Pane in Italian means bread and Bianco means white. So literally speaking Pane Bianco means white bread . But don't let the literal translation fool you. This is no ordinary white bread. This beautiful Italian bread is soft and airy filled with sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil ,cheese and garlic.
The shape is little intimidating but trust me it's quite easy . Serve it with an olive oil dip.
I always always Autolyse my dough ...be it yeasted or Sourdough. This process not only helps which not only helps in developing the gluten better but also reduces the kneading time.
I have used all purpose flour (maida) with wholewheat flour(atta)
You can make these with either of the two flours also. Your liquid quantity will change accordingly.
I have used instant yeast, if you don't have instant yeast then you can use active dry yeast. Bloom it in 2 tbsp of luke warm water with a pinch of sugar.
The dough should be very sticky when you start kneading, if you find it's not , add water one tbsp at a time. The key to a soft crumb is hydration of the dough.
The quantity of liquid needed will vary as each flour absorbs liquid differently. It also depends on weather conditions.
If it's difficult to knead, oil your hands but please don't be tempted to add more flour.
Generally Pane Bianco is made using egg but I have replaced the egg with 2 tbsp of malai. If you don't have malai ,you can use 2 tbsp of fresh cream. The bread turned out to be super delicious. Tender crumb and crispy edges.
The stuffing can be customized too. Instead of sun dried tomatoes you can use oven roasted cherry tomatoes or even roasted peppers. Use cheese of your choice. I couldn't resist adding some olives.
All Purpose Flour 200 gms
Whole Wheat Flour 150 gms
Milk 200 ml
Malai or Fresh cream 2 tbsp
Water 80-100 ml
Yeast 1/4 tsp
Salt 1 1/4 tsp
Honey 2 tsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tbsp + extra for brushing
Sun dried tomatoes 1/3 cup chopped into bits
Olives 1/2 cup chopped
Garlic 8 cloves sliced
Basil 1/ 2 cup roughly torn
Cheddar Cheese 50 gms grated
Mix both the flours in a bowl.
Now add in all the milk and malai or fresh cream . Start mixing .
Add water little by little till there is no dry flour and it's all mixed well.
Do not knead .
Cover and leave it for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
This process of mixing flour and liquid and letting the dough rest for sometime is called autolyse.
Now transfer the dough to clean counter top.
Add honey and yeast.
Mix it well.
Sprinkle salt all over the dough and start kneading.
If you find the dough is tight add one tbsp water at a time and continue keading.
The dough should feel very sticky.
Knead using the heel of your palms.
Push the dough outward , then fold it back, rotate it a little and push again.
Incorporate the oil slowly while kneading.
Knead for about 10 minutes.
Slowly you will see that the dough has turned smooth and is not sticking to your hands.
It is ready for proofing.
Now grease a bowl or container.
I prefer a flat bottom straight sides pan or container.
Transfer the dough in the container, turn it over so that it's covered with oil.
Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap.
Mark the container with a marker.
This will help you know when the dough has doubled.
It will take anywhere between 1 1/2 to two hours double in size depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it on the counter top.
Gently deflate the dough.
Flatten and roll it into a 22" x 8" rectangle.
Spread cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and basil.
Starting with long edge farthest from you, roll the dough into a log.
Pinch the edges to seal.
Place the log on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Using kitchen shears cut the log lenghtwise 1" deep, leaving 1/2 " at both the ends.
Keeping the cut side up, form an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8;" pinch the ends together to seal.
Brush with oil, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise till almost double in size.
This will take 30-45 minutes.
While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Uncover the bread, brush again with oilve oil and bake for 35-40 minutes until the internal temperature reads 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove on wire rack .
Let it cool before you slice it