Definitely one for the meat lovers, I found the Prosciutto Ring - the Bread Bible project for this month - a bit icky-looking in the raw. I'm a meat eater but something about the pink meat and the raw dough didn't appeal to me.
Once cooked, however, the bread and meat are melded and the flavour is deliciously savoury with a spicy bite from the hot salami. This was incredibly easy to make in the stand mixer, and fast to rise and bake. The texture wasn't at all doughy as you might expect from a quick type bread. All-in-all a big success.
The method for this bread is very easy. Just put all the ingredients, minus the meat, into the stand mixer and knead for a while.
The dough looked fairly unformed once the kneading was done and I wondered if I should put the mixer back on for a bit longer.
Laziness won out (the 'it'll do' principle, which I suspect is foreign to Rose) and I just added the cut up meat and put the mixer on low to incorporate it with the dough. I used prosciutto and a spicy salami for the meat. You could put a lot of different things in this bread, roast capsicums would be nice with spicy salami.
I had to wrestle with the dough to incorporate all the meat. Possibly because I ignored the instructions and used thinly sliced meats which stuck together, I ended up with one recalcitrant ball of meat that wouldn't mix with the dough. A bit of muscle power and a spatula sorted it out.
The dough was left to rest for a little while, then onto the bench to be formed into a log and made into a ring.
I was a bit worried about the look of the dough when I was rolling it into a log. It had striations along the length and it didn't look very smooth. In the end it didn't make any difference so I have to assume it was normal.
I might have found it a bit creepy to look at but I was still mesmerised by the puffy donut of dough it turned into once it had been left to rise.
So much so that I couldn't decide between photos.
The bread is basted with butter both before and after baking. Actually bacon fat was specified but this was a bridge too far for me - both in terms of effort required and nightmares about blocked arteries.
The bread came out looking very dark which would have been alarming but the recipe said it would be dark and all the other Bread Bible Bakers' loaves came out looking the same.
This was a great bread and one that you could whip up easily upon the unexpected arrival of any voracious carnivores* at your door.
Next month the Bread Bible Alpha Bakers are baking Beer Bread.
*of the human variety I mean, rather than zombies or wild animals - a clarification for those who watch a lot of TV. This bread is pretty good but I'm not sure it would placate a zombie. Better not to open the door.