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Homemade Pancetta Walnut Bread

This delicious Walnut Bread has the added ingredient of pancetta, the combination makes for a bread that can be served on its own with your favorite stew or soup! A couple of hours is all you need to have fresh Homemade Bread on the table!

Baked bread in the red pot.


 

I haven’t shared a new bread recipe in awhile and since I love making bread from a simple yeast bread to one of my favorite sourdough breads, I thought this would be the perfect bread recipe to share. There really is nothing like homemade bread!

Why will you love this bread

  • The flavor is amazing, that combination of pancetta and walnuts can’t get any better!
  • You can let it rise longer or shorter, whatever suits your schedule.
  • It’s so delicious you can serve it on it’s own, with a meal or even as a sandwich bread.
  • It’s simple and easy and makes a good beginner bread.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Yeast – active dry yeast
  • Sugar – granulated sugar or honey
  • Water – lukewarm water
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Bread or all purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Pancetta – chopped or bacon if you can’t find pancetta
  • Nuts – Walnuts roasted then coarsely chopped

Make sure your yeast is active

To start make sure your yeast is active. In a small bowl add the water, make sure it is lukewarm (if it is too warm it will kill the yeast), then add a little sugar or honey to the water.

Sprinkle the yeast over the top, stir to combine, then let it rest for about 10 minutes. If the yeast is active it will dissolve in the water and the mixture will bubble.

Bread with a slice cut on a blue and white napkin.

Can I substitute active dry yeast?

Yes you can substitute with instant yeast, for every teaspoon of active dry yeast use 3/4 teaspoon of instant yeast. Also be aware it won’t need as much time to rise.

How to Roast Nuts

Place nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking / cookie sheet. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until they are golden brown, remove immediately from pan to cool. Once cool, coarsely chop.

Nuts roasted and nuts and pancetta chopped.

How to make Pancetta Walnut Bread

In the mixing bowl add half of the water and the sugar, stir to combine, sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for about 10 minutes, then stir.

Yeast and water in the mixing bowl.

Add the remaining water and the flours, start to combine with the hook attachment, add the salt and knead for about 7 minutes, until compact and elastic.

Adding the water and flour and kneading to form a compact dough.

Add the pancetta and walnuts pieces, combine.

Adding the nuts and pancetta and kneading in the dough.

Move the dough to a flat surface and gently knead to form a compact dough.

Dough on a flat surface in a ball.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled glass bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

The dough before and after rising in a glass bowl.

Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten into a large rectangle and fold into the desired shape.

Formed into desired shape.

Place in a large oven proof pot or prepared loaf pan. (I use my dutch oven, but I don’t cover it, I just use it for baking the bread). Cover the pan or pot and let rise in a warm place that is draft free for about an hour or until doubled.

Second rise before and after.

Dust the bread with a little flour and score.

Dough dusted with flour and scored before baking.

Bake in the pre-heated oven until done. Immediately move to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting and serving.

The baked bread in the pot.

What temperature is lukewarm?

Lukewarm is considered between 105-110F (40-43C). Be aware that the yeast will die at a temperature over 140F (60C).

What flour to use for yeast bread?

I usually use all purpose flour, although you can substitute with bread flour. The main difference being that bread flour is higher in Protein (12-14 to 8-11 for all purpose).

Using bread flour you will get a chewier and denser bread dough it may even cause the dough to rise higher. So it’s up to you, whether you wish to use all purpose or bread flour.

Can the dough rise in the fridge?

If you wish the first rise can be made in the fridge. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-10 hours.

Loaf of bread on a blue and white napkin.

How to tell when bread is done

You can tell bread is done when you tap on the bottom of the loaf and there is a hollow sound, but if you want to be 100 percent sure, then using a thermometer is your best best, the bread is baked when the centre of the loaf registers 190F (88C) degrees.

How to store Homemade Walnut Bread

If the Baked bread is a crusty loaf then it should be stored unwrapped at room temperature. But once the bread has been sliced be sure to place the bread in closed paper bags. If the bread has a soft crust then it should be stored in an airtight plastic bag or container and stored at room temperature.

How to freeze Homemade Bread

  • Be sure to let the loaves cool completely before freezing.
  • Wrap the loaves individually in plastic wrap (be sure to wrap tightly).
  • Then wrap either in foil or place in air tight freezer bags.
  • Bread will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to Thaw Frozen Bread

Remove the bread from the bag and wrapping and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. The loaf can be warmed up in the oven at 350F (180C) for about 3-5 minutes.

So if you are looking to try your hand at making a Homemade Yeast Bread then I hope you give this Pancetta Walnut Bread a try and let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!

Two slices of bread on a blue and white napkin.

More Delicious Homemade Bread Recipes

Loaf of bread on a blue and white napkin.

Homemade Pancetta Walnut Bread

Rosemary Molloy
This delicious Walnut Bread has the added ingredient of pancetta, the combination makes for a bread that can be served on its own with your favorite stew or soup!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 loaf

Ingredients
 
 

  • cups water (lukewarm) (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or honey)
  • teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1⅔ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups +1½ tablespoons all purpose or bread flour (262 grams total)
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pancetta (cut into cubes)
  • ½ cup walnuts toasted then coarsely chopped

Instructions
 

  • First toast the nuts, place them on a clean baking sheet and roast for 5-7 minutes in a pre-heated 350F (180C) oven. Move immediately to a clean bowl to cool.
  • In the mixing bowl add half of the water and the sugar, stir to combine, sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for about 10 minutes, then stir to combine.
  • Add the remaining water and the flours, start to combine with the dough hook attachment, add the salt and knead for about 7 minutes, until the dough is compact and elastic. If the dough is too dry then add a little water, too wet add a little flour.
  • Add the chopped pancetta and walnuts, knead to combine for 30-60 seconds.
  • Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead to form a compact dough ball, place the dough in a lightly oiled glass bowl turning to cover, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap, let rise in a warm draft free area for approximately 2 hours or until it is doubled in bulk.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten into a large rectangle and fold into the desired shape. Place the dough in a large oven proof pot or a lightly greased and flour loaf pan. (I use my dutch oven lined with parchment paper, but I don’t cover it, I just use it for baking the bread). Cover the pan or pot with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place that is draft free for about an hour or until nice and puffy.
  • Pre-heat oven 400F (200C).
  • Dust the bread with a little flour and score. Bake in the pre-heated oven until done. Immediately move to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Notes

You can substitute with instant yeast, for every teaspoon of active dry yeast use 3/4 teaspoon of instant yeast. Also be aware it won’t need as much time to rise.
After the second rise the best way to tell if the dough is ready to bake is to do the poke test, lightly flour your finger then poke the dough down about one inch (2 cm). If the indent stays, it’s ready to bake. If it pops back up it needs more time.  
If you wish the first rise can be made in the fridge. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-10 hours.
You can tell bread is done when you tap on the bottom of the loaf and there is a hollow sound, but if you want to be 100 percent sure, then using a thermometer is your best best, the bread is baked when the centre of the loaf registers 190F (88C) degrees.
If the Baked bread is a crusty loaf then it should be stored unwrapped at room temperature. But once the bread has been sliced be sure to place the bread in closed paper bags. If the bread has a soft crust then it should be stored in an airtight plastic bag or container and stored at room temperature.
Be sure to let the loaves cool completely before freezing. Wrap the loaves individually in plastic wrap (be sure to wrap tightly). Then wrap either in foil or place in air tight freezer bags. Bread will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Remove the bread from the bag and wrapping and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. The loaf can be warmed up in the oven at 350F (180C) for about 3-5 minutes.
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

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