Saturday, 13 June 2009

Casatiello: BBA Challenge

It's Day 5 of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge! Five breads down...only 38 more to go! Woohoo!

Today we're making Casatiello! Casatiello is an Italian bread similar in shape to Pannetone, but it's filled with savory meat (usually salami) and cheese rather than candied fruit and nuts. It can also be made with bacon bits, different types of fresh or cured sausage, or with nonmeat substitutes. A few of the other bakers in the challenge are vegetarians so they used non meat substitutes.

I have to say that I really wasn't too keen on making this bread. I usually like to put meat and cheese on bread or between slices of bread, not in it! However, in the spirit of the challenge, I vowed to make it, albeit with a few substitutes. I'm not partial to salami so I decided to substitute pepperoni. I also decided to use an Italian blend of shredded cheeses (mozzarella, smoke-flavored provolone, Romano, Parmesan, Fontina and Asiago) rather than just provolone. Mostly because this is what they had at the grocery store. I'm trying to be as true to the recipes in the challenge as possible but still be practical about the whole thing. I've already got a freezer full of bread in my garage so I didn't want to make anything we wouldn't eat!

Now, after saying all that, I really had fun with this recipe. Funny how that works! Since I didn't think I would like it anyway, I was a little more creative with the ingredients. I thought my sons would be the ones that liked it, but I was wrong. I liked it and they didn't...Go figure!

Here's what my Casatiello looks like!

The casatiello can be baked in 1 large or two small loaf pans, or a no. 10 can or a coffee can (with paper lunch bags inserted), or you can use paper or metal pannetone molds, or even an 8-inch cake pan. Since I've gotten into baking in coffee cans recently, I decided to use that method for this recipe.

Here are photos of the step-by-step process for making the Casatiello in coffee cans:

Now that the loaves are finally cooled completely, I can eat some. Would you like a slice? It's pretty good actually.

Thanks for joining us this week in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. 

Stay tuned for Day 6 of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. We'll be making Challah.

Happy Baking!

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