casatiello – neapolitan easter bread
Todays Bread Recipe is from London Personal Trainer Right Path Fitness
- 12g (4 ½ tsps) active dry yeast
- 20g (4 tsps) sugar
- 300g (1 ¼ cups) warm water
- 4 large egg yolks
- 300g (about 2 ½ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6.5g (1 ¼ tsps) salt
- 4 large eggs
- 120g (½ cup, plus 1 ½ tbsp) sugar
- 6.5g (1 ⅓ tsps) salt
- 550g (About 4 ¼ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 250g (2 sticks, plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 60g (2 oz) pecorino romano cheese, grated*
- 60g (2 oz) Parmigiano Reggiano, grated*
- 30g (1 oz) Gruyere cheese, grated*
- 50g (2 oz) provolone, diced*
- 100g (3 ½ oz) Milano salami, diced*
- 5g (1 tsp) coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- To make the sponge, in a medium bowl, add the water, then stir in the yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk in the egg yolks and remaining 3 tsps of sugar, then add the flour and mix until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 45 minutes to an hour. It will be very puffy.
- To make the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, sugar and salt and mix with the paddle attachment. Then add in all of the sponge and continue mixing until blended.
- Add all of the flour and mix until you have a rough mass, then add the butter in chunks and continue mixing with the paddle until you have a shaggy dough.
- Add in the three grated cheeses and mix until roughly blended.
- Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 4 minutes at medium . The dough should be elastic and somewhat smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or container (I recommend a 6 qt. Cambro so you can keep track of the rise), cover tightly and set aside until the dough has nearly tripled (see Notes regarding rise time).
- After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and pat into a large rectangle about 3/4″ thick.
- Sprinkle half of the provolone and half of the salami over the top and half the pepper, pat in gently, then do a letter fold (thirds), pat the dough into a rectangle again, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, salami and pepper and fold in third once more. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes to fully incorporate the cheese and salami.
- Cut the dough in half, then shape each half into a taut round. Place each round in a buttered 2-qt. baking pan (paper panettone bakers work really well). The container should be half full. Cover and set aside to rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F. Whisk an egg white and brush the top of each loaf. Bake for about 45 minutes until the internal temperature is 190°F. (The top should be dark and mahogany colored but cover with foil if it looks like it’s browning too quickly.) Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
The recipe calls for a first rise of about 1 1/2 hours, to which I say HA! Mine took just over four hours to triple in volume and that was in my proofer with the temperature cranked up to 80°. It’s such a rich dough that I’m not surprised but don’t get discouraged if yours takes a long time too.
*You can pretty much use any combination of cheeses and meats you like. I couldn’t find Milano salami so I used a dry Italian salami instead. I would also use more next time because one can never have enough salami (I definitely thought these loaves could have used a bit more.)
As much as we all love warm bread fresh from the oven, I’d recommend letting this bread cool fully before eating. I ate a slice (okay, 3 slices) while it was still warm and couldn’t really taste the cheese. Once the bread was cooled, the cheesy flavor was much more pronounced.