Since we left Umbria last November, I have gotten out of the habit of making my own bread at home. I’m not sure why, but life is just different here in Florida compared to my country life in Umbria. I decided last week that I needed to start making bread on a regular basis once again. I went through my files of recipes on my “to do” list and pulled out a recipe for Ricotta bread that I’ve made once before but never managed to get the recipe posted here. Ricotta bread has a lovely, moist, fine grained texture and a nice chewy delicate crust. This recipe makes enough dough for two loaves of bread, and I decided to make one baguette loaf for bruschetta, and a nice oval shaped loaf that I’ll slice for sandwiches.
Deborah Mele 2011
The addition of ricotta cheese creates a moist, country style bread.
- 1/2 Cup Plus Additional Warm Water As Needed(About 110 degrees F.)
- 1 Package Rapid Rise Active Yeast (1/4 Ounce)
- Pinch of Sugar
- 4 Cups Unbleached Bread Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Fresh Ricotta Cheese
- Additonal Flour Or Fine Cornmeal
- In a small bowl, mix the 1/2 cup warm water, sugar and yeast and stir to mix, then let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
- In a large bowl, place 3 2/3 cup of the flour, the olive oil, salt, ricotta, and cinnamon.
- Add the yeast mixture and stir with a large spoon until the dough begins to come together, adding enough additional warm water as needed to create a dough.
- Dump the dough onto a board or counter, and using the additional flour as needed, knead the dough by hand until the dough is smooth, about 8 minutes.
- Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Divide the dough in two, and shape as desired into baguettes, or oval or round shaped loaves.
- Place the loaves on two separate baking sheets that have been lightly coated with flour or fine cornmeal.
- Let loaves rest for about 45 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and arrange two oven racks in the middle of the oven. 5 minutes before baking, place a baking dish with water on the oven floor which will help create a good crust on the bread.
- Dust the loaves lightly with flour, and using a very sharp knife or bread lame, cut slashed into the top of the loaves to allow expansion as they bake.
- Bake the loaves until they are golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees F., about 45 minutes.
- Cool on racks to room temperature before slicing.
I had some ricotta in my frig and was wanting to make bread and found your beautiful blog. Thanks so much for sharing! Going to check out some of your recipes, they look wonderful.
I tried this bread last week and it was easy and a way to use up ricotta in the fridge. While it was too dense for my taste ( I did forget to punch it down – maybe that is why), it was ok toasted with jelly. I sliced and froze one loaf to keep for toast. The other I left out by accident so I ground and toasted it for bread crumbs and it made the BEST meatballs. I will certainly make this bread again for, if nothing else, breadcrumbs. * I can not wait to try your Lemon Cake you just posted. I love baking without butter or shortening. I will most likely adjust the recipe to just use bottled lemon juice but it does look easy, light and yummy. Thanks.
Will you be cooking a big Easter spread? I am curious about what you may plan to make? My Aunt would make a large danish stuffed with fig. We always made the breads together so I know how to do that. There would also be custards, rice pie, wheat pie, ricotta pie, black bottom pie, Quiche (one huge one with 7 different meats – the name escapes me, ham, fruitcup and more. But the fig danish recipe I need to find. Do you have one?
I was searching for recipes that include ricotta cheese and discovered your website. I love making bread, so was eager to try this recipe. I wasn’t sure why you had included cinnamon as a flavoring, thinking it would overpower the intrinsic beautiful flavor of homemade bread. I was happily surprised to find this bread delicious and not too sweet. The cinnamon added a surprising hint of nuance to the bread that I hadn’t expected. I love it!
It makes a fantastic french toast.
Thanks for this website. I will continue to explore your wonderful recipes.
Have made a version of this several times that turned out well. variations from the recipe as written:
(1) used 3/4 cup water, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and slightly more than 2 cups all purpose flour.
(2) 1 tsp oregano instead of cinnamon
(3) form one large loaf
(4) bake at 210 deg C for 30 min in convection oven
I am using a machine mixer to knead the dough. Perhaps this creates a drier bread than hand kneading?
Made another loaf with modifications to my previous variation:
(1) 3 cups AP flour (though a lot more was sucked in during shaping, so prob slightly more than 3.5 all together)
(2) 30 min autolysis phase (throw the ingredients together and let them sit)
(3) more gentle kneading option from bread machine
The dough coming out of the machine (mix, knead and 1st rise) was considerably smoother and wetter (tacky) than before. During shaping, it absorbed a lot of additional flour, so maybe my hypotheses about drying factors were correct.
Wanted to use my leftover ricotta in a bread recipe and I found your site. I followed your recipe and the bead turned out really well. The cinnamon was a nice surprise. My bread did not rise as high as expected but it was still really good. The crust was outstanding because of water in the bottom of the over. I’ve made a lot of bread but I never had to do that before.
My dough won’t rise. Not sure what is wrong. Was I supposed to make a well in the flour and then mix it together? Disappointed
It must be your yeast. Is it fresh? I’ve never had trouble with this recipe.
The only thing I added to the ricotta was a large egg, to boost the food value of the bread. Otherwise, the recipe was easy to follow and the bread was beautiful.