A staple of traditional Italian delis, it’s surprisingly hard to find a quality recipe for Italian Prosciutto Bread online, also known as Lard Bread. This is a bread loaded to the brim with thick, cubed prosciutto, adding in Parmesan and lots of black pepper for extra flavor, and brushed with prosciutto fat for tenderness and a beautiful gloss. While this is not a pretty looking bread by any means, it is uncontrollably delicious: you won’t be able to stop eating it. This recipe is adapted from numerous others.
Prosciutto Bread (Lard Bread)
Yield: 2 loaves. If you don’t feel like spending $20+ on a pound of prosciutto, this recipe can be halved. Alternately, you can double it, because trust me, you’ll eat it all.
650g bread flour
1.5 tsp instant yeast
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
16 oz. / 500g Prosciutto, 1/8″ thick, cut into 1/4-inch dice. Before dicing, slice off and save the largest pieces of fat (see step 1)
8 oz / 250g Parmesan
3 tbsp rendered prosciutto fat (see step 1), bacon fat, lard, or melted butter
0) Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil, then quickly fry the diced prosciutto. Remove the prosciutto to a bowl, then add the saved fat. Render the fat for 5-10 minutes, then save in a small bowl for later. (This step can be performed during the initial 7 minute mix if using a stand mixer).
1) Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a dry bowl. Add water to mixing bowl and stir in yeast. Mix in dry ingredients.
2) Mix for seven minutes on low speed, or knead by hand for 10 minutes. Mix in prosciutto and cheese, and mix for 8 more minutes. Dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky. If dough is too sticky knead in more flour a little at a time. If the dough is too dry, spray with a bit of water and knead.
3) Loosely shape dough into a boule and transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment for 60 minutes, or until dough is doubled in size.
4) Split dough in two equal halves. Roll each half into an 18” cylinder and form into a ring. (Alternate: shape into batards.) Ensure the ends stick together and place on parchment paper or floured couche. Cover lightly with couche or plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm draft-free place for 60 minutes or until doubled.
5) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Use a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on a low shelf of the oven, and place a regular baking sheet for steaming on the lowest shelf of the oven.
6) Brush bread with about ⅓ of the melted fat. Transfer bread to pizza stone or inverted baking sheet in the preheated oven. Pour 8oz warm water onto the lower baking sheet for steaming.
7) Bake 15 minutes. Remove parchment paper and turn bread front to back to allow for even baking. Brush bread with about another 1/3 of melted fat. Reduce temperature to 425 degrees. Bake another 15 minutes, or until internal temperature of the bread reads 205F.
8) Turn off oven and leave bread in the oven with door propped open for another 5 minutes.
9) Remove bread from oven and brush with the remaining fat. Allow to cool but if you aren’t having company or bringing this bread to a function, this bread tastes delicious slightly warm and crispy.
That’s a lot of prosciutto
2oz pure rendered prosciutto fat
Shaped and proofing
Look at that shine!