When I start a batch of bread dough, the first question my DH asks is “Salado o Dulce?” “Savory or Sweet?” If I answer savory, it is almost like I have personally offended him. He “knows” the bread is not for him. If I answer sweet, he has high hopes that he will love it. He definitely prefers sweet breads over savory. Thus the reason I have done my best to make sweet treats like Sour Cherry Fantans, Apple Kuchen, and the Peruvian Manjar Rose Bread.
The dough for the Filled Pane Bianco seems to be completely versatile and could be filled with a number of things. I chose a few variations. First, I made a shredded apple pecan filling. To be honest, it was so watery that the dough did not appreciate the shaping step and rebelled at every curve. I loved the idea, but the execution did not go over so well. Given the apple filling fail, I chose to go for a different, but still sweet, direction and used chocolate chips, sliced almonds and sweetened condensed milk. Flavors that all sound delicious together, although I would use chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips to get some melting going on. Personally, I love savory breads and just adore tomato, basil and garlic together so I may just have to make a savory version of the Filled Pane Bianco for myself one of these days.
Should you try Filled Pane Bianco in your own home? Absolutely! The dough really is a cinch to throw together, even by hand. I did it while visiting with a friend and making lunch. Of course, I got busy while the dough was rising and will admit that I left it alone about 3 times as long as I should have. Oops! But that is just proof positive that it is not a dough that you can mess up easily.
Make the filling your own! I was dreaming filling the dough by spreading peanut butter and jelly. Or coconut and Brazil nuts with a little bit of jam. What about ham and cheese? Really, the possibilities are endless. To be honest, as I am writing this, I am considering throwing together another batch of Filled Pane Bianco today just to try some of these other flavors! what would you fill this bread with?
Filled Pane Bianco can take on it's own personality depending on what you tuck inside the tender dough.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 5-5 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, softened in hot water & minced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 100 grams chopped chocolate
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup coconut
- 100 grams chopped white chocolate
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup mixed berry jam
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Combine the water and butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat in the microwave on high until the butter is melted.
- Add milk to the butter mixture and heat until warm to the touch (should be warm to the touch, but not hot!).
- In a large bowl, beat eggs until well combined. Add sugar and yeast, stir together well and let it rest until it begins to foam, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add salt and flour by the cup and stir in until stirring becomes difficult, about 4 cups. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining flour. Continue to knead until dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning over to ensure the entire dough's surface is greased. Cover loosely and set it to rise until double, about 45 minutes.
- Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and coating the paper with baking spray.
- Gently deflate the dough and cut it in half. Cover one half while you begin to work with the second half.
- Roll out the half you are working with into a large rectangle. Evenly sprinkle on the filling of your choice. Roll up the dough starting with the long edge and pinch the seam to seal. Place the seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Cut the dough lengthwise about 1-inch deep, leaving a 1/2-inch seal on both ends. Gently form an "S" shape, maintaining the cut side facing up. Tuck both ends under the middle to form a "figure 8" and pinch the ends to seal. Cover loosely and set it to rise until double, about 45 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Once the loaves are almost finished rising, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake loaves until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Tent the bread with foil to prevent over browning if necessary.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and allow bread to cool before slicing into it.
The recipes for the fillings assume that you are using one filling to fill both loaves. Should you want to make a variety, reduce the filling accordingly.
I did brush mine with 1 beaten egg a few times because I need to coax the golden color out of them. If your oven browns evenly, you do not need to do this.
Experiment with fillings, but know that the runnier the filling, the more difficult the shaping will be. This works best with dry ingredients and cheese to help it stick together. But, that doesn't stop me from doing other delicious combinations!
Filled Pane Bianco in Other Kitchens:
- Tomato, Basil & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco on King Arthur Flour (original recipe)
- Tomato, Basil & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco on Living in the Kitchen with Puppies
The Filled Pane Bianco loaves were baked for March’s Bread Baking Babes event. Natashya from Living in the Kitchen in Puppies is the Kitchen of the Month for the Bread Baking Babes and Buddies. The Baking Babes would LOVE to have you to bake this bread with us and be a Bread Baking Buddy! You will be rewarded with a delicious bread and a badge.
These Filled Pane Bianco loaves are also being submitted to Yeastspotting.