There is something to say about a bread that not only has a great mouthfeel and taste to it, but has an extra kick to it in the sense of flavours from added ingredients.
I used to make this bread mostly for picnics as it's a great standalone bread you can eat without butter. What is an even better way of eating it is with that lovely mixture of a premium olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for my personal choice, I would do a premium olive oil and flakes of “fleur de sel” or good sea salt.
4 ½ c. flour (unbleached is preferable)
1 package active dry yeast, or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 ½ c. milk
2 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ c. diced roasted peppers
½ diced sundried tomatoes
1 marinated hot pepper of your choice
2 tbsp. chopped basil
½ c. sliced black olives
½ c. diced prosciutto
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. salt
In large bowl or mixer bowl of your stand mixer, combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Heat and stir milk, sugar and salt till warm, (105°F to 110°F). Add to flour mixture, add egg, and beat on low with hand mixer or using the stand mixer on low for 1 minute, scraping sides of bowl. Beat on medium for 3 minutes.
Change to dough hook in the stand mixer to incorporate the rest of the flour, or use a wooden spoon to stir in as much of the flour as you can. Beat on medium low with the dough hook for 4 minutes or so, or once the flour is combined with your wooden spoon, turn onto a floured surface and knead for a good 6 minutes.
Place in lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean damp cloth or cellophane wrap and let it rise till double, about an hour.
In the meantime, place all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and stir.
Punch down and separate into 2 even portions to make 2loaves. Let it rest 10 minutes.
Roll out each portions into a 14x10 rectangle and spread half the filling in each center, close to the sides, roll tightly and pinch closed. Placed on a corn meal covered baking pan and let it rise till double again, about an hour. Slice across the top ¼-inch deep.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Place the loaves in the center and bake for 30 minutes, until crust is golden and center sounds hollow.
Remove from oven and enjoy!