4.7 from 7 reviews
Pane Bianco
This recipe makes a tasty loaf filled with fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, and shredded cheese; the bread has wonderful soft texture, and is packed with flavor. The unique shape is simple to achieve, and makes an impressive presentation.
Yield: 1 loaf
For the dough:
  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour* (see note)
  • 1 package (2¼ tsp, ¼oz, 7g) RED STAR Platinum Superior Baking Yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup lukewarm milk (120-130°F)
  • ⅓ cup lukewarm water (120-130°F)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the Filling
  • ¾ cup shredded Italian-blend cheese or the cheese of your choice
  • ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes or your own oven-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil, green or purple
  1. To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients in a bowl (or the bucket of your bread machine), and mix and knead — by hand, using a mixer, or in your bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a smooth, very soft dough. The dough should stick a bit to the bottom of the bowl if you're using a stand mixer.

  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise until it's doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the tomatoes, patting them dry. Use kitchen shears to cut them into smaller bits.

  4. Gently deflate the dough. Flatten and pat it into a 22x8½ -inch rectangle. Evenly spread the cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and basil over dough.

  5. Starting with one long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way. Pinch the edges to seal.

  6. Place the log seam-side down on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

  7. Using kitchen shears, start ½ inch from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1-inch deep, to within ½ inch of the other end.

  8. Keeping the cut side up, form an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8;" pinch the ends together to seal.

  9. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45 to 60 minutes.

  10. While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  11. Uncover the bread, and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 to 25 minutes to prevent over-browning.

  12. Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage.

  13. Recipe in partnership with King Arthur Flour.
Substitute all-purpose flour 1:1 for the bread flour in the recipe, if desired. Reduce the water to ¼ cup.

When making anything with yeast, including this bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise until it's doubled in bulk." Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.

Chop your basil with kitchen shears, just as you do the sun-dried tomatoes.
Pane Bianco | This recipe makes a tasty loaf filled with fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, and shredded cheese; the bread has wonderful soft texture, and is packed with flavor. The unique shape is simple to achieve, and makes an impressive presentation. Find recipe at redstaryeast.com.

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  1. My sun-dried tomatoes are vacuum packed, no oil. Will these work for this bread recipe? I was thinking of adding a tsp of olive oil to the filling to make up for the lack of oil with the sun-dried tomatoes. Thank you!

    • Hi Janet,
      Yes, that will work. I would mix the oil in with the sun-dried tomatoes before adding to filling mixture. Let us know how it turns out!
      Happy baking!

  2. So why is there 2 separate measurements for the water?

    • Hi Donna,
      There is 1/2 cup MILK and 1/3 cup WATER listed in the ingredients. There is no other measurements for water.
      I hope you will find this helpful.
      Happy baking!

  3. I’m not usually a bread maker but this was easy w impressive results! Thanks.

  4. thanks for the website on how to shape, I don’t make bread, but my goodness, I’m sure inspired to do so now!


  5. I am going to make this! It looks amazing. I don’t know where to find King Arthur flour in my area. I am in Canada, Hamilton/St. Catherine’s.

    • I too am from Canada (Montreal!) and King Arthur Flour isn’t available here either. To reassure you, I’ve made this Pane Banco bread using Robin Hood Bread Flours (at times with white, with multi-grains and whole wheat as well) – keep in mind that “our cup of flour” weighs heavier than the American flour. Robin Hood Customer Service confirmed that one cup of RH weighs 150g whilst one cup of KAF weighs 120g according to their website. I suggest weighing your flour to get the best results possible. Happy baking and cheers!

  6. I’ve made this bread 5 times now. Very easy. Always a hit with my guest.

  7. Just starting to get into making breads. I made this today.. very happy with my end result. Soft, beautiful bread. Looks like the photo. Will be makeing again.

  8. Pictures of cutting and shaping the dough into an S would be much appreciated!

  9. So I wanna make sure I read this correctly, you mix all of the dough ingredients together, which means you don’t let the yeast proof separately first?
    The bread looks delicious!

  10. so good! my guests loved it. perfect to pair up with pasta

  11. I’m not a baker but I just had to say this is too beautiful to eat! I may just try to make it.

  12. Pls tell me any easily available veg substitute for egg

    • Hello Babli,

      Combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water to replace one large egg.

      Happy baking!

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