Pane Bianco

I usually post “Lovin’ from the Oven” on Mondays – but I decided to put this up today because we’re about to have snow/rain/below freezing temperatures around these parts. I figured anyone homebound looking for something to do may want to do a little baking. This is a soft bread, with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella – and it’s delicious. It also makes fantastic toast!

  • 3 cups bread dough (You can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour, but reduce the water to 1/4 cup.)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Add all ingredients into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, dough will be soft.
  2. Grease a large bowl, put the dough in it and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot for an hour until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.
  3. Deflate the dough and shape it into a ball. Let it rest for 10 minutes – this will help relax the dough’s gluten, making it easier to roll out. While the dough is resting, prep your filling ingredients.
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes, diced into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella, or cheese of your choice
  • 1 -2 tablespoons olive oil
Rolled out dough, topped with fillings.

On the left is the dough twisted into an “S”, it looks a bit messy – don’t worry, once it rises it’ll look like the photo on the right.
  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into an 8 1/2″ x 22″ rectangle.
  2. Spread the dough with garlic, tomatoes, basil, and cheese. The amount of filling ingredients might seem sparse, but too much stuffing will result in a misshapen loaf.
  3. Starting on the long edge, roll the dough into a log, and pinch the edges to seal. Place the log seam side down on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Using a pair of kitchen shears, start 1/2″ from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center, 1″ deep, to within a 1/2″ of the other end.
  5. Cut side up, form the log into an “S” shape. Then tuck both of the ends under the center of the bread and pinch together to seal.
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350º. Uncover bread and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Tent the bread with foil after 25 minutes to avoid over-browning. Remove from oven, lightly brush olive oil over the top of the loaf. Cool on wire rack.
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