Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chef Chuck's "Tuscan Round Bread"

Old World Tuscan Bread!

Here I go again, I have a strong desire on the weekends to bake bread. There is no doubt I have a bread making addiction, this craze has been with me a long time. Come join me on this baking experience, I promise it will be tasty!

This bread is loaded with strong tastes and aromas. The garlic is home grown, I brought it back from Italy. This particular garlic is from the ancient Island of Sicily, in the town of Nubia, {Nubian red garlic}. I grew lots and lots so that I will make it through the winter. I once did a live segment making this bread and I left the studio with a strong smell behind! There is more inside this round glory of delight, pancetta, Italian bacon. We have two main ingredients that pack distinct flavor in this bread. So gather round the Tuscan Round!!

Our basic Italian Bread Recipe:

2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
4-5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
Plus: 4 thick slices of pancetta 1/4" thick cut in small pieces
4-5 garlic cloves minced
cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Add 1 tablespoon of yeast to warm water and sugar, stir. Let sit for 7 minutes (until foamy). Pour into mixer bowl, set to a medium speed, add olive oil. Mix in one cup of flour at a time with salt until it forms into ball of dough. Dust a cutting board with flour and knead dough for 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl, lightly coat with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and place a small towel on top. Let rise in a warm area for 1 hour 30 minutes - 2 hours. In a small frying pan add olive oil and saute pancetta till lightly browned then add garlic for no more then 1 minute stir in black pepper, set aside. When dough becomes 2-3 times it's original size transfer to floured board. Using a rolling pin roll dough to about 12x18. Spread evenly your pancetta, garlic and olive oil mixture. Gently roll up and place in a deep oiled round pan pinch ends together. Bake at 475 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown to your liking.


  1. My daughter and I both love artisan bread, but have not been brave enough to venture to far away from our tried and true.

    We grind our own grains, so the problem lies when some recipes call for all purpose flour. That is so far from what we use so our breads have a tendency not to work with those recipes, we generally have to try a few times, tweaking along the way until we find a happy medium.

    But I look forward to giving this one a try, minus the pancetta of course!

  2. Hello The Cooking Lady, I think thats great you and your daughter make breads together, at the same time try new things!
    That is neat that you grind your own grains.
    My son also won't eat meat, I make him meatless breads, or what ever he likes. Please let me know when you try this bread.
    Thanks for sharing your abilities.