Stuffed Italian Bread – Pane Bianco


Stuffed Italian Bread
I first ran across this Stuffed Italian Bread, Pane Bianco, which means white bread, on the King Arthur website.  I love bread and I love making it.  I am always on the hunt for a new recipe.  The first thing that caught my eye was the gorgeous shape of this Stuffed Italian Bread which is actually very easy to accomplish.

As I read the introduction, I noticed we have Dianna Wara of Washington, Illinois to thank for this beauty.   She  took first place with her Pane Bianco  in the first-ever National Festival of Breads.  King Arthur simplified it somewhat and I followed their lead on that since I didn’t have the original recipe for this Stuffed Italian Bread.

While they filled their Stuffed Italian Bread with basil, dried tomatoes, raw garlic and cheese, I opted to change their recipe again.  In place of the olive oil specified, I used an olive oil that is steeped with garlic and pepper flakes.  It is important to strain the garlic out as it comes to room temperature.  The USDA issued a warning some years back the there is a possibility of botulism forming if garlic is left in the oil. As long as the garlic is removed the oil will be safe.  To be even safer, I store mine in the refrigerator where I find myriad uses for it.

While this dough can be used immediatelay, I prefer to let it rest for 3 days in the refrigerator to develop the flavor.   It will also be very easy to roll out as the gluten is completely relaxed

Zippy Garlic OilIngredients for Zippy Olive oil1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large garlic cloves

Smash the cloves of garlic with the skins on. Remove the skins and cut each into about 3 pieces. In a small saucepan, heat all over low heat until the garlic is medium brown.
Ingredients in saucepan for the Zippy Olive OilRemove from heat immediately and let steep for 1 hour. Strain the solids and use only the remaining oil. This may be made the day before and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.Finished Zippy Olive OilStuffed ItalianBread
Ingedients for Stuffed Italian Bread
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 large egg
3 tablespoons zippy garlic olive oil from above
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 cups + 2 tablespoons bread flour (360 grams or 12 3/4 ounces
2 teaspoons instant yeast

Combine the milk, water, egg, zippy garlic olive oil and 1 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a mixer. Liquids in bowl for Pane BiancoWhisk to combine.Liquids whisked for Stuffed Italian BreadAdd the flour and instant yeast. Flour in bowl for Stuffed Italian BreadBeat, preferably with a dough hook, on low until combined. Raise the speed to medium if your mixer allows it or set the machine where they recommend and continue beating for about 3 minutes. Stuffed Italian Bread beatingTake a small piece of dough and stretch it out. If it forms the windowpane, the gluten has been activated enough. If it breaks, continue beating and testing.Windowpane test for Stuffed Italian BreadPlace the dough in a greased container, cover and let rise for about an hour or until doubled in bulk.Marked in container for Stuffed Italian Bread
Punch down and use immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

When ready to make the Pane Bianco, have all the filling ingredients ready.

Filling for the Stuffed Italian Bread
2 to 3 tablespoons zippy garlic olive oil
1/3 cup pesto
3/4 cup coarsely chopped calamatas
1 cup shredded or finely cut non smoked provolone

Deflate the dough if it has risen in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Flour the table lightly and the top of the dough. Roll into a rectangle approximately 22″ x 8″.Dough rolled our for Stuffed Italian Bread
Brush the entire length of the dough with the olive oil.

Spread with the pesto.Pesto spread on dough for Stuffed Italian Bread

Sprinkle with the olivesOlives added to Stuffed Italian Breadfollowed by the provolone cheese.Cheese added for Stuffed Italian BreadStarting at the long side, roll tightly. Rolling up for Stuffed Italian Bread
Pinch the edges to seal. Dough pinched for Stuffed Italian Bread
Turn over so the seam is on the bottom.

With a pair of scissors, cut about 1″ deep to within 1/2″ of each end.Dough slit for Stuffed Italian Bread

Keeping the exposed cut on top, make an S shape by bending the top down to the middle touching the right side of the dough. Tuck the end underneath.

Bring the bottom of the dough up along the left side of the dough, tucking the end underneath.Dough shaped for Stuffed Italian Bread

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. I use a pair of pancake turners to insure the dough stays shaped.Picking up the Stuffed Italian Bread

Cover and let rise for about 1 hour if the dough was room temperature when you started or up to 2 hours or more if the dough was cold from the refrigerator. In any case, it should be doubled and puffy.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the Pane Bianco with the zippy garlic oil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until deeply golden brown.

Cool on a rack and serve your Stuffed Italian Bread warm or room temperture.Slice of Italian Stuffed Bread

Alternative filling
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup canned red peppers (7 ounce can or 100 grams drained and dried)
2/3 cup marinated artichokes (6 ounce jar, 85 grams drained and dried)

Combine the two cheeses and mix well with a spoon. Set aside.

Drain the pepper well and pat very dry between paper towels. Cut the peppers into strips about 1/4 inch wide; cross cut into 2″ or so pieces.  Set aside.

Drain the artichokes well, pat very dry between paper towels. Cut coarsely. Set aside.

The cheese mixture needs to be very spreadable. If too stiff, microwave briefly to get it to the right spreadability.  Spread the cheese mixture over the entire rolled out dough to within 1 inch of the borders.

Cover the cheese with the artichokes and then the red peppers as evenly as possible.  Roll up and continue as above.

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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6 thoughts on “Stuffed Italian Bread – Pane Bianco

  1. Connie Weis

    Good golly that’s beautiful! I wouldn’t attempt it if you didn’t have such beautiful step-by-step instructions and photographs. But since you do (as always) I’ll give it a go!

  2. Marisa @ All Our Way

    I made this right when the bread challenge was posted. It turned out beautifully and it looks more complicated than it really is! I love your alternate fillings. I’m ready to make another loaf– I’m not a pastry maker but I do love making bread. Your pane bianco turned out great!

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