So next up was supposed to be brioche, but I wanted to skip it for the moment because I'm making spaghetti and meatballs tonight and make the casatiello instead today. As Peter Reinhart states in his book, its an Italian variation on brioche, blending the immense amounts of butter with the new additions of meat and cheese. This is sure to go well with the rich sauce that I will serve with the spaghetti!
First, I made a sponge with bread flour, instant yeast and lukewarm milk.
Let that sit and ferment for an hour or so until bubbly. While that is working it's magic, saute some Italian meat of your choice...the recipe calls for salami, but I had pepperoni, so that's what I used. Crisp it slightly then remove and let cool.
After about an hour, I took out the sponge and added to it more flour and some salt, sugar and eggs.
I mixed it until it formed a rough ball and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Now comes the interesting part. I had 3/4 cup of butter to incorporate. Following his instructions I cut it into 4 parts, and working a part at a time kneaded it into the dough, working for about 12 minutes. No pictures if this process, because I was alone and had greasy hands..haha. After the 12 minute kneading, I kneaded in the pepperoni and an equal amount of shredded provolone cheese.
Placed into an oiled bowl and let proof for 90 minutes exactly.
When the dough was done proofing, I cut it into two equal sections and folded and placed into loaf pans and let proof again for an hour. They can go up to 90 minutes, but they had crested the tops of the pans so they were done. Baked at 350 for 20 minutes, rotated pan 180 degrees and baked another 20 minutes. Thermometer read 185 so they were done. If you want a bread to make your kitchen smell delicious, this is the one! Resisting cutting into these babies was a superhuman effort, let me tell ya!
This is a view of all of the cheese and meat that are visible from the outside...beautiful!
This is a delicious loaf with a nice, moist crumb. I've gotten the picture as focused as I can, I'm still really new to food photography..as much as an adventure as the baking:
Next up will be the brioche that I skipped...I'll do that in a few days, when all of the butter in my system from this bread is worked off!