BBA Challenge: Casatiello

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The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart

The next brioche in the BBA Challenge was an Italian variation, a casatiello, which is usually made with some type of cured meat and cheese. Reinhart suggests a good melting cheese such as Swiss, Gouda, Cheddar or any of their variations. For meats he suggests salami, pepperoni, bacon, pancetta, chorizo, or sausage. I chose some applewood smoked ham and provolone, two flavors I like together.

The bread starts with a quick sponge, followed by mixing and two risings. Casatiello is traditionally baked in paper bags or panettone molds, though I used a tall round 8-inch cake pan, which worked well. The bread was popular with my family, so much so that Monkey Boy took a huge hunk out of it while it sat cooling on the wire rack. We liked the slightly salty flavor of the ham and the Provolone melted just right. Even after a day the flavor was still present.

Thanks as always to Nicole of Pinch My Salt for organizing the BBA Challenge! For more bread inspiration, check out the BBA Challenge photos in the BBA Challenge Flickr photo group.

[Update: The Washington Post ran a story about online cooking clubs “Too Many Cooks? No Such Thing” featuring the BBA Challenge and included one of my photos of the casatiello.]

Andrea's Recipes - BBA Challenge: Casatiello, sponge

Andrea's Recipes - BBA Challenge: Casatiello, dough

Andrea's Recipes - BBA Challenge: Casatiello, rising

Andrea's Recipes - BBA Challenge: Casatiello

Andrea's Recipes - BBA Challenge: Casatiello

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  1. says

    I loved this bread. I found myself surprised, because I didn’t really *expect* to like it but it was so unique, moist and flavorful. Not to mention HUGE. I think I still have some in the freezer and I made mine a few weeks ago.

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