Pane Bianco Bake-a-long with King Arthur Flour
The King Arthur Flour Company has a blog site called
For the Month of August they offered a bake-a-long challenge for Pane Bianco. So I thought this would be a great experiment for Reston Lloyd's German Romertopf®. The Romertopf® brand is famous for their tender meat results. However very few know that they can cook bread in the same pot. So I decided to show you how easy it could be. Let's first start with the recipe.
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
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and diced into 1/2″ pieces; or your own oven-roasted tomatoes, diced
3 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, green or purple
Mix the following together in a bowl to be mixed with your bread hook on your mixer:
Knead the dough until it’s fairly smooth and elastic.
Lightly grease a batter bowl or other container. (Side note, I love my batter bowl, you really must try Reston Lloyd's). Put the dough into the batter bowl, cover it, and let it rise for about an hour, or until it’s quite puffy; it should just about double in size.
After the hour has gone by, gently deflate the dough and round it into a workable ball. Let it rest for 10 minutes or so (no need to cover it). This short rest will relax the dough’s gluten, making it easier to roll/pat out.
I cut my dough in half and made two loaves. The picture below is the first half of my dough. After I rolled it out I added all my yummy ingredients which you can change based on your likes and dislikes.
Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Form in a shape of an "S" and tuck both ends under the center to make a figure 8.
Using kitchen shears, start 1/2″ from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1″ deep, to within 1/2″ of the other end. I brushed by two loafts with some additional cheese.
Set inside the bottom of your Romertopf. And repeat the process for the other half of the dough.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.
Turn your Romerotpf® lid upside down and fill with water. Let is soak the same time the dough is raising in the bottom half of the Romertopf®. (The wet Romertopf lid is going to steam the bread during the cooking process which will give you a nice bread top)
After the hour is up, dump the water from your lid. Uncover the bottom half of your Romertopf® and add the lid. Put into your oven and set the temperature to 350°F.
Let it bake 35 to 40 minutes, Remove the lid if you would like more more browning. When it’s done, remove the bread from the oven and transfer it to a rack to cool.
You can see from the bottom half of my bread that the Romertopf® will give you a nice brown light crust on the bottom of your loaf as well. Plus it just pops out of the Romertopf® and cleaning is a snap.
- Reston Lloyd