Recently, King Arthur Flour (KAF) announced their first Bakealong challenge beginning in the month of August. I have never participated in challenges, contests or such but this one I felt could be fun, at least for a month anyways! Click on the following link if you are interested in participating http://www.kingarthurflour.com/bakealong/. Even if you don’t want to join the challenge, please make this bread as you will not be disappointed.
This Italian bread is an inside-out stuffed bread filled with a cheese blend, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. The bread is so uniquely shaped making for an impressive presentation. I get a little intimidated with some of the breads I’ve seen, fancy lame cuts and different shapes but not with this bread as it’s so easy to achieve this shape.
By the way it is delicious and we liked it plain or dipped in extra virgin olive oil. If you want a seasoned dipping oil go here: Two Dipping Oils for Ciabatta or Focaccia
This recipe originally came from Dianna Wara and KAF simplified the recipe a bit but kept its prize winning qualities.
Pane Bianco Bakealong Challenge #1
- 3 cups unbleached bread flour (or all-purpose and cut the water back to 1/4 cup) divided, save 1/2 cup to mix in when you are kneading the bread
- 1-1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
- 1/3 cup lukewarm water
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
There are 3 ways you can mix and knead your bread. Combine the ingredients in the bucket of your bread machine and set it on the dough cycle. You can also use your stand mixer with the dough hook until you get a smooth, very soft dough. My bread machine is small so I chose to mix it in a bowl and knead it by hand on a board as I prefer to feel the dough with my hands anyways.
I kneaded it for about 3-4 minutes, let it rest briefly, kneaded another 3-4 minutes and then kneaded an additional 2 minutes. The dough is soft and beautiful to work with. Once it is very smooth place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let it rise in a warm area for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it’s doubled in size.
I put the bread in my oven with the light on, boiled a pan of water, placed it under the dough and closed the oven door. If you have an 8-cup measure this works perfectly so you can see when it has doubled. Don’t let it rise too much or the bread could lose its shape. My home is air-conditioned and even though it is at a comfortable 75°F I felt the dough could use a little boost.
- 3/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese (I used 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/4 cup Mozarella and 1/4 cup Asiago)
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried Roma tomatoes, thoroughly drained, dab with a scott towel too, and chopped using your kitchen shears
- 3-6 garlic cloves, minced (I always go for the higher amount as I love garlic)
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped using your kitchen shears
Gently deflate the dough, let rest for 10 minutes or so, roll and pat it into a 22″ x 8-1/2″ rectangle. A silicone rolling mat with marked measurements is a big help here and I just happened to have one!
Spread first with the cheese, then the chopped tomatoes, followed by minced garlic and chopped basil. They say it’s best to use Roma tomatoes as there are not so many seeds and you get more “meat”. You could make your own sun-dried tomatoes but I did not grow enough to do that. The filling may seem sparse but too much can lead to a misshapen loaf.
Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way and pinch the seam and edges to seal. Turn the log seam side down on your working area, in my case my mat. The log is too long to put on the baking sheet now.
Using your kitchen shears, start 1/2″ from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1″ deep (but not all the way through) to within 1/2″ of the other end.
Keeping the cut side up, form an “S” shape and carefully place on the prepared baking sheet. Tuck both ends under the center of the “S” to form a “figure 8,” pinch the ends together to seal. I cut through a little bit more and opened it up so more goodies were evident.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled, 45 to 60 minutes. Here again I put a pan of hot water under the baking sheet holding the dough to aid in rising. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Uncover the bread and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent over-browning. Sprinkle with some fresh basil if desired.
Recipe by cooking with aunt juju
I will be linking this yummy bread to Fiesta Friday #133.