Sunday, 11 September 2011

Casatiello (Italian savoury brioche)

It's no secret that I love brioches of all kind. Last Easter I prepared a huge Romanian Cozonac and, as it turns out, it has become the second most popular post on the English version of this site. Today we will be visiting Italy as this post is about Casatiello, a savoury brioche loaded with flavours. The recipe comes from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Casatiello (Italian savoury brioche)

Ingredients: (for one large loaf)

  • 1/2 cup white bread flour
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk, lukewarm.
  • 3 1/2 cups white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup provolone piccante, coarsely grated
  • 120-150 g pancetta


Make the sponge. Mix flour and yeast in a bowl, add the milk and whisk. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment at room temperature for an hour.

Meanwhile, cut the pancetta in dices and sauté until crisp. Pad the dices on kitchen paper and reserve.

Make the dough. Stir flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and the sponge and mix to form a coarse ball. Mix for about a minute then leave to rest during 10 minutes to allow the gluten to develop. Then, divide the butter in four or five parts and start incorporating it, stirring vigorously. After 10–12 minutes you'll end up with a smooth dough which will eventually come off the sides of the bowl. As usual, add a little flour when and if necessary. When the dough is smooth, add the crisped up pancetta and mix until evenly distributed. Then, add the cheese and incorporate it. Lightly oil a large salad bowl, place the dough in the bowl and roll it around quickly to coat it with oil. Leave to ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes.

Remove the dough from the salad bowl and transfer it to an oiled loaf or cake pan, shaping it first if required. Proof for 60 to 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Bake at 180°C for about 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown. When ready, remove the bread from the pan and leave to cool on a rack for at least an hour. Can be served warm or cold.

Casatiello (Italian savoury brioche)

Casatiello (Italian savoury brioche)
Submitted to YeastSpotting.

1 comment:

  1. My brother's godmother used to make this bread every year and I am glad I found this recipe.



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