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Traditional Lard Bread With Bacon

Studded with crispy bacon and enriched with pork fat, this hearty and flavorful lard bread is hard to resist. Made with only 7 ingredients and 20 minutes of hands-on prep time, this hearty bread makes a delicious side for a variety of meals including stews, soups, and salads.

Lard bread on parchment paper next to a linen tea towel.
Table of contents

Why you’ll love this old-fashioned bread recipe

Also known as prosciutto bread or frittola bread, lard bread is traditionally shaped into a ring. It is not only a popular bread in Italy but can also be found in many Italian bakeries throughout New York City.

I found this recipe in a family recipe journal from 1887 which my New Zealand mother-in-law has given me. I was curious about the taste and also wanted to share it to preserve this heirloom family recipe. Here’s why I think you’ll love it too:

  • Quick and easy: You’ll only need 7 ingredients and 20 minutes of hands-on prep time to make this recipe. No stand mixer or fancy kitchen tools are needed. 
  • Hearty side dish: Pork fat and crispy bacon pieces make this easy homemade bread a perfect savory side dish for hearty dishes.
  • Great use of lard: Do you have some store-bought lard leftover from another recipe or made some yourself and are looking for recipes to use it? This quick and easy bread celebrates its richness and unique flavor and makes the bread dough super soft and silky. I recommend ditching the stand mixer and kneading the dough by hand as it has the texture of play dough thanks to the lard.

Ingredients and substitutions

Ingredients to make lard bread laid out.
  • Lard: You can use beef tallow instead of lard. I don’t recommend using vegetable shortening, I suggest you use olive oil if you’re after a recipe without animal fat. You can also make homemade lard using leaf lard from the butcher shop.
  • Bacon: You can swap the bacon for diced prosciutto, salami, or pancetta to make other hearty Italian breads.
  • Sugar: You can use honey instead of sugar to help activate the yeast.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Garlic and herbs: For a Mediterranean twist, add 1 minced garlic clove and a teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary or thyme along with the bacon. You can also add 1 tsp of my Mediterranean seasoning. Just reduce the original salt content by half.
  • Sundried tomatoes and olives: Add 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes and 1/4 of sliced green or black olives to the dough to add other Italian flavors.

How to make lard bread

Steps 1-4 on how to make lard bread.
Steps 5-8 on how to make lard bread.
  1. Activate the yeast by mixing it with warm water and sugar.
  2. Crisp up the bacon pieces on medium to high heat.
  3. Mix all ingredients into a shaggy dough.
  4. Knead the dough for 5 minutes by hand until smooth and elastic and roll it out into an 8×8 inch square.
  5. Spread the crispy bacon pieces on top and shape the lard-enriched dough into a ball.
  6. Cover it and let it rest for 90 minutes in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
  7. Punch it down and shape it into boule. Brush it with extra lard and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  8. Bake it for 30-35 minutes at 400F (200C) until golden and crispy.

Serving

This hearty bread is super versatile and can be served as a savory breakfast or lunch option alongside eggs, or as a fresh or grilled sandwich for lunch.

Serve it with a hearty stew or comforting soup, or as a side for summer salads or meat dishes. It also makes a tasty addition to charcuterie boards or serve it toasted with some butter as an appetizer.

Recipe FAQs

The bread is burning at the top. What can I do?

Cover the loaf with some parchment paper to prevent it from getting too dark.

The dough isn’t rising. What can I do?

Increase the time by 30 minutes and make sure it is in a warm place.

For more easy breads, check out the following recipes:

If you loved this Lard Bread Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating below. Thank you!

Lard bread on parchment paper next to a linen tea towel.

Traditional Lard Bread With Bacon

Caro Jensen
Studded with crispy bacon and enriched with lard, this hearty lard bread is hard to resist. Perfect as a side for stews, soups, and salads.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Appetizer, Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 2056 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 1/4 cup water filtered, lukewarm
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup bacon pieces
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup lard more for brushing the loaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, combine warm water, honey, and yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
    1 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp sugar, 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon pieces in a small skillet on medium to high heat until crispy. Set aside to cool.
    1/2 cup bacon pieces
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, lard, salt, ground black pepper, and yeast mixture. Stir until a shaggy dough forms. If using a stand mixer with a dough hook, knead for 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Otherwise, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
    4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup lard, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Spread the dough into an 8×8 inch square and spread the bacon pieces on top of it. Knead in the cooked bacon until evenly distributed.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm area for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and shape it into a large oval or boule. Place the dough seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the top with extra lard. Cover loosely and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet or a pizza stone until golden brown. 

Video

Notes

Use warm filtered water: The lukewarm water activates the yeast and is essential for a proper dough rise.
Let the dough rise completely: Be patient and allow the dough to rise for the full recommended times. This ensures a light and fluffy final loaf.

Nutrition

Calories: 2056kcalCarbohydrates: 388gProtein: 78gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 5212mgPotassium: 606mgFiber: 15gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 464IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 111mgIron: 23mg
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