Sourdough Casatiello

20 June 2009

casatiello breadThis week’s bread for the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is Peter Reinhart’s Casatiello. Which I consistently and unashamedly misspelled and mispronounced. It’s the Italian answer to brioche, but with meat and cheese inside. Or, at least, mostly inside…

I halved the recipe and converted it to grams. I replaced the yeast with sourdough starter and reduced the flour and water amounts respectively.

Sponge ingredients

  • 64 grams sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 77 grams water
  • 6 grams milk powder

Dough ingredients

  • 227 grams (8 oz) bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg, large, beaten
  • 85 grams (3 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 85 grams (3 oz) coarsely grated cheese

I refreshed the sourdough starter. When it was bubbly and active, I added the remaining water and milk powder and continued the rest of the recipe from there.

This recipe was supposed to have both meat and cheese in it. Cheese in my bread I can handle, but meat? Uh… I ditched the meat – the idea of meat in my bread was less than appealing, especially considering the meat choices we have here. It would be either chicken weiners or chicken weiners or, well, I could always go with chicken weiners.

Sausages – real, actual sausages, not lousy cheap disgusting weiners masquerading as sausages – don’t exist here. No pepperoni, no salami, and certainly nothing any fancier than that. And the last time I enjoyed weiners in my bread, I was probably four. So, yeah, there goes that idea.

Biga mild cheddar cheese, cubedFor cheese, I used Biga mild cheddar, imported from Australia. It was the only decent cheese at our grocery store, and while it isn’t the greatest, it definitely fills the cheese void. šŸ™‚ And instead of shredding it, I cubed it, which was possibly a mistake since those cubes ended up producing holes in the dough. Um, oops? šŸ™‚

This wasn’t a complicated dough to put together, especially not since I’ve mostly survived brioche. šŸ™‚ It was a slow riser, taking about 4 hours for the first rise and an hour and a half for the second.

The end result? A nice bread that we liked, despite it looking like a very bad case of nasty acne. šŸ˜€ Tasted good, decent crumb, not too crusty crust. Great for sandwiches and generally eating smeared with butter. *cough* heartattack *cough* šŸ˜€

[pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”casatiello bread dough, after mixing” alt=””]

[pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”casatiello bread dough, after mixing, side view” alt=””]

[pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”casatiello bread dough, after first rise” alt=””]

[pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”casatiello bread dough, after first rise, side view” alt=””]

[pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”casatiello bread dough, after shaping” alt=””]

[pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”casatiello bread dough, after 2nd rise” alt=””]

[pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”casatiello bread dough, after 2nd rise with closeup of cheese holes in dough” alt=””]

I’m also submitting this post to Yeastspotting, a weekly showcase of truly drool-worthy breads. In addition to this being part of Sourdough Saturday here on my blog. šŸ˜€

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13 Responses

  1. I saw this on twitter and had to come check it out….been forever since I made bread!
    .-= kathryn magendie ´s last blog ..Available Now! =-.

  2. #2

    Homemade bread can be a great thing. I’m voting for you taking up bread making again… šŸ˜‰

  3. #3
    Madam Chow 

    I love how you replaced the yeast with the sourdough starter. I used bacon in my loaf, both real bacon and soy bacon, and I have to tell you it was terrific. Like you, I was a big skeptic of meat in my bread, but this made me a convert.
    .-= Madam Chow´s last blog ..Recipes to Rival, and Iā€™m SOOOO Embarrassed =-.

  4. #4

    Bacon would be great. Droolworthy, really.

    I’ve been reading posts by quite a few people who were skeptics of meat in bread but were impressed, so I might have to do this one again if I can ever find anything meat-like that’s worth putting in bread. šŸ™‚

  5. Nasty acne? Hmm, I’ve never heard that in reference to bread before. I think it looks great!

  6. #6

    Thank ye, ma’am. šŸ˜€ Can I help it if my acne-ridden bread amuses me? Can I? šŸ˜‰

  7. #7

    It’s funny. The “acne” consistancy was what drew me to want to know more about this bread, lol! I bet the chunks of cheese tasted really good in the finished bread.

    You also had me intrigued. I did not know that Alberta was the land of chicken wieners. Now I know!!

    Thank you for the enjoyable blog post!!
    .-= Mimi ´s last blog ..Mmmmmmm! Pancakes! =-.

  8. #8

    Mimi, I think you misread something somewhere. I don’t live in Alberta, although I used to a long time ago – I lived in Alberta for around 15 or 18 years – I’m getting old and can’t keep track anymore! I now live in Sri Lanka, an islan nation in South Asia, just off the south east tip of India.

    Alberta has a huge selection of meats. Sri Lanka, not so much.

    The bread – oh, yeah, I loved the cheese in it. šŸ™‚

    Thanks for visiting and commenting. šŸ™‚

  9. #9

    LOL, you’re too funny. Glad you liked the recipe. I did also but I added meat. Every slice was liking eating a sandwich. šŸ™‚
    Great baking along with you Laurie,

  10. #10

    Ciao Laurie ! I’m a ‘bit’ behind with my BBA recipe and looking around casatiellos I found your sourdough one ! I’m going sourdough as well but I use a 50% one I’ll let you know what comes out of it…your looks beautiful (at least for an italian !)
    .-= natalia´s last blog ..Daring Cook’s Challenge : Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes =-.

  11. #11

    Hi Laurie,
    I’m living in Kandy and trying to make sourdough bread–thought I was the only one in SL! Are you still around, and still making bread? I’d love to compare notes if so.

  12. #12


    Yep, still making sourdough bread, but I’m in Singapore now, not Sri Lanka. Do you have questions?

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About LMAshton

Howdy and welcome to my site! I'm Laurie and I'll be your, er, hostess today. :)

I'm a Canadian expat currently living in Singapore. I'm married to a Sri Lankan and lived in Sri Lanka for nearly a decade. We also lived in New Zealand for half a year.

I cook Sri Lankan curries, sambols, and mallungs. I bake bread using wild yeast (sourdough that isn't sour). I bake on the stove. I experiment with Indian / Malaysian / Indonesian / Thai / whatever cuisines interest me. And I experiment wildly.

Life is an adventure. Join me! :)

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