King Arthur Flour has just started a Bakealong project and their first bake is this lovely Pane Bianco bread. A simple yeasted dough is flavored with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian cheeses and chopped basil. The impressive shape is actually very easy to do, especially with the help of the video that is available on the bakealong site.
The dough for the Pane Bianco comes together quickly in a stand mixer and is allowed to rise for an hour. A good tip for checking if the dough has doubled is to let it rise in a large measuring pitcher or bowl.
After the Pane Bianco dough has risen for the first time, it is deflated and rolled out into a long rectangle. The rectangle of dough is topped with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, minced garlic, shredded Italian cheeses (I used a nice Quatro Formagio blend from Trader Joe’s) and chopped fresh basil. It smells divine even at this point!
The rectangle of dough is rolled up from the long side to enclose the filling and the edges are pinched together to fully enclose all of the goodies. The dough log is then clipped down the middle lengthwise, starting and stopping a short distance from the ends, so that the filling is exposed.
The dough log is shaped into an “S”, keeping the cut side up, and the ends are tucked under the body of the bread form an “8”. The dough is then covered and allowed to rise again.
The dough is then baked, covering halfway to prevent over-browning, and allowed to cool on a rack before slicing. Honestly, waiting for it to cool was the hardest part of the whole recipe! The finished bread is delicious and aromatic and has a really nice, light and soft texture. Unfortunately for my waistline, it is the kind of bread that could easily be devoured several slices at a time. Pane Bianco is a bread I will definitely be making again and I hope King Arthur Flour’s future bakealongs are just as fun.