Bacon, Cheddar and Carmelized onion Casatiello


I made this wonderful bread this weekend to take to an SCA event and received many compliments.  It's a variation on Peter Reinhart's Casatiello recipe, except instead of using provolone and salami, I used bacon, shredded sharp cheddar and carmelized onions.  These were kneaded in the last 6 minutes, each seperately, at the end of the kneading cycle.  I baked this on parchment paper in the ring of a 9 in springform pan with the bottom removed.  Fabulous! I was glad to have something nice to share...

Casatiello

By: Peter Reinhart in The Bread Baker's Apprentice
 
Sponge
1/2 cup (2.3 oz) bread flour
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 cup buttermilk 
 
Dough
3 1/2 cups (16 oz) bread flour 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened and divided in 4 pieces
6 oz shredded cheddar
6 oz bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1 large onion, diced and carmelized in butter. 

Directions
  1. Combine the sponge ingredients in a non-reactive mixing bowl, blending thoroughly. Cover and allow to rest 1 hour.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the 16 oz bread flour, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour in the sponge mixture and the eggs and mix well on low-medium speed until the dough forms a coarse, shaggy ball.
  4. Continue mixing for 1-2 minutes longer, then turn off the mixer and allow the dough to relax for 15 minutes.
  5. On low speed, begin working the butter into the dough one piece at a time. The dough will be very soft.
  6. Continue beating dough until smooth and velvety, about 12-13 minutes, and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Use the dough hook if you have one and add the cheese, bacon and onions one at a time staggered at 2 minute intervals over the last 6 minutes.
  7. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and allow to rise 90 minutes. The dough will easily triple.
  8. Deflate the dough and shape into a boule. Place in a 9" springform tin that has been lightly greased.
  9. Cover and allow to rise again 45-60 minutes, until it rises over the top of the pan.
  10. Preheat oven to 450F and move the oven rack to the lowest position.
  11. Bake 20 minutes, then rotate pan 180 degrees and bake 25 minutes longer.
  12. Remove from the pan immediately and cool completely on a wire rack.

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