Tomato, Basil, and Garlic Filled Pane Bianco

National Festival of Breads 2009 Overall Winner
Dianna Wara, Washington, IL
Prep Time: 4 hours
Bake Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Yield: 2 loaves, 20 slices each

Ingredients

My goal in making this bread was to create visually stunning bread that makes you start to drool even before you have taken the first bite. This bread succeeds! This makes great snack bread or a quick, on –the-run bread. My mother-in-law is Italian, so I have worked for a few years to get just the right amount of flavor and authenticity to this bread. 
½ cup warm water (100° - 110°F) 
¼ cup granulated sugar 
4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast 
1 cup warm low-fat milk (100°- 110°F) 
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
2 large eggs 
2 teaspoons salt 
5 – 5 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour 
1 (8.5-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, well-drained 
¾ teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder 
1 ½ cups shredded Italian blended cheese, divided 
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil 

Instructions

1. In a small bowl, add warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir and let sit 10 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add milk, oil, yeast mixture, eggs, and salt. Mix until well combined, about 2 minutes. 

2. Stir in enough of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface or with a dough hook 6 to 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn to grease top. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile, thoroughly drain sun dried tomatoes; lay on paper towel to absorb moisture. Using kitchen shears, finely chop tomatoes. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 

4. Punch down dough, divide in half. Roll one piece into a 22 x 8½ -inch rectangle. Sprinkle on half of the garlic, cheese, basil, and tomatoes. Starting with 22-inch side, roll up (jelly-roll fashion) tightly. Pinch edges to seal. Place roll seam-side-down on baking sheet. With scissors, cut lengthwise down center of roll, about 1-inch deep to within ½-inch of the ends. Keeping cut-side up, form an “S” shape. Tuck both ends under center of “S” to form a “figure eight”; pinch ends to seal. 

5. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough. 

6. Bake the first loaf in a preheated 350°F oven 35 to 40 minutes. Tent loaf with foil after 15 to 20 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Bake remaining loaf.

Nutrition Information

One slice provides approximately 106 calories; 4 g protein; 14 g carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber; 4 g fat (1 g saturated); 14 mg cholesterol; 31 mcg folate; 1 mg iron and 175 mg sodium.