The Casatiello bread I made a week or so ago turned out wonderfully. It had a great texture, a nice yellow color inside, a crisp crust, and a very nice flavor. It was yummy on its own and also made great sandwiches. This weekend, I moved on to a brioche, which is very similar to the Casatiello but is often made in weird shapes, as depicted below. I bought a pan for the occasion. Basically, you get this special pan and stick a big ball of dough in it; then you stack a second ball on top of it. I think I made the top ball too large, and I must have distributed its mass unequally, as it shifted substantially during baking. The next time I make it, I may do one ball in the fluted pan but skip the snowman look and use a regular bread pan for the remaining dough. The color of this bread is lovely, and it tastes great. I ate a bunch of it by itself today, but it also made a tasty roast beef sandwich of some leftovers from last night. Pictorial following.

This is the initial batch of flour, milk, and yeast, which ferment for less than an hour to start pulling flavor out of the flour.

Here I’ve added the rest of the ingredients (including a stick of butter, which accounts for the yellow color) and stuck in the fridge overnight.

This is the view from above after forming the shape of the bread. Looks kind of like a flower.

This is a better view of what the bread is likely to look like post-bake if all goes well.

And here’s the final product. The top ball slipped over to the side, so it looks kind of weird. The ball in the picture in my book has slipped a little bit, but not nearly this much. The ball in the book is also much smaller, and I think the weight of the risen dough had something to do with the slipping. The bread is tasty, in any case!

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