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 Oil
½ cup olive oil
¾ 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.
Remove 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.
½ cup lukewarm milk
⅓ cup lukewarm water
1 large egg
3 tablespoons zippy garlic olive oil from above
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
3 cups + 2 tablespoons bread flour (360 grams or 12 ¾ ounces
2 teaspoons instant yeast
Combine the milk, water, egg, zippy garlic olive oil and 1 ¼ teaspoon salt in the bowl of a mixer. Whisk to combine.Add the flour and instant yeast. Beat, 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. Take 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.Place the dough in a greased container, cover and let rise for about an hour or until doubled in bulk.
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
⅓ cup pesto
¾ 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".
Brush the entire length of the dough with the olive oil.
Spread with the pesto.
Sprinkle with the olivesfollowed by the provolone cheese.Starting at the long side, roll tightly.
Pinch the edges to seal.
Turn over so the seam is on the bottom.
With a pair of scissors, cut about 1" deep to within ½" of each end.
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.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. I use a pair of pancake turners to insure the dough stays shaped.
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.
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
⅔ cup canned red peppers (7 ounce can or 100 grams drained and dried)
⅔ 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 ¼ 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.
Be sure to see the recipe for Stuffed Focaccia for a special treat.