Casatiello: a Savory Bread

This marks my second indulgent week of deliciously sinful carbs. I enjoy bread baking, especially the lengthy proofing process, and find it therapeutic. However, the amount of bread I’m turning out (and consuming) is the downside to my so-called therapy. There’s only so much almond filled brioche a person should eat in one sitting.

I can feel the extra calories bunching up in my body, accelerating the growth of my love handles.

I’m enjoying The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge and can only participate for another week or two. Why? Well, in July we will be heading out for a much needed vacation. We’ve booked a cruise through the Scandinavian/Baltic region followed by a few days catching up with friends in London. We will be gone for three weeks and I anticipate limited internet access during our travels. I’m planning to schedule a few posts to publish during my absence, so you shouldn’t even notice that I’m away.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to bake bread until we leave … or until my jeans become too tight, whichever comes first.

This week’s bread is the Casatiello (recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice), a rich and savory bread typically filled with salami and cheese. Since the recipe makes two loaves, I opted to make two flavors. For one, I used a Hungarian salami and provolone cheese, for the other I used a mix of chopped olives and provolone.

Casatiello: Italian Savory Bread

The bread contains 6 ounces butter and two eggs, with both provide a delicious richness to the bread. The addition of meat, cheese and olives builds upon the richness by bringing a mix of savory flavors.

After mixing the dough, I divided into two equal portions. I kneaded 2 ounces of sauteed salami and 3 ounces grated provolone into the dough. To the second loaf, I kneaded 2 ounces chopped olives (which I had patted dry) along with 3 ounces grated provolone. I placed each one in separate oiled bowls to proof. The proofing only took 60 minutes (instead of 90 minutes).

I formed each loaf into a round ball and placed inside of the 6″ paper panettone pans. The second proofing also moved along faster than anticipated, another 60 minutes. I baked at 350F (170C) for nearly 45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the bread reached 195F.

Casatiello: Italian Savory Bread

The bread didn’t get as dark as I thought it might and I feared I had taken it out of the oven too soon. But, after allowing it to cool, I sliced into it and was amazed at the tender texture. The crumb is light and soft, yet still slightly chewy. Craters of melted provolone and flecks of meat or olives stud the bread. Every bite contains a savory bit or two.

Casatiello: Italian Savory Bread

We started snacking on it immediately and had a hard time stopping. It’s that good. I think that I enjoyed it more than the brioche from last week.

The bread can be used for sandwiches or making savory french toast (yes, this appeals to me), but I’ve found that it’s best on its own. It also makes for excellent toast, with just a little butter.

Sadly, the olive loaf disappeared last night and the salami loaf is nearing its end. I don’t know if it will make it through the night.

As for my jeans? Well, we won’t talk about how snug they are becoming.

More Casatiello bread baker’s:
Casatiello – A Stove With a House Around It
Casatiello – The Barefoot Kitchen
Casatiello – A Chef’s Daughter
Casatiello and a Nest – Big Black Dog

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jenn @ Pete Eatemall June 15, 2009, 10:54 am

    How great! I also made the little loves in the paper molds. They made perfect gifts. I made one with salami and one with sun dried tomatoes. The olive idea sounds so good! Happy Baking!

  • Manggy June 15, 2009, 11:04 am

    Savory french toast? Sounds like a Monte Cristo to me! Yum!! :) The bread looks fantastic, but I should really get my butt there and we can help each other get in shape! :P I think being on a cruise will help a little towards that cause, for some reason. Don’t ask me why. Have fun on your cruise– we’ll miss you! :)

  • The Purple Foodie June 15, 2009, 11:06 am

    Your bread looks so good. I wonder why mine turned out to be so dense. I was worried about the colour too since the book says it has to get a nice golden-brown hue. Love how your bread turned out!

  • Dianne June 15, 2009, 11:37 am

    I won’t talk about my jeans and their increasing snugness, either.

    Thanks so much for the link up there — I really appreciate it! Your loaves look delectable, and your vacation sounds amazing. I am, quite frankly, a little jealous. Have a great trip!

  • Susie June 15, 2009, 12:23 pm

    What great looking loaves. I want some please. :)
    Have a great vacation,

  • Sylvie June 15, 2009, 12:40 pm

    That looks absolutely beautiful. Freshly baked homemade bread is just the best.

  • Queenie June 15, 2009, 2:05 pm

    I did not want to get back to work, so typed in your site and found a new posting – YAY! I purchased The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and can’t wait to receive it and start on it when I FINALLY STOP WORKING! Congrats on your decision post 7/1 and can’t wait to hear about your trip! Have fun……..and trust you’ll have many adventures on the cruise!

  • Nicole June 15, 2009, 2:25 pm

    They look so good! I want to try baking it in Panettone papers next time, I just need to figure out where to buy some. Sadly, my loaf didn’t last very long either. I could not stop eating this bread! Will definitely need to get some serious exercise in soon…

  • kat June 15, 2009, 2:28 pm

    Oh my that is some really tasty looking bread. I’m very jealous of your upcoming trip. Do I need to teach you some choice Latvian phrase for when you are in the Baltic

  • patsyk June 15, 2009, 2:44 pm

    I love the idea of using it for French toast! I can’t participate in this challenge because I would gain 30 pounds within moments of baking all that bread!

  • Hélène June 15, 2009, 2:46 pm

    Your bread turned out very nice. I like that paper you used around them. Hope you continue the challenge after your much needed vacation.

  • Peter G June 15, 2009, 2:55 pm

    Allen, maybe you need to start snacking on the healthier “tranny cake” you made…LOL! Seriously though, the bread does look delicious and the idea of savoury french toast appeals to me as well. The vacation sounds like a lot of fun.

  • Catherine June 15, 2009, 4:26 pm

    Oh my, both those versions look fantastic! I can’t wait to make this (hopefully some time this week…).

  • helen June 15, 2009, 7:02 pm

    Allen, you can always diet tomorrow.

    This looks seriously good. I’m sure the warm weather helped with the proofing too!

  • Eralda June 15, 2009, 9:59 pm

    Wow! The loaves look wonderful. I try to stay away from making bread because I end up eating every last crumb, but this is so tempting.

  • Janice June 15, 2009, 11:08 pm

    Okay, so I should have made your version with the olives. Now that looks good! (I really didn’t like the version with salami and cheese, which is good, because it means I didn’t gain another 2 pounds this past week!)

  • Erika June 16, 2009, 2:05 am

    I think the extra carbs are worth it – this bread looks delicious!
    What are your feelings about dry verses fresh yeast when baking bread?

  • Daily Spud June 16, 2009, 5:15 am

    It’s one of the dual joys and curses of food blogging – you make lots of nice stuff and then you gotta eat it. I definitely stacked on a few pounds after my trip to Seattle & SF because I couldn’t really let all of that good food pass me by! Guess I need to get out and walk some more and try not to pass interesting food shops en route :)

  • farida June 16, 2009, 2:24 pm

    We can’t live without bread in our family. I love both baking and eating bread:) Your savory bread looks so good! Never mind the love handles,it is worth trying it, isn’t it:)

  • Wendy June 16, 2009, 2:44 pm

    Your casatiello looks wonderful. I can’t wait to get to it (hopefully later this week).

  • Arundathi June 17, 2009, 3:12 am

    Love the photographs!

  • Carolyn Jung June 17, 2009, 6:43 pm

    Oh my gawd — bread already filled with salami and cheese?? Sign me up!
    As for your jeans getting snugger, I say it’s just “water retention.” =)

  • Culinary Cory June 20, 2009, 9:41 am

    Wow! Sounds like a fun vacation you have planned. I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures on the high seas. hehe

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