Not like I need a reason to enjoy baking / eating bread; however, now that Fall is almost upon us, I’m going to use that as my excuse. I love that freshly-baked-warm-bread dipped in olive oil & balsamic vinegar any time of the year, but it seems especially extraordinary in the Fall months. Not sure why. Maybe it’s the cozy feeling snuggled up to the warm kitchen. There are many bread recipes floating around out there, but this is what I’ve found works the best.
- 4 packets regular active dry yeast (or if you’re like me and have bought the small jar of yeast, it’s 9 tsps)
- 1 C warm water (~110°)
- 1 C warm milk (~110°)
- 4 C Bread or All Purpose Flour
- 1 C drained & chopped Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta
- 1 C cubed spicy pepper jack cheese
- 1 T salt
- 2 T reserved Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta oil
- 1 tsp sugar
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. If you have a mixer with a hook attachment, you can use that. If not, just use a large bowl and you will mix with your hands. Mix/stir in milk, 4 C of flour, salt, drained & chopped Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta, 1T Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta reserved oil, cubed cheese, & sugar. Add extra flour as needed to make sure dough is not sticky. If using the mixer, dough is ready after adding enough flour that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is completely wrapped around the hook attachment (~6 min). If kneading by hand, add enough flour so dough is springy and not sticky (~8 min).
Use the extra 1 T Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta reserved oil to lightly grease a separate bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubles (~45 min).
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Gently push first into dough to deflate and pat dough into 14X10” rectangle on lightly floured surface. Roll up tightly, beginning at 10-in side. Place seam side down on cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place (~30min).
Heat oven to 450°. Make 3 slashes, about ¼” deep, across loaf. Bake 35 min or until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. If using an electring thermometer, the internal temperature should read just over 200°. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.
You’ll find that you’ll have a little extra Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta left over, as we are not using the entire jar in the bread recipe (unless, of course, you want to!!!) So my dad always taught me, “Waste not, want not.” Oh wait, or was that Benjamin Franklin? As I started early in the morning making this bread, I was getting a little hungry while waiting for it to bake. So, I decided to whip up a healthy egg white omelet.
I diced some ham, threw it in a non-stick pan, added some egg whites, and topped it all off with the remaining Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta. I diced some cherry tomatoes I found lying around and added them as a side to my omelet. It turned out fresh and delicious!
After the bread finished cooling, I sliced a few pieces and enjoyed with an Italian coffee. You don’t need Fall to enjoy a delicious loaf of freshly baked home made bread, so use this recipe any time of the year! Plus, you’ll feel better about baking bread using quality ingredients that are good for you and your family. I’d love to see what you created using this bread – be it sliced alone with coffee, or toasted with butter as my brother likes to make.
Take a pic and post it to our Formato Brothers Facebook page! We love learning from YOU as well!
–Andrea Formato Castner