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Pepper and Pancetta Batter Bread

Pepper and Pancetta Batter Bread
YIELDS
6 servings
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Ingredients

2
slices slices pancetta (or 3 strips lean bacon), finely chopped
¾
cup hot water
4
tsp granulated sugar
1
Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
½
tsp each salt and pepper
¼
cup lukewarm water
1
pkg active dry yeast (or 1 tbsp)
1
egg
2 ¼
cup all-purpose flour (approx)
1
Tbsp cornmeal
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Directions

Step 1

In skillet, fry pancetta over medium heat until crisp. Remove and crumble pancetta, reserving fat.

Step 2

In large bowl of stand mixer, combine 1 tbsp pancetta fat with hot water, 1 tbsp of the sugar, basil, salt and pepper; let stand for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix remaining 1 tsp sugar with lukewarm water; sprinkle yeast over top, stirring to dissolve granules. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Step 4

With fork, stir down yeast mixture, whisking to dissolve all yeast; mix into pepper mixture. Blend in egg.

Step 5

Beat in flour in 2 additions, adding a few tablespoons more flour if necessary to form smooth, elastic wet batter; beat for 4 minutes. Beat in pancetta. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, 45 to 60 minutes.

Step 6

Punch down batter. Grease 6-cup ovenproof casserole dish, preferably round; sprinkle with cornmeal. Scrape batter into dish; cover and let rise until risen to top of dish, about 1 hour.

Step 7

Bake in 400°F oven until bread sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from dish; let cool on rack.

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