Napoli Bread

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This wonderful savory bread was made by my mother every year at Easter, as many from Naples traditionally do.  I like to make it year round. When Millie passed away (omg, I miss her so) I realized that unlike most things she prepared, I had not watched her enough to reproduce her recipe.  So when I was hungry for this unbelievably delicious bread, I searched the internet for a recipe that matched what I watched mom make.  After some time I found it!  I have tweaked it a little, but by and large it is Mary Ann Esposito’s (of Ciao Italia fame) rendition of a recipe from “Nonna Grasso.”  You are going to love this!  Let us know what you think!

NAPOLI BREAD

Dough Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour (not self-rising flour)

1 package instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

2 cups warm water (you may not use all of it)

Filling Ingredients

1/2 pound chunk salami, cut into cubes

1/2 pound chunk sharp provolone cheese, cut into cubes

Salt to taste

Grinding black pepper (or coarse ground)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Grease a 10 inch tube pan and set aside.

Heap the flour on a work surface or put in a big mixing bowl. (Or add it to the bowl of a stand mixer. If using stand mixer, use dough hook only.)

Add the dry yeast, salt and pepper. Hand mix into the flour.  (A mixer will explode a cloud of dry flour on this 1 step!).

Slowly add olive oil and work into the flour.

Add the grated romano cheese and enough warm water to make a soft ball of dough.

Remove ball from bowl (or continue to work on counter).

Punch the ball once (helps activate yeast).

Knead the dough.

Roll out into a large rectangle, 18 by 14 inches.

Scatter the cheese and salami over the surface to within an inch of the edges.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Starting at the longest side, roll the dough up as for a jellyroll, making sure to tuck in the ends.

Place it in the tube pan.

Tuck the two ends together.

Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and put in a warm place on counter away from drafts (important).

Allow to rise for about 1 hour or until the dough is 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pan. 

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until golden brown.

Let cool on a rack then run a butter knife along the inside edges of the pan, carefully turn pan over to remove bread. Serve warm, cut into wedges.

Enjoy!

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Grace currently hails from the shores of North Carolina, a trial retirement location, where she programs and broadcasts a weekly local news show on (all-volunteer) Radio Hatteras. Homesickness overwhelms her many days. A 50-year resident with a heart for Frederick, Grace attended West Frederick Junior and Frederick High Schools. A de facto paralegal from the days when legal secretaries did much research and writing, Grace worked in private law firms. Other employment included IBM, radio, band music, Montgomery County Attorney’s Office, and a long term position with the Montgomery County Council where she retired as a facilities manager. Grace was a minority practical conservative in a liberal charter government. Notwithstanding that environment, Grace is a resourceful, logical, thrifty, innovative, and independent thinking woman--and a great cook! She has been described as “thorough and meticulous.” Having cut her teeth in local government for 28 years, she is well acquainted with the workings of charter government. Grace will share writings of her amusements and observations...and, yes, recipes!