Slightly modified from this recipe on Erin's blog, which was taken from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart.
- ½ cup bread flour
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, lukewarm (or whole milk)
- 4 ounces pepperoni, cut in quarters
- 3 ½ cups (16 ounces) bread flour
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) Salt
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) Sugar
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup coarsely shredded or grated provolone or other cheese (I used mozzarella)
- Proof yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.
- To make the sponge, stir together the flour and yeast mixture to make a pancake-like batter. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 1 hour.
- While the sponge is fermenting, dice the salami into small cubes and saute it lightly in a frying pan to crisp it slightly.
- Stir together the flour, salt, and sugar with a spoon. Add the eggs and the sponge until the ingredients form a coarse ball. If there is any loose flour, dribble in a small amount of water or milk to gather it into the dough. Mix for about 1 minute, then let rest for 10 minutes. Divide the butter in 4 pieces and work into dough, one piece at a time while mixing. After mixing about 4 minutes, the dough will change from sticky to tacky and eventually come off the sides of the bowl. If not, sprinkle in more flour to make it do so.
- When the dough is smooth, add the meat pieces and mix until they are evenly distributed. Then gently mix in the cheese until it too is evenly distributed. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Ferment at room temperature for about 90 minutes, or until the dough increases in size by at least 1 1/2 times.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and leave as 1 piece for 1 large loaf or divide into 2 pieces for smaller loaves. Bake in 1 large or 2 small loaf pans by misting the pans with spray oil, shaping the dough, and placing it in the pans. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and cover.
- Proof for 60-90 minutes, or until the dough just reaches the top of the pans.
- Place pans in a 350′F oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until the center of the loaves registers 185-190′F. The dough will be golden brown on top and on the sides, and the cheese will ooze out into crisp little brown pockets.
- When the bread is done, remove the bread from the oven and from the pans and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.
Tim's Rating: 9/10
Liz's Rating: 8/10