The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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bottleny's picture
bottleny

I have been baking every Saturday since last December. While browsing in The Fresh Loaf, I noticed SylviaH's posts about Scali bread and decided that this would be this weekend's task.

The recipe is from King Arthur (here is their blog post). I didn't follow the exact recipe because I prefer leaner bread.

Biga:

  • AP flour 120.5g
  • Water 75 g
  • 1/4 tsp yeast (1)

Mix to form a ball, refrigerate over 24 hr and then continue at room temperature for 9 hr.

Final dough:

  • All biga
  • AP flour 241 g
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • Milk 153 g (2)
  • 1/2 Tb Olive oil (3)

Mix to form a ball. Following Sylvia's method, I did S&F three times with 30-40min apart. Shape. Rest for 1.5 hr. In the last 30 min, I brushed the egg wash (egg white + 1Tb water). Then baked at 425F, first 15 min with cover and another 15 min without.

Comments

(1) KA recipe said "pinch". I didn't know how much the pinch is. I then checked The Artisan's Bread Page and went for 1/4 tsp. breadcetera used 1/8 tsp and 12 hr. Next time I'll use 1/8 tsp

(2) I didn't have dry milk powder so I used 1% milk instead. KA's recipe calls for 157.3 g. I used less because breadcetera used only 145 g. However, after this trial, I would increase the water a little bit, maybe 160g.

(3) KA recipe uses 2 Tb, which would be too much for me. Initially just wanted to use 1 Tb but forgot the correct amount. Next time I'll use 1 Tb.

Before baking

After

It's darker than what I expected. So was the bottom. My bread didn't have smooth skin... (was like that before baking :-( )

However, the crumbs looked good. I wasn't confident in kneading. But this time it wasn't too bad.

Thoughts:

This time it took much longer than my previous baking. Therefore by the time when the bread was ready for my lunch, it's already nearly 1pm! I did my best to be patient! My bread has thicker crust than the ones you find in the supermarket, but it's not too bad. The crumbs were soft but also quite elastic. The leaner taste suited me well.

Every time my bread comes out with a dark bottom. Next time I would reduce the baking temperature by 25F.

By the way, I often see this kind of bread in the supermarket. I thoght it's called Italian Bread. Are they the same?

PS: The remaining egg wash and egg york became scrambled egg with tomato and onion for my dinner, accompanied with this bread.

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I realize that there is a certain urge here on TFL to publish only the best loaves and the best photos of them. We all want to show each other the best we can do. But in this case, I am publishing what I consider to be a failed attempt at a beautiful bread in the hope that I will learn to improve it from the comments I may receive.

I followed Andy's procedure as closely as I possibly could, except that I halved the formula. To my knowledge, I was faithful to his prescription. I used KA all purpose flour and Bob's Red Mill dark rye. Given that there is low humidity here in New York City right now, the dough seemed just a touch stiff, but it did look like Andy's pictures at each stage.

The rye was allowed to sour for 30 hours, the wheat for 15. The dough came together and was bulk fermented as called for. The dough and room temperature were 78 degrees, 26 celsius. After mechanical mixing with a stand mixer, the dough showed a good window pane. Not a very strong one, but exemplary. One fold, preshape, shape and proof also as called for, one hour in the fridge, two out. The dough seemed absolutely ready to bake.

I used my usual steaming method and oven spring was as expected, quite strong, as the profile photo shows.

The loaf sang and cracked, but it did not feel light enough. Sure enough, when I cut into it, I could tell before seeing it that the crumb wasn't going to be what I was hoping for.

What went wrong with the crumb? I mean, it's perfectly nice, and the taste is delicious, but it isn't what was wanted. nor even close to what Andy showed. Troubleshooting and constructive criticism invited.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

This is my first ever walnut loaf. I loved it! It sure pairs well with sour cheeses/spreads. toasted, it is even better! Rye flavor is enhanced after 24 hours. It is basically a 50% Rye, 50% Bread Flour.

I adhered to Hamelman's Instructions, except the High Gluten Flour. My bread Flour is 12.9% Protein, and i increased the water in the final dough due to the high absorption of my Whole Rye (Dover Farm Organic).

I used a 100% Rye starter for this recipe. The Crust was chewy, and the crumb was moist tender, with a slight sourness to it. The walnuts are a blast to have in this loaf. All in all iam quite Happy with this bread and i, God's Willing, shall bake it many times to come.

 

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

How can something so easy, take so long to complete? It seemed like I spent the entire first day simply waiting. The dough for this is really really easy, but waiting for the yeast/dough to be ready for the next steps was very painful for someone who is impatient. Really, I must have been in the mood for something a little bit more complicated to make in order to keep me hopping around the kitchen, rather than do a couple minutes work and then wait. The results were amazing though, and between me and Andy we finished them all quickly. I ate the last one this morning for breakfast, cream cheese and green olives. MMMMMMMMM!!!!

Not sure why, but I have been putting this off.  (Note:  I think I simply remember dropping them into boiling water and kept thinking how truly klutzy I am)  I like bagels, and think this sounds like a good project, but for some reason they are just not exciting me.  I will be making half a batch of regular bagels and will fry up some onions to put on top, but won't use them in the actual dough.  Really, I suppose it's not helping that my sponge has risen for 3 hours and it still isn't at that magic stage he says will happen, when you bump it into the table and it all falls down.  Sounds rather like my sourdough when it's done feeding and crying for more food.

Right after mixing together, 1252 Pacific Time.

1440 Pacific Time
 

1526 Pacific Time, at least there are quite a few bubbles and it looks like it's doubled.

and I am still waiting... Looking at my pictures, it has actually risen more than I thought it had. I am giving it another hour, then going to call it good.  This was in my oven with the light turned on, so my kitchen must have been pretty cold today,  Not really a lot I can do about that, except try to be patient.

At 1633 I decided that was enough, it never fell like he said it would, but figured if I didn't get on with this recipe I would have to make dinner around it. I got my ingredients out for the next step.

I added the yeast and stirred it in.

Then I put most of the flour in, added salt and honey.

Then I used my dough hook to mix it up, added the additional flour, and then kneaded for 6 minutes using the dough hook.  My mixer didn't seem to have any problems with this dough, in fact it didn't even get warm.

I then shaped it into a ball, and cut it into 6 pieces each 4.6 oz.

I shaped the 6 pieces into balls, the same way I would for dinner rolls.

This was followed by a rest period of 20 minutes, with a damp towel on top.

I shaped them into bagel shapes, and drank my Lemon Mint tea...

...and covered them with plastic to sit for 20 minutes.

Even putting them in the oven with the light on didn't seem to hurry them up much.

My bagels actually took an hour to get to the point they would float. I actually had a little piece of dough leftover, even though I took the dough weight, and divided by 6 to come up with 4.6 oz for each bagel. I used this little piece to do the float test, and it bounced right back up!

From BBA Bagels
All my equipment ready for the boiling and baking. You ever get rid of a pan because you think you no longer have any use for it? I actually thought that I wouldn't use my great big stock pot anymore. What an insane thought, of course I think this after the deed is done. So here I was, trying to figure out what to use and I decided on my electric skillet. I knew there were going to be some issues, but let me just say..... don't try doing this with a pan that doesn't have high sides on it. I recommend a stockpot and only filling it partway up, plenty of room for the water to splash around it.

From BBA Bagels

Lets see, I really don't like using seeds for anything, so I decided on fresh chopped onions and fried them part way done with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I really didn't put a lot of the garlic salt in, but if I had it to do over again I would not add salt to the topping at all. I don't like a lot of salt anyway, and most recipes have way more than I would use normally.  My dough had plenty in it, almost too much, so adding it to the topping ended up being way to much.  Luckily it wasn't enough to ruin the bagels though.

I sprayed olive oil onto the parchment paper, and then sprinkled semolina flour onto the surface.

Now I have to tell you, the one other time I made bagels I remember dropping them into boiling water, and it was not an easy thing to do with a stockpot. This time I pulled the cookie sheet out of the refrigerator, then I actually cut the parchment paper into little squares around each of the bagels. That made it a lot easier to slip them into the boiling water.

There has to be a better way to flip them over in that boiling water.

I probably lost some of my initial heat in the oven, simply because I forgot to take a picture before putting them into the oven. Oh well, the onions were a little hard to get to stick to the top, but they did ok.

I ended up cooking mine about 4 minutes longer than the book told me to, but they turned out really good.  For not wanting to make them in the first place, I really enjoyed them.  Much better than store bought for sure, and the crust and crumb turned out exactly like I would want a fresh bagel to taste.  Overall this was a lot of fun, and a bigger success than I thought it would be.  Still need a new BIG stock pot.....

wally's picture
wally

                                

This week I found time to come up for air and play with some of my Christmas toys, so I tried a little experimentation where I haven't been before, and also revisited familiar places where my skills can always improve.  The result is an interesting, but somewhat perplexing, apple-walnut sourdough, and more practice with croissants and my favorite poolish baguettes.

I've wanted to try an apple-walnut bread for some time, but frankly, I'm too lazy to either dry apples or buy dried apples.  So, my thought was this: why not puree an apple, make allowances for its hydration, and see what would result.  I used Hamelman's Vermont sourdough as my 'base' recipe.  To this I added a pureed Macintosh apple.  Now, according to my Google explorations, apples are about 85% water. Armed with this information, I adjusted the flour and water weights and mixed the dough, having built my levain over a 12 hour period.  The first thing I found is that even pureed, the apple has not released all of its water during the mix, so I ended up adding a small additional amount of water to reach a dough that felt right (Hamelman's Vermont sourdough is at 65% hydration, so I figure I upped it to about 68% - no big deal).

I mixed all ingredients except salt, did a 40 minute autolyse, and then added the salt and mixed for 3 minutes on speed 3 of my Hamilton Beach.  After, I added chopped walnuts and mixed on speed 1 for an additional minute.  Bulk fermentation was for 2 1/2 hours with two folds at 50 minute intervals.

The initial thing I noticed about this dough was that it was very slow in rising during the bulk fermentation.  After dividing and shaping, I left it for final proof downstairs where the temperature is a chilly 60 degrees F.  After 5 hours I was not satisfied with its progress and brought it upstairs to a more hospitable 68 degrees where it proofed for an additional 2 hours before baking.

Now, if this were simply Hamelman's Vermont sourdough both the fermentation and final proof would have been accomplished much sooner (unless I opted to retard overnight).  But with the addition of the apple and walnuts, the levain worked much, much more slowly.

The bake was fine - there was noticeable though not spectacular oven spring.  The profile, as you can see, is not bad, but not what I am used to when baking this recipe without additions.

    

Good things: instead of pieces of apple in the finished product, there are flecks of the peel and a nice, but not overwhelming flavor of apple, with some additional sweetness it brings.  The walnuts are a perfect complement.  The bread is surprisingly moist and has stayed fresh much longer than a straight sourdough.

I do wonder if there is something in the pureed apple that inhibits the levain (cue for anyone to offer opinions, or better yet, definitive answers).

Following the sourdough experiment I decided that, it being wintry and cold - outside and in my kitchen - it was a good time to revisit croissants.  Lately I've spent some time with our pastry bakers at work rolling out croissants, so I've developed some confidence in my shaping and overall in the feel, texture and thickness of the dough.  The results, shown below, were accomplished using a recipe adapted from Dan DiMuzio's excellent textbook, Bread Baking.  I laminated the dough using two single-folds and one double (book) fold.  I'm pretty pleased with the outcome and the crumb.  As with everything in baking, I'm finding that the 'secret' is pretty simple: practice, practice, practice.

    

Finally, I wanted to bake something for my friends at my local pub (which also supplies me with Sir Galahad flour in 50# bags), so I did a bake of poolish baguettes taken from Hamelman's recipe.  I've tweaked his to up the 68% hydration slightly via the poolish, but when I did the poolish mix last night, his recipe was closer to me than my spreadsheet, so this is straight from Bread.  I like it particularly because it demonstrates the openness of crumb that's attainable with a hydration that is not overly high.

I'm including a picture below of the ripened poolish for the benefit of anyone who is not familiar with what this should look like.  What I'd like to call attention to are the small rivulets of bubbles that have formed, displacing for the most part larger bubbles that dominate under-ripened poolishes. (And actually, this could have ripened for probably another 20 minutes or so, but my schedule pronounced it 'done' - and in any event I'd prefer a slightly under-ripened poolish to an over-ripened one).

Here are the 10 oz 17" baguettes (mini baguettes really) that emerged from my new FibraMent baking stone after 23 minutes at a temp of about 450 degrees F.

    

Aside from the few slices shown here, the rest was quickly devoured by patrons and kitchen staff at the Old Brogue Irish Pub.

    

Larry

 

 

varda's picture
varda

Today was another snowday, so I again canceled a variety of plans to stay home with my son.   Amazing how nicely baking bread fits into that routine.   I had already planned to bake, but had no idea how I was going to fit it in, since I always manage to be out of the house at the exact moment that some essential step has to happen.   No such worries today.   I made Hamelman's 5 grain sourdough for the first time, as well as yet another iteration on my own elusive sourdough.  Actually I made Hamelman's 5 minus 1 plus replacements sourdough.  Since I don't like sunflower seeds, I upped the flax seeds and oats.  I don't have cracked rye (or know what it is) and had just bought a tiny bag of wheat berries, having no idea what to do with them, so I threw them into a coffee grinder and gave them a whirl, and voila - cracked something.   The resulting bread is just awesomely tasty.   Only after I tasted it did I run to this site and search, and see how them as come before me have raved about it.   Absolutely delicious, and compared to what I've been trying to make lately, like a walk in the park.   What other jewels is Hamelman hiding up his sleeve?   Not that he has any duds as far as I can tell.  But some are better than others, and this is just amazing.  

and rye and white sourdoughs side by side:

Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

 

I Love Lavash!  I love this video! I love their team-work and syncrinization. I love their skill and precision.  I Love this music.

 

Does anyone know the words to this song?

 

Watch on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uY54Jy1lDA

proth5's picture
proth5

 

Despite the advice of my graduate school advisor- "Rules are for suckers" (an attitude which I have always thought accounted for the number of indictments among those who went to the Dear Old Place) I have always been the kind of person who tries to follow the rules.

So when (shameless plug coming) the Bread Baker's Guild of America (BBGA) tells me that soakers should be "hydration neutral" - I'll do my best to comply. This week's bake however left me wondering about glib statements and vowing that some teacher in some class in the hopefully near future will be faced down with unrelenting questions about what the heck that means and how does one achieve it.

So it seems I have tipped my hand that I have included another soaker in my formula for panned bread.

In what can be considered a daring move for me, I also included a pre ferment (Varying two things at a time - oh! the horror!). True to my nature, I agonized about just what kind of pre ferment to include. I just knew that a touch of levain would add depth to the flavor of the bread, but I thought long and hard about the general tone I have sensed on these pages that one must use levain to produce great bread. I continue to hold on to my belief that commercial yeast can still make great breads, but when push came to shove I realized that I have plenty of starter just hanging about the house waiting to be put to use, and it was foolish not to do it. Not that I wanted a pure levain bread - but a little bit couldn't hurt. As an offset to this I did lower the yeast content.

But first, on to the soaker. I had some wheat bran in the house from an earlier milling run. Always mindful of folks' desire to get a little more "roughage" in the diet in painless ways, I was thinking about the bran - which could be re-milled to powdery softness and maybe - put in a soaker! How to determine "hydration neutral"? I thought that I had a method for that - just put a measured amount of water to the bran and then the next morning strain out the water and voila - hydration neutral!

I was alarmed when the bran/water mixture became more a slurry than anything else but assumed (and you know what that makes of you and me) that in the morning the bran would settle to the bottom and all would be well.

Meanwhile, I mixed up the pre ferment, which I made at 60% hydration so as not to use up too much of the water that would be poured over the oatmeal. I only wanted a touch of flavor, so I settled on 5% of the flour in the pre ferment (which is somewhat in line with what I have been using in my lean hybrid breads.) And so - to sleep, perchance to - oh, you know.

Next morning full of the optimism that a warm and sunny day in the Mile High City always inspires in me, I confronted my bran soaker (well, the first thing - and I do mean the very first thing - I did when hitting the kitchen was to heed the words of "my teacher" who told us that we need to invoke our "baker's instinct" and always check the pre ferments upon entering "the bakery") which had, indeed, not settled out into any kind of distinct layers, but sat in the bowl as the same slurry it was the night before. As I poured it into my finest sieve, little water came out and it remained in the sieve as a quivering, gelatinous mass - not dripping water, but distinctly moist. Hydration neutral my clavicle.  Nothing to do but mix it in and see what happened.

What happened was a gloppy mess in the bowl of my precioussss. I've seen slack doughs in my life, but this was beyond that. I added measured amounts of flour until it became a soft, sticky dough.

Of course, we are not supposed to do this. Why? Anyone? Bueller? That's right. Because we add other ingredients as percents of the flour and greatly adjusting the amount of flour will throw off the balance of the formula. But in my defense, this is formula development - not a final bread to be sold to customers. The formula presented below shows amounts against my adjusted amount of flour.

I have considered (and rejected) doing an intensive mix for this bread to up the volume (although the volume is certainly acceptable). I've had the opportunity to taste what intensive mix will do to baguettes and while this bread is deriving plenty of flavor and color from the molasses, I still wanted to preserve the wheat flavor by not mixing intensively. Although I do consider that I am being chicken hearted with my mixing times with some other products...

After a fold, the dough behaved very well and was shaped/proofed and baked.

How was the bread? I was right about the levain - it added depth of flavor without making the bread sour. The bran was invisible and did not interfere with the rise at all, nor did it seem to taste of anything. I'm not sure the bran was worth the effort and I'll be removing that from the next iteration (Bran Soaker, please pack your knives and go!). The levain will move forward, although I'm considering how that might morph next week.

Still no pictures this week. I am doing a little work with the doctors at "the place" about why I hate photography so much and perhaps next week. But the loaves were brown little loaves - fine crumb.

In the meantime, here's the formula that I used just so the record is complete. It isn't bad - it's just that the bran soaker was more trouble than it was worth.  This doesn't have all the cool color codes of the BBGA formula format, but the actual data is in the correct format.  Don't be too distressed by the baker's percentages - they are actually calculated as they should be and are correct, but may be just slightly different than others you have seen.

Because I haven't converted the oatmeal solution to a proper soaker (since apparently I don't know how), there is a bit of variation with boiling water (for the oatmeal) and levain water being two separate water measurements.

If you are baking this bread - do NOT use the "Total Dough" column to mix or weigh anything.  Use the "soaker" area to weigh/mix for the soaker, the levain area to weigh/mix the levain, and the final dough area to weigh/mix your final dough.  This is similar to, but not identical to the usage of columns in "Bread, etc".  Be careful.  I have a little quip about this, but it is too rude for TFL. 

Total Dough Wt

 

72.414

oz

 

 

 

Percent of flour in Levain

0.05

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

Total Dough

 

 

Soaker

 

 

Levain

 

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

%

Wt

UOM

%

Wt

UOM

%

WT

UOM

Ingredients

Wt

UOM

Total Flour

 

27

oz

 

 

oz

100%

1.35

oz

Total Flour

25.65

oz

KA AP Flour

100%

27

oz

 

 

oz

100%

1.35

oz

KA AP Flour

25.65

oz

Levain Water

3%

0.81

 

 

 

oz

60%

0.81

oz

Levain Water

0

oz

Rolled Oats

17%

4.59

oz

 

 

oz

 

 

 

Rolled Oats

4.59

oz

Steel Cut Oats

11%

2.97

oz

 

 

oz

 

 

 

Steel Cut Oats

2.97

oz

Boiling water

74%

19.98

oz

 

 

oz

 

 

 

Boiling water

19.98

oz

Shortening(leaf lard)

3%

0.81

oz

 

 

oz

 

 

 

Shortening(leaf lard)

0.81

oz

Molasses

11%

2.97

oz

 

 

oz

 

 

 

Molasses

2.97

oz

Milk Powder

4%

1.08

oz

 

 

oz

 

 

 

Milk Powder

1.08

oz

Salt

3%

0.756

oz

 

 

oz

 

 

 

Salt

0.756

oz

Yeast

1%

0.162

oz

 

 

oz

 

 

 

Yeast

0.162

oz

Bran

4%

1.08

oz

100%

1.08

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soaker Water

37%

9.99

oz

100%

9.99

oz

 

 

 

Soaker

11.07

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed

1%

0.216

oz

 

 

 

16%

0.216

oz

Levain

2.376

oz

Totals

268%

72.414

oz

200%

11.07

oz

176%

2.376

oz

 

72.414

 

 

Combine the two types of oats, boiling water, milk powder and shortening.  Allow to cool to lukewarm. 

Add the salt, molasses, yeast, levain, soaker, and flour.  Mix 5 minutes on the single speed of the spiral mixer. Or use your preferred method of mixing.

Let rise until doubled - 2 hours at cool room temperature.  Fold.  Let rise again - about 2 hours at cool room temperature. 

Shape and place in greased pans.  Proof (1 hour) and bake at 375F for 40 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool on a rack.

Until next time - Happy Baking!

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

With all this talk on the forum about miche lately, I've been itching to give it a try.  So when the excellent dmsnyder posted the formula for the miche he made in the SFBI Artisan II workshop, I decided that the time was now and the bread should be here!

I followed the very nicely written formula at the link, using a small amount of whole wheat flour in the Levain and toasted wheat germ in the final build, as I've no good source for high-extraction whole wheat flour.  I made the levain with 25% whole wheat flour, 75% KAF AP (and my starter had been fed the same mix), to get approximately 3.33% whole wheat in the final dough (it actually ends up being a bit more, but I didn't worry about it).

I must say, this is an excellent formula, and an excellent bread.  Incredible oven spring.  Wonderful alliterative potential too: My massive mighty miche makes mastication memorable.

Anyway, pictures:

From the top

 

Another external view

 

Miriam meets miche

 

Not a bad crumb either.

 

We sliced it 7 hours after it came out of the oven.  Lovely flavor and texture, lots of character.  Looking forward to snacking on the remaining three quarters of a loaf  I'd definitely make it again, although unlike dmsnyder, the notion of upgrading to a 2kg loaf sounds intimidating!  If nothing else, there's no way that would fit in my poor little banetons.  I guess there's always the "napkin in a bowl" trick, eh?

em120392's picture
em120392

Hey guys! Here's my post about Casatiello, an enriched bread with cheese and meat. I'm doing the BBA Challenge for a project in my high school. My brother and I share a blog (he's going to start writing soon) where we document our journey through the Bread Baker's Apprentice. Here's the link: http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/

 

Casatiello, a Neapolitan Easter bread, is also known as Tortano in other parts of Italy. The word casatiello is derived from the Neapolitan word for "cheese." Casatiello is enriched bread, much like brioche, with the addition of cured meat and cheeses. Traditionally, Italians add salami and pecorino-romano and/or provolone cheeses.

Like many other breads, casatiello has religious significance. The rising dough represents the resurrection of Christ on Easter. The traditional circular shape represents Christ's crown, and the eggs on top signify His rebirth.

To incorporate the meat and cheese, Reinhart kneads in these additions. However, while researching other recipes, they call for the dough to be rolled out flat, sprinkled with meat and cheese, and rolled up like a sandwich loaf. The traditional casatiello is topped with raw eggs, covered with dough crosses. When baked, the eggs atop the casatiello are similar to hard-boiled eggs. Reinhart bakes his bread in tall mold, like a coffee can, lined with a paper bag. However, many traditional recipes call for the dough being shaped in ring and baked in a tube pan.

In comparison to many of Reinhart's recipes, this bread can be made in one day, rather than retarding overnight. However, he does use a sponge to add more flavor to his bread. I began by mixing flour and yeast, which I added warm milk to. I let this ferment for about an hour, until it collapsed when tapped the bowl.

Meanwhile, I shredded some provolone cheese, and diced some salami. I sautéed the salami for a few minutes, and it rendered some fat and became slightly crispy.


Next, I mixed flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of my Kitchen Aid. Next, I added eggs and the sponge to the flour mixture, and mixed until it became a ball. After resting a few minutes, (known as autolyse), I added ¾ cup of room temperature butter in 4 additions. The dough was sticky and soft, and I kneaded it for about 5 minutes until it became slightly tacky and smooth.

I sprinkled the meat over the dough, and tried to knead it in the mixer. However, the salami just whizzed around the bowl, so I decided to knead by hand. After the meat was incorporated, I added the cheese, which mixed in much easier than the meat. I let the mixed dough rest for about an hour and a half, for the first rise.

Since I didn't have coffee tins, and I didn't want to stray from Reinhart's recipe, I chose to bake the casatiello in two loaf pans. I shaped it like I would sandwich bread- I flattened it into a rectangle and rolled it into a tight cylinder. Remembering my mishap while shaping the brioche, I made sure to seal these loaves extra tight. After being shaped, I let the dough rise for the final time for about 90 minutes.

The loaves baked in a 350 degree oven until they were golden brown, and the insides reached about 190 degrees. Unlike the brioche, they were not glazed, but the top was speckled with dark bits of cheese.


When I cut into the loaf, I could see the bits of melted cheese, which made this cool, web-like structure in the bread. Maybe because I'm not a fan of cured meats is the reason that I didn't really find this bread to my liking. Although I liked the rich and soft texture of the bread, I didn't like the bits of salami. I probably should have cubed the meat finer, so it was more evenly distributed. I made this bread with my mentor, Mr. Esteban, in mind. He does not like sweet breads and casatiello is the epitome of the savory kind he would enjoy.

Esposito, Mary Ann. "Neapolitan Stuffed Easter Bread/Neopolitan Casatiello." Ciao Italia. PBS, 2011. Web. 18 Jan 2011. <http://www.ciaoitalia.com/>.

Reinhart, Peter. The Bread Baker's Apprentice. 1st ed. . New York, New York: Ten Speed Press, 2001.129-132. Print.

 

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