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Spelt casatiello – Neapolitan stuffed Easter bread

Spelt casatiello – Neapolitan stuffed Easter bread
  • Bread
  • medium
  • Makes 1 24cm diameter ring loaf
  • 1 hour 15 minutes, plus 4 hours proving time

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Ingredients

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  • Casatiello dough

  • 300g of strong white bread flour
  • 200g of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 320g of water, lukewarm
  • 10g of salt
  • 10g of yeast
  • For the top

  • 4 medium eggs
  • For the filling

  • cheese, such as provola, diced
  • salami, diced
  • olive oil
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Method

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1
To make the dough, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until they come together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Spelt has a delicate gluten structure so you want to be careful not to over-knead this dough
2
Transfer to an oiled bowl and leave to rise for 2 hours
3
Generously oil a 24cm cake tin. You need to place something in the middle of your cake tin to allow the bread to rise as a ring – you can either use a bundt tin if you have one, or I covered a jam jar with tin foil and placed that in the centre
4
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Separate a small amount of dough (about 100g) to use later. Roll the remaining dough out to about 60cm x 20cm, making sure it isn’t too thin in any one place. If it’s rolled too thin it won’t prove properly in the next stage of the process
5
Brush the rectangle of dough with olive oil and then spread over your fillings. I used a strong Italian cheese like pecorino, some thinly sliced red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, dried oregano, salt and pepper – but traditionally it is filled with nothing more than diced cheese and salami
6
Roll the dough up to make a long sausage and place into the cake tin, with the jar left in the centre. Leave to rise for about 2 hours, until it has almost doubled in size
7
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
8
Use the end of a rolling pin to make 4 indentations in the loaf, at equal distances from eachother. Sit your eggs in the indentations and, using the dough you saved earlier, make a cross to secure each egg down
9
Bake the casatiello for 40 minutes, then leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes
10
Remove from the tin (and remove the jar from the centre) and place on a wire rack. Alternatively, you can enjoy warm straight from the oven!
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