A pandoro mold is traditionally used in Italy to make a sweet bread, but any heavy nine-cup mold may be used. Cooking times may vary.
- Yield: Makes 1 loaf
Source: Christmas Vol. 3 1999
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 3/4 cups warm water, 100 degrees to 110 degrees
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons very coarsely ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup (about 4 ounces) prosciutto, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
- 3/4 cup (about 4 ounces) Italian Fontina cheese, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
- Olive oil, for bowl
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
In bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix yeast and sugar with warm water; stir until dissolved. Let stand until foamy, 10 minutes.
Add flour, salt, and pepper to yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until a smooth ball is formed (dough will be slightly sticky), 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and pat into a 10-by-10-inch square. Scatter prosciutto and Fontina on top; press in.
Pull four corners of dough into center, form a ball, and transfer, seam side down, to a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425 degrees with rack placed in lower third. Punch down dough, pull four corners of dough into center to form a ball, and place in lightly oiled pandoro mold, seam side up. Cover with plastic; let rise until it is even with the top of the mold and slightly mounded, 30 minutes. Brush top with egg glaze. Bake until top is a dark golden brown, 35 minutes. Cover bread with a tent of aluminum foil; reduce heat to 350 degrees. Continue baking until base of bread sounds hollow when tapped and sides are golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Unmold bread onto cooling rack, top side down, until completely cool, 1 hour. (If sides of bread are not brown, set bread on oven rack, top side down, for another 5 minutes, until golden.) Bread will keep wrapped in plastic wrap for 1 to 2 days, although fresh bread always tastes best.