The Fresh Loaf

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Italian Lard Bread, v2.0

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louie brown's picture
louie brown

Italian Lard Bread, v2.0

My advisers pronounced these perfect, at least in terms of duplicating their memory. Twice as much lard and twice as many cracklings (also of a larger size.) A much coarser crack to the pepper. Just for the fun of it, I mixed this dough considerably wetter than the last. I believe I overproofed it some. Both baked covered in cast iron. One twisted, one scored. I don't think it is necessary to score this loaf, although it is attractive.


For people who love bread and love pork, this bread is a touchstone. Make extra; it disappears very fast.




Comments

wally's picture
wally

That looks as delicious as it is attractive.  Do you reduce the amount of salt in the recipe due to the cracklings?


Nice bake!


Larry

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Your own baking is a strong encouragement.


I did reduce the salt by almost half. By the same token, I grew accustomed to that saltless Tuscan bread when I was eating it regularly, and most people think that's awful.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

and while I'm not Italian, I am beginning to think that hillbilly isn't to far away from Italian, since I keep seeing Italian dishes that my hillbilly grandma and ma used to make all the time, and we have no Italian ancestry that I can find, all English, Scottish and German with some Irish thrown in here and there,and a good dollop of Native Ameiricans of various tribes.


 

louie brown's picture
louie brown

If by "hillbilly" you mean someone who lives in the country and off the land, then I think a lot of ethnic and cultural groups will find things in common around food, especially when it comes to being efficient (and delicious) about using the whole animal. Peasants are hillbillies by another name, and neither of us is using these terms disparagingly, in fact, the opposite.


I would be interested in knowing about the baking your family did. Why don't you start a thread on that?

EvaB's picture
EvaB

biscuits, cornbread, scrapple, and sponge cake, depression cake, currant tarts, and pies in season or with canned or later on frozen fruit, mostly picked wild.


My grandparents moved 22 times between 1912 and 1918, all of them on a shoestring, and without trucks, either by wagon and team or on a train. None of them to places that had lots to offer in the way of staples. Then in 1928 they moved to the North Peace area of BC, and spent the depression living on my grandfathers old age pension of 8 bucks a month, this was with 4 kids, and a baby (grandchild) in the house, they never had a lot of stuff to cook with, so it was basics, and that didn't change when I was a kid, my mother baked bread, biscuits, made scraple and cornbread and on the odd ocasion made sponge cake, or depression cake, and once in great long while, sour cream cookies, or devils food cake those were surprise bakes and usually for a special event. But we didn't usually go without the basics, just not a lot of them.


Both of my grandparents were born in Missouri, my grandmother in the Srpingfield area and my grandfather around Odessa, they both lived in Idaho, and then met in southern Alberta where they married, so in my one aunts view they were hillbillies who had no couth. The rest of the family just said they were hillbilly and proud of it! We ate what was available and what we could collect, or gather, and were thankful when we had enough to eat and a roof over our heads.


I have great respect for peasents of any country, they usually have the best food, and the least fuss to cook it! When you are busy with trying to keep the house up, the garden up and the kids clothed and fed, you don't have a lot of time to spend fussing with food, its get it on the table and get the dishes doen so you can get on with something else.

louie brown's picture
louie brown

of threads in your first sentence alone, Eva. I think American regional food, and baking in particular, is a rich topic. Thanks for your post.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

to mention was hominey, home made! Delicious, but hard to find up here, used to get it canned, but can't find it anymore. And forget getting the harder feild corn to make it from. Mom used to grow what was called squaw corn in the times, it was a small cob about 7 inches long, with coloured kernals red, blue, black, and yellow, it was a shorter season corn which was good because at that time the fall frosts were around the end of August to mid Sept. We would have some corn for eating, then the rest was dried for seed, and if there was a fair crop she would make a batch of hominey. The corn seeds like the beans that finally died out in the family were from the States, brought by my grandfather.


 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Going back to my southern roots, on my father's side here!  What a great looking bread and I can just taste it.  The crumb looks so delicious.   I think the nearest, if you could call it that, I've had to something like this loaf,  would be fried bread...Mom would fry bread, crispy and brown in a little bacon fat to go with our bacon and eggs...simple but love the stuff.   


Sylvia

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Thanks for the compliment. I think the American Indians have something similar that they call "fry bread." I'm not sure what the fat is, but it is definitely pan fried in animal fat. There's also something out west called a "Navaho taco," which is a fry bread topped with grated cheese and just about anything else imaginable. They are deadly, but delicious.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

have the scrapple fried in bacon grease. Or just plain old oatmeal mush fried up to go with whatever was for supper.


The fried bread we ate was made from proofed bread dough and called darn goods in the family, they were fried in deeper grease, and they puffed up brown and delicious, ate those with whatever was for supper along with some jam or syrup. YUM!


This is what is called fry bread up here among the natives, and my brother who did a lot of reading said the fry bread in the south west was first a type of biscuit dough fried in the grease, I suspect its whatever they had got cooked in the frying pan after the bacon. Its sort of like churros and other fritters and doughnuts, its just what your grow up eating.

seniorita's picture
seniorita

Ciccarilli referred to little bits of crispy pork fat.  That's probably just our dialect.  My parents were from neighboring towns of Cantaloupo nel Sannio and Roccamondolfi.  Here in Ohio they continued to make it starting with scraps from the market that makes it's own fresh sausage.  It contained quite a bit of pork meat along with solid fat.  My mother called it Tortorro because it was twisted.  I find it elsewhere called Ciciolli Bread.  I make it here in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio about every three years.  So glad others are carrying on the tradition.  Rita

grind's picture
grind

We called a version of this casatiello in my family.  My mother would render the pork fat in Feb and then use it for the Eater casatiello.  She would mix in the crackling (I think that's what they are called) into the dough.  The top of the ring was dotted with eggs that would hard boil while the bread baked.  Then we would eat the bread and egg together.

seniorita's picture
seniorita

How cool is that...with the eggs.  And yes, Jan/Feb was the time of year we make it too.  My mom says it was because this used to be the time of year butchering occurred in Italy.  Wonder what casatiello means.  Have any idea?  Do you make it now?  It's easy, just chop up the fat, cook it either in the oven or stove top until the bits are brown and frying in liquid fat.  Make bread using the rendered fat (in liquid form) and throw in the cracklings.  Rita

grind's picture
grind

Made it with olive oil only.  Not as yummy, I must admit.  Hope the OP won't mind, but it is a version of lard bread -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peewvUph1tQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjaBkTcIW3o

louie brown's picture
louie brown

We have some native Italian speakers here, but I believe a tiella is a pan. It has also come to mean a kind of pan pizza. Most likely, this bread was baked in a pan. Casatiello is actually the Neapolitan Easter Bread.

Anyway, I'm glad everyone is enjoying this. The bread is irresistible, and there is a lot of latitude for variety.