If you've ever had any of the various Pillsbury "bread" doughs, you've probably noticed that they all taste pretty much the same. Dinner rolls, crescent rolls, "Italian" bread, Rustic French bread, biscuits, you name it - Pillsbury does some pretty amazing things with textures (varying the flakiness of the rolls and making some of the breads denser than others, for example) but when you get right down to it and taste it, the basic flavor is identical right across the line.
So you can probably imagine that I didn't have very high expectations for Pillsbury Rustic French Bread. I don't care what the advertising says or how attractive the picture on the package is. It's still going to taste like something out of a bursting paper tube. And I was right. Totally unimpressive - you can get the same effect from not separating a bunch of dinner rolls and baking them in one long cylinder. Not "rustic" at all, and certainly not "French."
And therefore, for my second tube of Rustic French Bread, I thought I'd try something different. I make salami, pepperoni, and sausage breads all the time (using genuine yeast bread from a fairly standard yeast bread recipe) and somehow I got it into my head that maybe the rather "meh" Pillsbury Rustic French Bread could be made better by going beyond the usual.
I started out by removing the Pillsbury dough from the tube and spreading it out on a work surface. I found that Simply dough is every bit as sticky as non-Simply Pillsbury stuff, so I spread it out on a sheet of baking parchment.
With the dough spread out, I added a single layer of Genoa salami. and then rolled the dough up into a loaf with the salami spiraled in the middle.
Here's the dough, all rolled up with a few slashes cut into it for venting. I transferred the loaf onto a baking sheet and put it into the oven.
And here's the final product, out of the oven all nicely browned and looking totally nommable.
You know what it tasted like? Cheap and crappy Pillsbury dough with salami inside. It was really lousy.
I dunno. Pillsbury's quick breads certainly have their place - I enjoy the dinner rolls and "biscuits" occasionally. But I guess I'm just less than enthusiastic about using Pillsbury breads for stuff like "rustic French bread" or pizza dough.