Il Pane Casatiello
Week 5. Well, we’re moving right along through the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread,. Are you out there baking along with me? I don’t want to be having all this fun by myself & of course gaining all this weight by myself! LOL! Although this has been a delicious adventure it really is wreaking havoc on my waistline. I really need to put myself on an exercise program to go along with this baking challenge!
Okay, back to bread…I must admit I was quite terrified when I started this challenge. I am NOT a baker. So the thought of all of this measuring and being at the mercy of yeast just frightened me. As you may know I’m a by sight & taste kind of cook. I put in my ingredients, taste & adjust. Cooking is very forgiving. Baking on the other hand, not so much. But I do find myself enjoying this immensely. Hoping my book makes it through this challenge. Already after week 5 it’s looking very worn with it’s buttery fingerprints & oil stained pages. LOL
I was particularly excited this week to be making an Italian bread. Evviva (hooray!) Okay, everyone knows by now that I’m crazy about all things Italian. So, suffice it to say I was jazzed. So before I got started on this bread I did a little research so I could give you some background.
Casatiello also known as Tortano is a savory bread from the Campania region in Italy and is typically served at Easter. This particular bread is full of symbolism (as many Italian foods are). The bread is made with meat (typically salami or pancetta) & cheese (typically Pecorino or Parmigiano) But naturally vary from family & regional recipes. The story told is that the meat represents a ritual where animals were sacrificed in exchange for fertility & the cheese represents the milk of the lamb. Sometimes the bread is baked with whole eggs. Typically it is baked in a tube pan. It is rich and heavy (dense if you will) and is a treasure trove of flavors.
Each bite you have an explosion of taste, from the meat to the flavor of the butter and the cheese pockets. Oh the glorious cheese pockets. It really is a meal in itself. It’s a rich, dense Italian version of Brioche & for the first time in this challenge this bread was baked in ONE day! Fantastic!
Have you ever had Casatiello bread?
Dry ingredients : Bread Flour (King Arthur of course ;), Salt & Sugar
Marta hard at work mixing the dry ingredients, eggs & with the sponge to form the dough
ah mixing in the buttery goodness
can’t you just smell the pancetta? mmmh I’m becoming impatient at this point LOL!
Into the mixing bowl, then she gets a small massage of olive oil & then she rests (ah the laid back life of bread)
Formed into a boule & waiting on the rise
ah she’s rising nicely…
into the cake pan & waiting on her to rise one last time before she goes into the sauna (aka oven)
ah and the wait is over!
It was perfect with my morning espresso
Sneak peak: Next week: Challah!
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