Active time: 25 min. Total time: 4 hours, 20 min.
Yield: Serves 16 (serving size: 1 slice)
If you’re looking for an impressive bread recipe, this is it. Meet lard bread: We’re talking meaty, savory, and yeasty, perfect for a crowd, and let’s not forget beautiful. The swirl from the meat and cheese goes throughout the bread, which is slightly dense and chewy, but in the best way. Luckily for you, this bread looks way more difficult than it actually is to make. This recipe takes some time, but not a lot of skill—if you’ve made cinnamon rolls, you can make this. Ask your deli to slice hunks of salami and provolone half an inch thick so you can dice it easily. Most Mexican markets sell fresh lard, which has a more liquid texture than block lard—if you can find that, go for it, but otherwise bacon grease is a fine substitute. Serve with a light green salad, or do it up and pour some Champagne.
- 1 cup warm water
- 1(1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 1/2 cups (about 14 7/8 oz.) bread flour, divided, plus more for work surface
- 5 tablespoons lard or strained bacon drippings, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
- 4 ounces thinly sliced capicola
- 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 4 ounces salami, cut into 1/2-in. cubes (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 3/4 ounces provolone cheese, cut into 1/2-in. cubes (about 1/2 cup)
- Garlic Butter (recipe follows) (optional)
How to Make It
Place warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment; whisk together by hand. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add pepper, salt, 2 cups of the flour, and 3 tablespoons of the lard. Beat on medium-low speed until dough comes together in a wet mound, about 3 minutes. Gradually add in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating until just incorporated after each addition. (Dough should be tacky but not overly sticky, and it should spring back when pressed with a finger.) Transfer dough to a clean work surface. Knead by hand until dough forms a ball, about 1 minute.
Grease a large bowl with olive oil. Place dough ball in bowl; swirl ball around bowl interior so that all dough sides are coated in oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place (about 85°F) until doubled in size, 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Turn out dough onto a clean lightly floured work surface; roll dough to a 17-inch square. Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over dough, then layer capicola and prosciutto slices evenly over Parmesan. Sprinkle evenly with salami and provolone cubes. Carefully roll up dough, jelly-roll style. Place roll, seam side down, on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Moisten outer ends of roll with water, and bring ends together to form a ring; pinch together to seal. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place (about 85°F) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons lard in a small microwavable bowl on HIGH until melted, about 1 minute. Uncover dough; brush all over with melted lard. Bake in preheated oven until bread is golden and springs back when gently poked, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; let bread cool on baking sheet 20 minutes. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. If desired, serve with Garlic Butter.
To make Garlic Butter: Microwave 1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter, 2 smashed garlic cloves, and a pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper in a medium-size microwavable bowl on HIGH until butter is melted, about 1 minute.
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