This week's Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge is is Peter Reinhart's recipe for Casatiello Bread (starting on page 129-132). If you've ever wondered what a savory brioche would be like, the Casatiello Bread would be it. The buttery dough mixed with cheeses and salami makes this a flavorful bread all on it's own. I made this bread to take to a picnic later tonight and share with friends... so it came at a perfect time!
The recipe calls for a sponge to start... which is combined with eggs and added to a mixture of more flour, salt, and sugar. The dough rests for a bit before adding softened butter and kneading in cheese and salami (although I used a blend of shredded Italian cheeses and pepperoni instead.)
The dough is then placed in an oiled bowl to rise until it doubles in size...
Instead of baking it as a boule, originally called for in the recipe, I baked mine into smaller boules shaped into muffin pans. Since I plan on bringing this to a picnic to share, I thought it would be easier to make individual boules for everyone to enjoy. So I greased the muffin cups, portioned out the dough and allowed them to proof one last time before baking.
These baked for about 15-20 minutes (which is half the time needed for the original recipe if making the boule.) The casatiello rolls are going to be perfect for the picnic without having the need for a knife. It's also great if you are only cooking for one or two people since you can freeze the rolls and use only what you need.