Pane Bianco

After watching yet another amazing season of the Great British Baking Show, I was itching to do some baking, so I joined in on this #bakealong from King Arthur flour, and I’m hoping to keep it going through the year!

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DOUGH

  • 3 cups [12 3/4 ounces] Bread Flour [see note: you can sub 1:1 all purpose flour]
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup [4 ounces] lukewarm milk
  • 1/3 cup [2 5/8 ounces] lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons [1 1/4 ounces] olive oil
  • *See “tips,” below.

FILLING

  • 3/4 cup [3 ounces] shredded Italian-blend cheese or the cheese of your choice
  • 1/2 cup [4 ounces] oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes or your own oven-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup [1/2 ounce] chopped fresh basil, green or purple
  1. To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients in a bowl (or the bucket of your bread machine), and mix and knead — by hand, using a mixer, or in your bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth, very soft dough. The dough should stick a bit to the bottom of the bowl if you’re using a stand mixer. [I didn’t know how much to mix, so I’ve included the picture from the original recipe as a guide. I mixed it maybe . . . 5 minutes?]

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  1. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it’s doubled in size.
  2. Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the tomatoes, patting them dry. Use kitchen shears to cut them into smaller bits.
  3. Gently deflate the dough. Flatten and pat it into a 22″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle. Spread with the cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and basil.

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  1. Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal. Place the log seam-side down on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Using kitchen shears, start 1/2″ from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1″ deep, to within 1/2″ of the other end.
  3. Keeping the cut side up, form an “S” shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the “S” to form a “figure 8;” pinch the ends together to seal.
  4. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes.
  5. While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Uncover the bread, and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent over-browning.
  7. Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage.

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TIPS FROM OUR BAKERS

  • Substitute all-purpose flour 1:1 for the bread flour in the recipe, if desired. Reduce the water to 1/4 cup.
  • Chop your basil with kitchen shears, just as you do the sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Use a light touch with your fillings. Over-stuffing this bread will create a messy-looking loaf.
  • Be careful not to let the bread rise too long; over-risen bread will lose its shape.
    • When making anything with yeast, including this bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., “Let the dough rise until it’s doubled in bulk.” Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking that it’s impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.
  • Much of the filling will be exposed as the bread bakes, so keep your eye on the loaf. When it’s a light golden brown, tent it with aluminum foil to prevent the exposed tomatoes and basil from burning.
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