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Casatiello: No Need to Make a Sandwich

This savory Italian bread already has all of my favorite sandwich ingredients inside of it!

For week five of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, I baked Casatiello. Peter Reinhart describes it as a rich, dreamy Italian elaboration of brioche.  His description is beautiful and poetic, but the Casatiello is even more so.  Rich, but light and fluffy, studded with chunks of salami and filled with oozing pockets of cheese, this bread stole my heart.

Not only was this one of the most delicious breads I’ve ever tasted, but I was able to start and finish it on the same day!  It doesn’t bother me that the other BBA breads took a couple of days to make, I’m always willing to wait for good bread.  But it was certainly nice to know that this time around my bread making efforts would be rewarded at the end of an afternoon rather than a day or two later.

And what a reward it was!

The process of making this bread was very similar to the Brioche that I wrote about last week.  But this one doesn’t contain nearly as much butter and I found that the dough was much easier to work with.  I took a ton of photos as I was putting this bread together, but due to some crazy technical difficulties this morning, I’m not going to be able to share them with you today.  It’s just been one of those days.

Once I am able to recover all of my step-by-step photos, I will add them to this post along with a more in-depth description of how I made this bread.  But in the meantime, check out these other BBA Members who have made Casatiello:

The Next Bread

This week we will be making Challah, the braided Sabbath bread of Judaism.  I’m excited about making Challah because it will be my first time braiding a bread dough!  The ingredients for this one are simple, and the bread can be made in one day.  The bread instructions begin on page 133 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  Instructions (including photos) for braiding the dough begin on page 84.  Good luck and happy baking!

Want to Bake Along With Us?

There are several ways for you to join in the fun!  First of all, you need a copy of Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  Read the first section of the book carefully, as this will prepare you for the bread recipes in the second section of the book.  Then just jump in and bake some Anadama Bread! But first, please visit The BBA Challenge Page for more details on how to participate in the group!

If you haven’t already, you might want to bookmark the BBA Challenge Page.  From there you can see which breads are coming up soon, find answers to Frequently Asked Questions, visit and/or add yourself to our World Map, see the BBA Challenge Blogroll, and check out the continually updated slideshow of BBA Bread photos from our ever-expanding group of bakers!

For those of you who are participating in The BBA Challenge, here are some questions:  How did you like the Casatiello?  Do you think it deserved a week of it’s own, even though it’s basically a variation of the brioche we made last week?  Which meat, cheese or other ingredients did you add to the dough?  What type of pan did you bake it in?  Did you learn anything new while using this formula?

And remember, if you wrote a blog post about Casatiello, or have photos available online, please leave a comment and share your link!