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Extraordinary Bread – Scaccia


Scaccia is a stuffed flat bread in Sicilian cuisine. “Scacciata” derives from the Sicilian word meaning to drive away, equivalent to the Italian word “schiacciata” meaning to crush or to flatten.

This bread is made with a very thin rectangular layer of dough, folded on itself three or four times. It can be stuffed with different ingredients, the more common variations are ricotta cheese and onion, cheese and tomato, tomato and onion, or tomato and eggplant, depending on location, taste, or season. It is baked and can be eaten hot or cold.

A great option for a lunch, I made this King Arthur Baking Company recipe today. As I have a habit of doing, I did change the recipe a bit. Scaccia is also referred to as Lasagna Bread. So, I decided to add one of my favorite lasagna ingredients to it – Italian Sausage.

The dough was mixed, kneaded and allowed to rise in my bread machine. After a two hour rise, the dough was rolled and stretched prior to adding the filling
To the filling recipe, I added 1/2 pound of browned Hot Pork Sausage.
Unable to find the cacciocavallo cheese, I used shredded Romano cheese.
Half of the meat sauce was spread over the center of the dough and covered with half of the cheese. The dough was folded, meat and cheese added, folded and more meat and cheese added, and then folded one last time.
The bread roll was then placed in a baking pan.
It may not be pretty, but it sure was tasty.
After removing from the oven, I sprinkled shredded parmesan cheese on the top.

This loaf was extremely tasty. The next time I make this recipe, I think that I will try to make individual sized portions that I can warm for lunches.

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ExtraordinaryBread – Cinnamon Conchas

Conchas, which means “shells” in Spanish, have a the twisted streusel top that is supposed to look like a seashell. They are Mexico’s national sweet bread. The history of the concha dates back to the colonial era, when French, Spanish, and Italian bakers established themselves in Mexico, bringing their recipes, like brioche and baguettes, with them. Traditionally a type of pan dulce, they usually come in either chocolate or vanilla flavor. The King Arthur Baking Company recipe uses cinnamon for the topping.

The ingredients for these rolls are fairly standard. Thus, I did not take a photo. The recipe is also fairly easy. When first shaping the rolls, they seemed really large. So, instead of making ten rolls, I made eight of two different kinds, cinnamon and chocolate, for sixteen total.

While an easy recipe, I did forget to place the egg wash over the rolls before adding the topping. By the time I realized this, the rolls had already started to rise and I did not want to mess with them. I was pleasantly surprised after the rise to find that the streusel topping had created a cracked appearance, removing the need to cut lines into the topping.

The cracked surfaces baked fine as well. Even though I made them smaller than the recipe called for, they were still plenty big. I think the next time I make these I will make them even smaller.

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#ExtraordinaryBread – Butterflake Herb Loaf

Another recipe done and another tasty loaf (actually two loaves) of bread. For the complete recipe, see the King Arthur Baking Company recipe. This is a recipe I have made before. This time, I made a few adjustments.

Instead of regular milk, I used 1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk, mixed with 1 cup warm water.
For the flour, I used 1 cup wheat flour, 1 cup unbleached bread flour and the rest (by weight) was all purpose flour.
The recipe calls for splitting the dough into two balls, rolling out the dough and cutting out ten circles for each loaf of bread. Instead of rolling out the dough, I manipulated the dough into discs with my hands. I also like numbers that are easily divided in half, so I did 16 circles for each loaf of bread.
The recipe lists numerous herbs for the filling. Herbes De Provence has nearly the same herbs and I had a jar in my cupboard that I need to use up.
I spread the herb-butter mix over the disc, folded in half and spread on one of the outer sides to help the bread pull apart easier.
Two pans ready to rise.
Ready for baking.

As expected, since I had made this recipe before, these loaves tasted great!

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#Extraordinary Bread – Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

Several years ago, I watched the movie “Julie and Julia” with some of my friends. The movie involves two story lines. One details Julia Child’s start in the cooking profession. The other follows a blogger named Julie as she challenges herself to cook all of the recipes in Julia Child’s first book, 524 recipes, in one year. I enjoyed the movie and always thought cooking through a cookbook would be a fun thing to do.

When King Arthur Baking Company announced last week that they were having a contest (randomly drawn winner) for bakers to make any of the twelve recipes in the Extraordinary Bread collection, I thought I would give it a try. I plan to try out each recipe and post some tips and suggestions with each.

While I am definitely not the writer that Julie Powell was, nor are my cooking/baking skills any where near a professional like Julia Child, I do enjoy trying new things.

Today, I made Khachapuri. The bread is shaped into flat “boat-like” ovals and filled with a mix of cheeses and topped with an egg. Based upon the ingredients, I assumed the bread would taste somewhat like a flattened bagel. With that in mind, I made some modifications to half of the “boats”.

For the recipe, visit the King Arthur Baking website.

Measured out each of the dough ingredients. My flour tends to be rather compact in my storage container.
So, for greater accuracy and a better bake, I would strongly suggest weighing the flour rather than going by the cup measurements.
Dough mixed and kneaded in bread machine.
Cheese filling combined in mini food processor.

The recipe makes four bread boats. I knew that my family would likely not eat all four of these. So, I only made a half batch of the cheese filling to be used with two of the boats. For the other two boats, I combined 1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese with 1/4 cup Cinnamon Sweet Bits (found here).

The recipe says to roll out the dough into ovals.
I found it worked well to just push the dough into ovals with my hands – less mess, no need to wash the rolling pin.
Two ovals were filled with cheese filling and the edges turned up.
Two ovals were filled with the ricotta-cinnamon mix and the edges rolled up.
Before baking, I brushed the edges with egg wash. I sprinkled Swedish Pearl Sugar on the edges of the cinnamon boats.
An egg was cracked over the cheese filling prior to the last ten minutes of baking.
The Ricotta-Cinnamon filled bread tasted like a cinnamon bagel with cream cheese.

Each type of Khachapuri tasted really good, but I especially liked the Ricotta-Cinnamon combination.

The loaves are rather big – each loaf is enough for two or three people to eat. I think next time I make these, I will make twelve small loaves rather than the four large loaves.