>> January 25, 2010
For the bread dough:
¾ cup water, about 110-115 degrees
2 ½ teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
4 ½ ounces unsalted butter
4 ¼ cups warm milk
2-3 pounds all purpose flour (about 12 cups)
½ teaspoon sea salt
For the filling
1 ½ pounds sliced ham
½ pound smoked bacon cut in cubes (save the bacon fact)
4 ounces olives stuffed with red pepper and roughly chopped
4 ounces raisins (soaked in red wine)
1 egg, beaten lighly to glaze the top
To do the dough for the bread, we start with the "starter" in a bowl, mix the warm water and sugar and then add the yeast. Let stand for 15 minutes until it foamy.
Add the butter to the warm milk, the sugar and salt. In a mixer with a doug hook, start mixing the flour in a low setting and then add the milk mixture to it, and then the yeast "sponge". Let the mixer mix for about 15 minutes. When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to a lightly floured surface. Knead in until soft and smooth, using enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Roll it like a ball and place in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp clothes and let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
In the meantime, start preparing the filling.
Turn oven to 375 degrees
A quick tip: If you are press for time, I have used the Pillsbury pizza dough tube in order to replace the step of making my own bread. Works like a charm. Follow the package baking instructions.