Luigi's favourite Baba Rustico

Ingredients

  • 750g Caputo Classica flour

  • 9 Legbar eggs

  • 1 ½ cup of milk

  • 3 fresh yeast

  • 1 teaspoon of Sicilia fine salt

  • 1 teaspoon of Geber sugar

  • 200g of parmesan cheese

  • 450g of cured mixed meat

  • 200g of Italian butter

METHOD

Melt the butter (either in a saucepan or in the microwave) and set aside. Chop up all the ingredients for the filling and set aside. Warm up the milk slightly (not hot, just lukewarm). Pour in a bowl, add the yeast and the sugar, mix well with a fork and let it rest for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture gets bubbly and doubles in size. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and the salt together. In a large bowl add the flour and create a well in the middle. Add in the yeast mixture and mix it into the flour with a fork until you get sticky texture. Now add the butter and the egg mixture and mix it all together . When it starts to get hard to mix, start working the mixture with your hands. The mixture is going to be a bit sticky, but it is meant to be! When you obtain a sticky and smooth dough, add in the cheese and chopped meats. Make sure they are well incorporated into the dough. Work the dough for 5 to 10 minutes then make in into a ball shape, put back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel.

The dough will need to rest for at least 2 hours, until it is nearly (but not quite) doubled in size. While waiting, line a ring cake tin of 27cm diameter by evenly spreading a layer of butter on all internal surfaces and adding 2 tablespoons of flour, distributing it evenly across all surfaces by shaking the tin. Get rid of any excess flour that hasn’t stuck to the tin.

When the dough has completed its first stage of proofing, move it to the lined tin. I just place it on top of the tin and let the ring create a hole in the dough. Then make sure the dough is evenly placed in the tin by moving it around as required. Cover with a tea towel again and let rest for an extra hour, or until the dough has nearly reached the top edge of the tin. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200˚C (180˚C fan oven). When the dough is ready, place the tin on the middle shelf in the oven for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the the baba will come out dry and the surface is well browned.

Plough Way Deli Top Tip

When proofing the dough, we like to wrap it up like a baby with several tea towels to make sure no air gets through and the dough is left to rest in complete peace.