Just a quick (at least that's the plan) post about the Casatiello bread I made yesterday for the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. It was a hectic day capped off by my daughter's dance recital. Thanks to her independence and ability to get completely ready all by herself, I still managed to get in quite a bit of cooking and baking. I pulled the casatiello out of the oven about 15 minutes before it was time to go. About 4 hours later (it was a very long dance recital), I was finally able to sample it. I was quite skeptical, since I had made so many Vegan substitutes; Earth Balance Sticks for the butter, Egg Replacer for the eggs, and Rice Milk for the milk/buttermilk. I also used some caramelized onions and black olives instead of the salami and cheese (even though I would have LOVED to throw some cheese in there - Mmmm). I made it in the 8" cake pan that the recipe kind of alludes to. Surprisingly, it was very good! It was rich yet light and fluffy like the Brioche I made last week with the "real" ingredients. The biggest difference I could detect was the lack of golden color. My husband said he thought it was the best bread I'd made so far. In typical woman-fashion, I was a little insulted by that. In my mind, "real" bread is like the Pain a L'Ancienne that I've been making since I bought the book last summer. Granted I haven't perfected it, but to me, that's good bread. This brioche-y business is just a novelty - no matter how good it tastes. That's just my crazy logic. He meant well. I decided to let it roll off.