose flour, dribble in a small amount of water or milk to gather it into the dough. Mix for about 1 minute, then let rest for 10 minutes. Divide the butter in 4 pieces and work into dough, one piece at a time while mixing. After mixing about 4 minutes, the dough will change from sticky to tacky and eventually come off the sides of the bowl. If not, sprinkle in more flour to make it do so.
When the dough is smooth, add the meat pieces and mix until they are evenly distributed. Then gently mix in the cheese until it too is evenly distributed. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Ferment at room temperature for about 90 minutes, or until the dough increases in size by at least 1 1/2 times.
Remove the dough from the bowl and leave as 1 piece for 1 large loaf or divide into 2 pieces for smaller loaves. Bake in 1 large or 2 small loaf pans by misting the pans with spray oil, shaping the dough, and placing it in the pans. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and cover.
Proof for 60-90 minutes, or until the dough just reaches the top of the pans.
Place pans in a 350’F oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until the center of the loaves registers 185-190’F. The dough will be golden brown on top and on the sides, and the cheese will ooze out into crisp little brown pockets.
When the bread is done, remove the bread from the oven and from the pans and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.
Source: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
Filed under: Yeast Bread