Caesar Salad Bread in “A Passion for Baking”

This has to be one of my favorite over-the-top baking books.

And this particular bread is one of the best recipes in this book.

And that’s saying something, because her book is pretty full of wonderful recipes. I have even tried the popcorn bread, yep.

But before I get started, I have to snap out of this funk. Its a ‘I-took-seasick-pills-last-night-because-we-were-supposed-to-go-sailing” funk. The kind that, when I woke up this morning, my eyeballs kept rolling back in my head. And since its a holiday, I didn’t really have to get up for anything. So I didn’t. When I finally rolled out of bed like a sloth, my brain felt like it was wrapped in cotton batting. Not to say this is a particularly bad feeling. No, not at all, just not very productive. I put on my robe and slippers, schlupped into the kitchen and actually made a big ol’ breakfast. Hubby was putting on the pressure ’cause collage son is home for weekend. We need to fill him up to last a while. Okay, so my kitchen is still a mess, with dregs from last nights festivities that didn’t get cleaned yet and now breakfast madness. I just won’t acknowledge its there. Maybe the dish fairy will come and it will all go away.

And it turns our we are not going sailing. No wind. Harrumph.

Which reminds me, did you see the last episode of Downton Abby last night? The end of season 2, the whole 8 episodes? Did we not get our fill with a 2 hour reshow of last weeks episode as well as the last episode and then a behind the scenes? Sigh…Good stuff that.

Okay, back to what I am here for.

Here is the book:

A Passion for Baking by Mary Goldman

You can find it on Amazon or ecookbooks for less than I originally got it for. It has more stains in it, more left behind flour and sugar, more water marks. Well, not the new copy. Just mine. This book is loved.

So, last night we had company for dinner. I served chicken caccatiatori (made with Smart Chicken air chilled chicken, home grown tomatoes from the freezer and green peppers), friends brought a salad and I had made some Caesar Salad bread from this book. It must be my 8th batch of this bread in the course of about a month, it is that good. Everyone raves about it and I have had people ask me to make it for them. Begging. Weeping for joy. Alright, maybe not so much. But I am going to share this recipe with you and suggest you get a copy of this book if you like to bake at all. Pauls birthday cake is in here. It’s on page 230 and is “Caramel-Chocolate Cookie-Stuffed Sour Cream Deluxe Cake”. Far too rich and decadent for just any day baking. Her Irish Soda bread on page 285 is very close to mine. I just wrote notes in the margins to adapt it to my tastes. (Like adding ground oats to it).

I have made most of her rolls and scones. (Which Phil says is pronounced like “gone” in Scotland). I have yet to be disappointed.

This bread I am showing you is a very savory dough wrapped up with a cheesy-garlic filling. I do not use as much flour as she has. I do cook it in a spring-form pan like she suggests. It bakes up high, brown and beautiful. Then you cut it open and it is partially hollow with swirls or dough and filling. Last night 8 of us finished off the whole big loaf.

Here you go: (and  you can start the dough in the bread machine if you want, keeping an eye out to compensate for the needed flour)

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp salt (calls for 2 1/2, but I find 2 plenty with all the other additions)
  • 1 Tbsp. seasoned salt (like Lawrys)
  • 1 tsp. italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4-5 cups flour bread flour

Filling

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1  cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed garlic (I use from a jar)
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Finishing touches

  • 1 egg
  • pinch each sugar and salt
  • more Parmesan and mozzarella cheese

Okay, let’s get busy. I will be including any notes of mine as well as her instructions.

Rub olive oil or coconut oil into the 10″ springform pan or cake pan.

For the dough, mix the  yeast and water together and let sit for a couple of minutes while you assemble the rest of your ingredients. Then whisk in the oil, sugar, salt, season salt, garlic powder, italian seasoning and about 3 cups of flour. Either mix by hand or if using a mixer, use a dough hook on lowest speed of mixer for 5-8 minutes, adding flour as needed for a soft dough. I add no more than a quarter cup at a time. If you add too much and it gets too dry, add a Tbsp. of water and keep mixing until soft and tacky. Remove dough hook, spray with oil, cover and let rise 45 min. to an hour.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, garlic and parsley. Process 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate. Pat or roll our into a large round, about 1/2″ thick. Like a pizza. Spread filling and roll up the dough. Coil it up in the prepared pan and pinch the ends together.

Whisk the egg and a pinch of sugar and salt in a bowl. (I usually have an egg wash of an egg with a splash of milk mixed in to “wash” the dough). Brush egg wash over the dough. Dust with an additional Parmesan, mozzarella, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Drizzle some olive oil over all and cover loosely with plastic wrap to let rise until it is almost at the top of the pan, another 45 -60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375 and bake for 20  minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 to finish baking until puffy, brown and melty, about another 20-30 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into slices.

Marvel at the flavor. I have even made rolls out of this dough, topping with cheese. I  suppose you could even do a cinnamon roll kind of thing where you roll out the dough in a rectangle, spread the filling, roll it up and slice it, laying them in a pan. But then again, maybe all the good goo would leak out. I do not have a very flattering picture. We usually eat it too fast. but here is something.

Nice, bug and puffy. Then you cut it open and it has big hollow swirls. Oops, got to wipe up the drool now.
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