Friday, March 8, 2013

Pancetta Bread

 Pancetta Bread 

Here's another one of Jim Lahey's no-knead bread recipes --- bits of pancetta add texture and flavor.  Tom thinks this bread has the best moisture and texture of all the breads I have made so far, but he was disappointed in the lack of flavor from the pancetta.  Next time I will use pancetta directly from the deli.  I took a shortcut and used the packages of pre-diced pancetta.

Pancetta Bread
(Jim Lahey's No Knead cookbook)

300 grams (about 2 1/3 cups) pancetta, pre-sliced 1/4 inch thick and diced
400 grams (3 cups) bread flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. active or instant dry yeast
1/4 red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 cups cool water (55 to 65 degrees)
extra flour for dusting

Cook the pancetta in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes.  Reserve 1 T. of fat. 

Drain the pancetta on paper towels and let cool. 

In a medium bowl, add the flour pancetta, salt, yeast and red pepper flakes, and stir together.  I have started using the method of placing ingredients "around the clock" as we learned in our King Arthur class.  If you get interrupted you can clearly see what you have added and what you haven't.  Prevents mistakes!

Add the water and reserved rendered fat until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds.  Cover the bowl and let rise for 12 to 18 hours in a warm, draft free spot. 

Follow the normal procedure for making no-knead bread. 

Turn the dough out on to a well-floured board or surface, and gingerly gather it together into a ball.  Place it on a well-floured towel and loosely cover it.  Let it rise until doubled about 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees, and then half hour before the end of the second rise, add your covered dutch oven, to get it preheated and really hot.

Carefully, remove the pot from the oven, and gently place the dough inside.  Recover the pot and place back in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the cover and continue baking for 10 - 15 minutes until a rich dark brown. 

Remove from the oven and place bread on a rack to cool -- takes about an hour. 

Slice and enjoy!


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