Monday, July 13, 2009

BBA - Casatiello

If you've ever wanted to learn how to bake bread but thought you couldn't master it, you need to check out The Bread Baker's Apprentice. This wonderful book has a wide variety of breads organized from A-Z. We started with anadama and now we're on casatiello.

Casatiello is an Italian bread with added richness. Traditionally made with salami and cheese, I opted for just cheese (I used Emmenthal). I was delighted that this recipe is a one day prep, unlike many of the breads in the book. With M. newly home from a quick trip to China, I knew that homemade bread would make the turkey sandwich I planned for lunch extra delicious.

It feels weird, but the preparation of this bread was unexciting--no measuring snafus, explosive rising or confusion on my part. After adding the flour and eggs to the sponge, the mixture is beaten for a minute before resting and then adding the softened butter. While this dough isn't enriched as much as the brioche, it definitely has its share of fat. Since I wasn't using the salami, I increased the cheese to 1 1/4 cups of coarsely shredded Emmental. It rose rapidly, and I split it between an 8x4 loaf pan and an 8" round cake pan. It smelled wonderful in the oven, and it was done after a total of 35 minutes in the oven.

My 8" round cake pan isn't nonstick, and since the cheese migrates to the surface, I did have some sticking with that one. Next time, if I use this pan, I'll oil the pan instead of using cooking spray.

Once again we didn't wait the full hour before cutting into this one. I mean, warm cheese bread, who can resist?

As much as we loved the brioche, we loved the casatiello more. Much more. It made turkey sandwiches extra special, paired well with a lentil chili I made earlier in the week and was just plain delicious by itself. Where the brioche was almost like eating cake, we most enjoyed the casatiello as we stole pieces through the day.

I will defintely make this one again, and I'd like to try an olive oil version. I'll also cut some of the cheese in julienne instead of shredding it. The shredded cheese disappeared into the bread, and I'd like to have some small cheesy pockets.


Tracey said...

You are really making some amazing progress since you started using yeast just recently! Your bread looks terrific!

Sara said...

What a great idea to make a loaf to use for sandwiches.

You really aren't taking any prisoners with this bread baking :) I am so happy for you that you no longer fear the yeast.


Cakelaw said...

Yum, this looks delicious Leslie! I have this book, but haven't made anything form it yet.

Anonymous said...

Your castiello looks delicious. I loved it and probably should make it again. An all-cheese one sounds delicious.

Audrey said...

I loved this too, especially since it was such a light bread given all the cheesy flavor. I shredded my cheese, and tho I got flavor I didn't get melty cheesy I think dicing is a great idea.

I'm REALLY looking forward to ciabatta, byut it will be nice to stop for challah along the way.

And yikes? How do you make a 'quick' trip to China? :)

Pamela said... looks phenomenal!

Kayte said...

We waited 45 minutes and could stand it no longer with the delicious aroma wafting about. Yours looks lovely and I enjoyed seeing the shapes you made. My next go at this is sandwich buns...are you on Twitter, want to join a few of us when we do them? Cheesy pockets are good...Di put sundried tomatoes in hers, too, and that sounded good!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Cheesy pockets are like hitting the jackpot! Your bread is so pretty, like you've been turning out yeast bread all your life. I'll bet this was great with turkey sandwiches, and with lentil chili? Perfect.

Di said...

That looks wonderful! All cheese sounds great to me. I did some of my cheese in small cubes, and it was definitely more noticeable in the bread.

TeaLady said...

That looks wonderful. Love cheese bread for sandwiches and this looks perfect.