- Portion size 6 servings
- 2 slices pancetta (or 3 strips lean bacon), finely chopped
- 3/4 cups hot water
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp/5 mL dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 pkg active dry yeast (or 1 tbsp/15 mL)
- 1 egg
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (approx)
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
In skillet, fry pancetta over medium heat until crisp. Remove and crumble pancetta, reserving fat.
In large bowl of stand mixer, combine 1 tbsp (15 mL) pancetta fat with hot water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the sugar, basil, salt and pepper; let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix remaining 1 tsp (1 mL) sugar with lukewarm water; sprinkle yeast over top, stirring to dissolve granules. Let stand for 10 minutes.
With fork, stir down yeast mixture, whisking to dissolve all yeast; mix into pepper mixture. Blend in egg.
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.
Punch down batter. Grease 6-cup (1.5 L) 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.
Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven until bread sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from dish; let cool on rack.