Monday, June 15, 2009


This is the 5th bread that I have baked along side the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Group.  Casatiello is a bread that I had never even heard of let alone tasted so I was eager to get it started.  It is described as an “Italian elaboration of brioche” filled with bits of meat and cheese.

flickr casatiello
Looks like a huge muffin doesn’t it?

About the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Group: Nicole of Pinch my Salt sent out a twitter message saying “I need a challenge. Am thinking of baking my way through every single recipe in The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Anyone want to join me?” Well I jumped right in. Both feet, no thought at all. I think I was one of the first 5 that joined…did I even have the book? Nope but I ordered it that night!!!


The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

We are now over 200 strong with members everywhere on the globe. It’s an incredibly enthusiastic group that wants to share like no group I have ever belonged to before. Awesome!

Our goal is to bake our way through Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread. An intimidating book at anytime but to think that you are going to be baking one of these recipes a week is slightly overwhelming to say the least. But I love a challenge and feel a real need to get out of my comfort zone. Oh yah, I bake all of our bread but I never seem to have the time or the desire to try something new and different. This will change all that!!!


I took a trip to my local Italian Market and was able to come up with some cured Italian Salami and some provolone cheese.  My idea was to grate half of the cheese and then leave some in cubes.  Traditionally this bread is baked in paper bags or panettone molds but  after going back and forth and waiting for Nicole’s results I decided to use a 9 inch springform pan.  My bread turned out wonderfully and looked just like a giant muffin! 

Unfortunately this bread was not how I expected it to be.  I thought it would be a full flavored bread and I really found it pretty bland.  Maybe I should have used a stronger cheese or a cured sausage, not sure but I was not the hit I thought it would be in the house.  Beautiful?  Oh yes, but just not as tasty as I thought it could have been.

Any ideas on left over usage?

P1010538The crumb was beautiful and it rose perfectly but it just didn’t have as much flavor as I would have liked!

Check out the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Blogroll to see some really nice Brioches! Ones that did not fail!!!

Want to Bake Along With Us?

There are several ways for you to join in the fun! First of all, you need a copy of Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Then just start baking! Even if you are starting late, just begin with the first recipe and start working your way through. There are several ways to communicate with the group as you begin your journey:

Flickr: We have set up a BBA Challenge Flickr Group where you can upload photos, see photos from other members, and even post questions and comments in the group forum. It’s a private group, so you will need to click on the link that says ‘join this group’ if you want to be able to post photos. As long as you are willing to bake bread all of the bread from the book, you are welcome to join the Flickr group!

Twitter: If you use twitter, you can follow what the group is doing by searching for #BBA or #bba using Twitter’s search box. You can join in on the conversation by adding the #bba or #BBA tag to the end of your tweets when you are talking about anything related to the BBA Challenge. For me, following what people are doing on twitter has been the most fun!

Facebook: If you’re on Facebook, you can join the BBA Challenge Group there and share photos, ask questions, and talk about your bread baking experiences with other BBA members on Facebook.

Next up…Challah!!!!

I am submitting this to BYOB (Bake Your Own Bread) hosted by Sandy of At the Baker's Bench. This is a great challenge to get you baking more of your own baked goods. Better for you and cheaper in the process!

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!



Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! I rendered my meat quite a bit and used the grease from that to replace almost a 1/4 C of butter. That really made the flavor difference for my bread. I also used provolone, because I didn't want it to too cheesy. Not cheesy at all, so I think a more flavorful cheese is definitely needed, too.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Haley- Hmmm. I never thought to use the grease from the meat!!! I do think a better quality provolone or a stronger cheese would have been good.

Cindy said...

Wow, you got great lift off in the oven. It does look like a giant muffin. I used fontina cheese and black kalamata olives and it was anything but bland. I think the olives add a great flavour dimension.

Try making panini sandwiches with the leftover bread. Maybe turkey and havarti with honey mustard and mayo.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Hey Cindy - Great idea for the leftover bread!!! Fontina would be good in this. Stronger flavor. Love the idea of the olives!

Pete Eatemall said...

It looks great! I made little Casatiello buns/rolls in small paper molds with sundried toms and gouda. I made a meat vesion too...couldnt eat that much. I would probably make again for a catering gig - small rolls with meat and cheese. The bread was eay but I probably wouldnt make again for home. Onto Challah! Happy baking!

kellypea said...

Well it certainly is beautiful! Sorry you thought it bland. I made a humongous bacon cheese loaf last year and felt the same way about it, but the salami and provolone came through for me this time. One of these days, I should get around to posting some of these challenges!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Pete - That is a good idea. Small individual rolls. I really need to get more creative with my shaping but for me half the time just finding the time to get these done is a challenge!!!

Awww Kelly - Don't worry about posting them!!! I guess different types of provolone pack a different punch or i should have thrown caution to the wind and used more than instructed!

Thistlemoon said...

I would make a savory bread pudding from the leftovers, maybe add some more cheese, some veggies, whatever else to the pudding to make it more tasty!

The bread DOES look beautiful though, Judy! Sometimes things do look better than they taste!

Bob said...

It looks amazing, it's too bad the taste wasn't all that. I would say make french toast out of it. But that's my answer to pretty much any leftover bread. :)

Maria said...

You are soaring through the book! Good for you! This one looks great as well!

Deb Mele said...

Hey Judy, looks great. Although LIKED this bread I think I'd make my own version next time. looking forward to the cinnamon breads coming up and luckily I have company at that time to share it with me or I may grow too big to get through the door!

Catherine said...

Ooooh, it does look giant and poofy and cute though!

Spryte said...

That bread looks amazing!

misterrios said...

Shocking that it wasn't absolutely delicious. It looks great!

I used veggie Spanish-style chorizo and smoked scamorza and could not keep from munching on the bread.

Rumela said...

This Casatiello bread looks so beautiful with the colors, I'm sure it'll be a big hit with the kids! although I'm to a big fan of casatiello bread, this sure looks yummy! I'm normally the one that will say no to casatiello bread.

PB&JGRL said...

I made this recipe from the same book and it turned out great. I used a cured Tuscan Salami and a Gruyere so strong that it smelled like dirty feet.

My husband and I ate a slice and a half each, which is a lot considering we had already eaten dinner and this is a truly rich bread.

I can't wait for tomorrow. I'll bringing it to work for lunch with a tomato salad.

Lauren said...

I've been making casatiello since I was a child. (That's life for anyone growing up in a Neopolitan family. Lol.) Traditionally, it is made with lard or rendered pork fat and a very sharp hard cheese (such as pecorino) and loads of black pepper. With those ingredients, it is a very rich and densely flavored bread. I think the butter is to blame for the blandness you experiened. Arthur Schwartz' book Naples At Table has a very good (authentic) casatiello recipe.

In Naples, casatiello is made on Easter. It's usually braided in a circle with some whole eggs stuck in the top.