Sunday, November 15, 2009

BBA Challenge Bread #5 Casatiello

I made this bread from Peter Reinhart's book using his recommended ingredients of pepperoni and provolone cheese.  I bought sharp provolone for the extra flavor.  I also used buttermilk because Reinhart mentioned that was his preference for the extra tang it gives.  I cut the pepperoni in small cubes and shredded the cheese using the larger holes on my grater.  The pile of pepperoni looked like too much for the fairly small amount of dough I had.  I almost decided to cut the amount in half, but I decided to trust the recipe.  The dough was a pleasure to work with--I had no problems with it.  I wanted to use an 8-inch cake pan, which the recipe gave as one of the choices.  The way I read it, it sounded like I would use only one pan.  When I put the dough in, it looked like it filled the pan even before I proofed it a final time. 

I considered making it in 2 small loaf pans, but I left it in the cake pan.  It puffed up like a mushroom cloud!

We laughed and laughed at it and worried just a little that it might overflow the little pan.  It didn't.  It came out perfectly!

The outside was brown and chewy and the inside was so soft--it pulled apart in rich, tender strands with the tang of buttermilk and cheese and the bites of flavor from pepperoni.  Next time I would add about 1/2 again the amount of pepperoni.  It seemed to have migrated to the crust and was sparse inside the bread.

Notice the big holes where cheese melted.  I love this bread and will definitely make it again with meat and cheese and, another time, with fruits and nuts.  I'm wondering if it would make a good chocolate bread with dried sour cherries. 

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