Sunday, May 14, 2017

Pane Bianco

I love sun-dried tomatoes and use them a lot in recipes.  This bread recipe is filled with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and shredded cheese.  It is a very flavorful addition to an Italian-style meal.  I especially enjoyed it the next day, toasted, for my BLT sandwich. Don't let the shaping instructions intimidate you, the dough is very easy to work with and, when done, you have a uniquely-shaped loaf of bread. For full disclosure, I did cut the dough wrong, I cut the loaf crosswise instead of lengthwise.  It still made for a nice presentation. 

Pane Bianco

3 cups bread flour
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/3 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese or the cheese of your choice
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Combine the flour, yeast, salt, egg, milk, water, and olive oil in a large bowl (or in the bucket of your bread machine), and mix and knead, either by hand, using a mixer, or in your bread machine set on the dough cycle, to make a smooth, very soft dough.  The dough should stick a bit to the bottom of your bowl if you're using a stand mixer. (I mixed mine in my bread machine).

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise until it's doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the tomatoes, patting them dry. Use kitchen shears to cut them into smaller bits.

Gently deflate the dough.  Flatten and pat it into a 22 x 8 1/2-inch rectangle.  Evenly spread the cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and basil over the dough.

Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal.

Place the log seam-side down on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Using kitchen shears, start 1/2 inch from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1-inch deep, to within 1/2 inch of the other end.

Keeping the cut side up, form an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8", pinch the ends together to seal.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes.

While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Uncover the bread and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent overbrowning.

Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool.  Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a couple of days.

Recipe source:  Red Star Yeast

Perhaps I should hone my reading comprehension skills.  The recipe clearly says to make a lengthwise cut, I cut crosswise! Oh, well, it still tasted great!

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