I love the fifth bread in the BBAC, Casatiello. I am so glad I joined this baking challenge because I would never have paid attention to this bread if I hadn't. Whenever I flip through the book I always skip it thinking it's just another version of brioche and it actually is. The difference is, this Italian cousin of brioche is filled with meat and cheese. It's a savory buttery delicious bread which I enjoy very much for breakfast with fresh fruits and for brunch with steamed asparagus. It's also very good with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup, both sugary additions complement the toasted slices.
I filled the bread with diced mortadella and grated Asiago pressato. I like the mild flavor of the mortadella, think Spam only better, and I love the bits of fat and whole black peppercorns in it. The meat and cheese came out evenly distributed throughout the bread but I would have liked more filling and should have increased the amount by at least ¼ cup of each.
I like this bread so much I baked a second batch (half a recipe), filled it with sopressata and a combination of diced Asiago pressato and coarsely grated young Gouda, and because I wanted to celebrate my "discovery" of this bread I baked it in a bundt pan. Taking a needed break from too much butter, I used extra virgin olive oil to replace almost all of the butter. I'm not sure if it is the olive oil but the second batch is more tender and flakier but just as delicious as the all-butter Casatiello; the flavor of the oil is very subtle, btw.
I can't believe this is half a recipe: the dough more than doubled in bulk after 50 minutes of proofing and had a good oven spring too, filling the pan almost to the top
visual appeal 5
ease of preparation 5
Average: a perfect 5, another winner. Woohoo!