“Pan-ay whats-it?” was my first reaction when I read this recipe on King Arthur Flour’s website. (According to Google Translate, it means white bread in Italian.) But after reading it, this recipe (found here) looked too fantastic to pass up.
Basically, the recipe is an enriched bread filled with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, and cheese (I used Parmesan, because I use Parmesan whenever possible). The fun part comes in shaping (I mean, who doesn’t love that infinity shape?!?), but the bread tasted fantastic, too, and I would totally make it again.
First, I made the dough. I combined the flour, yeast, salt, and water with the other ingredients (most notably the egg and the milk, which make the dough enriched). The instructions said the dough should be soft and smooth – which it wasn’t.
So, I decided to trust my instincts and add a little more water. Then I kneaded it some more and let the mix rise for 3 hours (but a substantial amount of that time was spent in the refrigerator, in order to slow the rise while I ran errands). After that, I flattened the dough (which hadn’t really risen much) into a ginormous rectangle and gathered together my filling.
Next came the super-fun part: filling and shaping! I drained the tomatoes (they were packaged in oil), washed and chopped the basil, and spread them across the dough. Then I sprinkled garlic and cheese on top and rolled up the rectangle into a log.
Afterwards, I cut the log down the middle and shaped it into a loose “S” before folding the ends underneath the center, pinching the bottom seam, and letting the bread prove for another hour.
After that, all I had to do was bake! I preheated the oven, transferred the dough onto a baking sheet, and popped the Pane Bianco inside. Once it had baked for 45 minutes (it was a little light in color, so I baked it for longer than the recommended time) and cooled for 10, I cut inside:
It looked beautiful! I really loved the pockets of ingredients and the fun colors. The bread tasted great, too – cheesy, soft, and with a nice flavor from the blend of tomatoes and basil. I really enjoyed this bake!
(It’s the 29th baking post, and I still have no sign-off. Ideas? (In case you couldn’t tell by now, I’m in desperate need of assistance.))