Pane Bianco Bakealong Challenge #1

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 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


1-DSC_9703 1-DSC_9706   1-DSC_9709 1-DSC_9712  1-DSC_9724 1-DSC_9699-001


I will be linking this yummy bread to Fiesta Friday #133.

48 thoughts on “Pane Bianco Bakealong Challenge #1

  1. Wow, Judi, this is one fabulous looking loaf of bread! I love stuffed breads and the ingredients you used must offer incredible flavors. It is gorgeous to look at too. I imagine paired with a good olive oil, it’s a delicious mid day snack! (Never heard of this KAF challenge…sounds like the perfect motivation to bake away!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Nancy – it’s really delicious, like a pizza!!! I just heard about the KAF challenge – everyone makes the same bread and posts it (I have not figured out how to do that yet). I don’t make homemade bread often but this recipe just sounded too good not to make it. This is the first month of the #bakealong and I bet you would enjoy making and eating it too 🙂 I wanted to share with bloggers now (instead of waiting until this Fri. to post on FF)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I KNOW I would enjoy baking and eating this bread! Especially if it tastes like pizza…white pizza is my favorite so this white bread is right up my alley! I imagine it could be served with a marinara for dipping to keep the sauce lovers in my house happy too.

        Thanks for providing my Saturday baking project. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marinara sauce would be delicious too Nancy. I hope you have a chance to make it and your family enjoys it. I’m anxious to see what bread they will choose for September 🙂 I do love KAF and have been a customer (shopping and recipes) for a very long time…


  2. Ohohoh! I bookmarked this recipe because I REALLY wanted to try the challenge for myself. It looks like it turned out beautifully for you! Awesome job ma’am 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks – I hope you make it soon Jess – it’s definitely worth it and very rewarding. Sounds like Nancy might! I posted this early so other bloggers would be aware of KAF’s challenge. I was real happy with my results especially after viewing all of the other bloggers who have posted their versions. You have until the end of August I guess and then KAF will post a new recipe for challenge #2 in September 🙂


  3. What a beautiful bread, Judi! It must taste amazing with all those ingredients in it. I am not a bread baker, but you make it sound like I could possibly do this one. It would be fun to try!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Shari – it’s a delicious stuffed bread that says summer, especially if you make your own sun-dried tomatoes. It’s really pretty easy, just need to be patient and read through all the directions. Room temp ingredients, enough kneading time and rising and the recipe will not disappoint you 🙂


    • Thanks so much Fae – we sure did enjoy eating this bread 🙂 No voting system as this challenge is just for fun, to make it and shape it like an “S”. I succeeded and I’m proud of what I accomplished, considering I don’t bake bread like this very often. It just sounded too good not to try 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How beautiful Judi and it’s great that you found this bake challenge on KAF. I have them come up on my FB feed, but I haven’t seen this challenge. Those wonderful Italian ingredients must lend a satisfying loaf when out of the oven. There’s nothing quite like fresh herbs and home made! This year I have Thai basil growing in my backyard too. I just wish that basil would last a bit longer compared to the other herbs. I do freeze it in olive oil and in an ice cube tray for the winter months. Great recipe, wonderful looking loaf!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Loretta – I get emails from KAF as I am not on Facebook. Funny you did not read about the challenge, as Facebook is where KAF wants you to post pictures of your bread. Since I am not on Facebook they asked me to send the pics in an email. Blogging and making recipes is just fun for me. I agree 100% about basil – I always grow the regular and Thai too and try to preserve it like you. Basil is the first to get nipped unfortunately!


    • Thanks Sarah – I did just do it for fun and it was perfect for me anyways! KAF probably has 1,000’s of followers so I am sure there were a lot of bread pictures posted on Facebook 🙂 I’m anxious to see what bread they pick for Sept. and I might just make it too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #134 - Fiesta Friday

  6. Rainy last of the monsoon storms weekend. Wondering what to bake this morning. I do not have a bread machine, but the idea of trying this gorgeous stuffed bread is irresistible. A challenge! Beautiful post. Thank you. 🐞


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