Holidays at the Jungle
Italian Pecorino and Prosciutto Bread
Ingredients (makes 1 large loaf)
2 packages active dry yeast
½ cup warm milk (110 to 115°F)
4 large eggs
¼ cup fruity olive oil
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3½ to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
½ cup shredded Fontina or provolone cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin shreds
Stir the yeast into the milk in a large mixing bowl and let stand until dissolved, 5 to 10 minutes.
Beat in the eggs, olive oil, and butter until well blended.
Combine 3½ cups flour with the salt and pepper, add it to the yeast mixture, and stir to form a dough.
Work in the cheeses and the prosciutto.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky, until smooth and satiny, 7 to 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into 1 round and bulbous loaf.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Bake the bread until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.