BBA#5 Casatiello

The next bread in the BBA Challenge is an Italian variation of a brioche called Casatiello. The recipe is very similar to the Middle Class brioche that I made last week, only meat and cheese are added to the dough. Peter Reinhart uses salami and provolone in the recipe, but makes it clear that any type a baker chose would be perfectly acceptable. I decided to go with Italian salami and a blend of three cheeses. On to the bread:

The Ingredients:

Bread flour, whole milk, salami, unsalted butter, eggs, yeast, salt, and three cheese blend: sharp cheddar, old amsterdam, and mozzarella

Bread flour, whole milk, salami, unsalted butter, eggs, yeast, salt, and three cheese blend: sharp cheddar, old amsterdam, and mozzarella

This was the first bread in our book that can be made in one day, so I started off mixing together a sponge using a small amount of whole milk (between 90 to 100 degrees), flour and yeast. 



I had a moment of concern when I read the recipe it said the sponge should be the consistency of pancake batter, but mine was much looser than that. I double check the amounts of flour, milk and yeast – they were right- and decided to go ahead and add flour/water at the kneading stage if necessary. This hung out on the counter for about an hour while I prepped the other ingredients.

I diced up the salami and then fried it in a pan to “crisp” it a little.



After an hour my starter was bubbly and had doubled.

I lightly beat the eggs and added them to the starter and mixed with my paddle attachment for a few minutes. In a separate bowl I combined the rest of the flour, salt, and sugar. When the starter mixture was ready I slowly added the dry ingredients until it was mostly combined. I stopped the mixer and let the gluten develop for about 10 minutes and then slowly added the butter about 2 tablespoons at a time. After about 5 minutes of mixing, I switched to the dough hook and let it go for about ten more minutes.


I transferred the dough to the counter, added the cut salami and cheese and kneaded it in for about 5 minutes.  

adding in the salami

 Ready for it’s first rise


It took about 60 minutes for it to double


I decided to go with two six inch pans I had in order to cut down the baking time and to make it easy to take some of the bread into my co-workers who were ready and willing to taste test. I liberally sprayed the pans to make sure then wouldn’t stick.


I used my digital scale to divide the dough into equal chunks and then formed each into a boule for their second rise.


Another 60 minutes and they were ready to go into the oven:


There was a pretty good oven spring after the first few minutes. After twenty minutes I shifted the pans around to try and make sure they browned evenly. It took about 45 minutes total for the bread to register over 180 degrees.


I turned them out of their pans and set them on a rack to cool over night.


The next morning I sliced up a loaf for A to take for breakfast and took in the second loaf to work.


 Overall, this bread was pretty good, but it wasn’t my favorite. If I ever do make it again, I think I would skip the “crisping” step because I found the salami pieces a little to hard and dry in the final baked loaves. I toasted the bread for breakfast the next morning and it helped bring the cheese flavor out, but really it was just kind of an “egh”.

This bread was easy for me to leave alone, which is probably a good thing since the next two weeks are Challah and Cibatta. Yum and yummer!

4 responses to this post.

  1. Your breads look great. Love your photos.
    Nice baking along with you,


  2. Great step-by-step, and your bread looks fantastic!


  3. Beautiful loaves…gave away all my little Casatiello Buns..Love all the detail and photos! Thanks for sharing…Happy Baking!


  4. Nice rise and form! The loaves look great!


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