Sunday, September 26, 2010
I couldn't help but be impressed with the shape and layers on this bread the first time I saw it on King Arthur Flour's blog, Baking Banter. The one on the bottom is mine, filled with sundried tomatoes, basil, and cheese. The one on the top is better -- I'm annoyed to admit -- and made by Joe. It's got the same ingredients in different proportions, plus ham and pepperoni. They're like our pizzas -- I'll scoff when he goes for the meat lover's variety, and I'll choose tomato and basil or eggplant and caramelized onion. I do love meat, just not a whole barnyard of it. But this time it just made the bread so moist and flavorful. Although this bread may look complicated, it's actually a cinch to pull off. Honest!
I'm not a fan of garlic powder, so we spread half a head of mashed roasted garlic on each bread. And in addition to the cheese blend, we added chunks of fresh mozzarella.
Pane Bianco from Baking Banter
Click here to the original post for volume measurements
4 ounces warm water
1¾ ounces sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
8 ounces warm low-fat milk
2⅜ ounces extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
25½ ounces King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 (8½-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
6 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese, divided
½ ounce chopped fresh basil
Combine the water, sugar, yeast, milk, olive oil, eggs, salt, and flour, and mix and knead (by hand, stand mixer, or bread machine) until you've made a cohesive, soft dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 5 to 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the sun-dried tomatoes; lay them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Using kitchen shears, finely chop the tomatoes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment. Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Roll one piece into a 22" x 8½" rectangle. Sprinkle on half the garlic, cheese, basil, and tomatoes.
Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal.
Place the log seam-side down on a baking sheet. Using kitchen shears, start ½" from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1" deep, to within ½" of the other end.
Keeping the cut side up, form an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8"; pinch the ends together to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.
While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the first loaf for 35 to 40 minutes. Tent the loaf with foil after 15 to 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Bake the remaining loaf.
Remove loaves from their pans; cook on racks. Store any leftovers well-wrapped, at room temperature.
Yield: 2 loaves.