Saturday, September 19, 2009

BBA #5: Casatiello

Here I am on bread #5: Casatiello, a bread that is related to brioche, but includes meat and cheese. Who would expect that bread baking would start with this on the counter?

This bread was also fun because it's faster than the other recipes. I started the sponge at 11:40 and we were eating it by 4:30.

Normally I like to read a bunch of blog posts related to my next bread to get myself ready, see if there are any helpful hints, etc. (one of the benefits to being so far behind on the Challenge!). But I couldn't seem to find a really detailed post on this one, so I just jumped in. I ended up going back and forth between the stand mixer and my counter/spoon/hands a lot as the dough seemed to change rapidly. I started in the mixer, but it soon got so stiff that it was rocking the bowl around, so I switched to a spoon. When it came time to incorporate the second half of the butter, the dough went the other way. It was so loose, I didn't see how it was ever going to turn into actual workable dough. Check out how buttery it looks (and my awesome new dough whisk that my awesome hubbie bought me on our date last night):

I gave up on the spoon, the dough whisk, and my hands, and went back to the stand mixer. Luckily, after about 10 minutes, it started to come together and clear the sides of the bowl.

Then came time to add the insane amounts of meat and cheese. I know that many of the reviews I read said that it could use more meat and cheese, but frankly, I can't imagine getting the dough to accept any more! I had flakes of stuff falling out all over. Hubbie started salivating when he saw it.......

The book says to let it proof for 90 minutes or until it is one and a half times the size. Here's mine after only 45 minutes:

I was a little nervous, but didn't want it to overproof, so dumped it into its pan. Not having any coffee cans around (although I thought that would be fun!), I opted to go with my smallest springform. Again, it rose really fast. So...I threw it in the oven. I had another incident with my red silicone pot holders - I need to just give up on them. They again crushed the sides of my bread when I was just trying to turn the pan around. But it seemed to recover during the second half of the baking time and I used some old fashioned cloth pot holders to pull the bread out of the oven. I was nervous again because, although the bread had reached the required temp (it was about 192 degrees), it was nowhere near golden on top.

But it was golden on the sides and bottom...I debated just flipping the whole thing over...then I thought, who cares? The people I feed generally only care what it tastes like!

I held the hubbie off for about 40 minutes (not the hour you're supposed to wait) and then we dug in. This bread received the highest BBA Challenge rating from the hubbie and my stepmom, who both said, "Do you really have to bake 38 more breads before you can make this one again?!" and the highest rating from the kids: "More!"


  1. Abby, I'm thinking about giving this recipe a go, but I'm wondering where you got your panettone mold. Or what you used to get the shape since you didn't use regular loaf pans. I'd like to get a disposable mold at first if I could so we can see if it's something we like. I wasn't sure what you used and/or where you got it. Ideas?? :)

  2. @Cory: This is a regular springform. I don't know where you live, but if you're from the US, you can get them via amazon: just type springform into the search field. In Germany, this is probably the most often used cake tin, so you get it at every grocerie store.
    @Abby: Your idea of baking the casatiello in the springform is great. I made a regular loaf, but your version is much prettier. I'll keep that in mind when I make the casatiello again, which I definitely will because the taste was great (even though I don't like my fingers being greasy).