Pancetta, Tomato, & Basil Pane Bianco

King Arthur Flour’s website is one of the best for bakers for many reasons.  Their recipes always work and are written with precision and clarity that sets a high standard for others to follow.  They have a hotline with a real baker on the other end of the phone who can help sort through any number of baking challenges.  And, their recipes come with the option to see the ingredients listed in volumn, ounces, or grams.  (They have taught me to weigh my flour, not “dip and drag” in a measuring cup.) Finally, they inspire me!  They have so many wonderful combination of flavors and textures and techniques, like this recipe for Tomato, Basil, & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco.  Congratulations to Dianna Wara for this winning recipe at the 2009 National Festival of Breads!  I loved the presentation and the combination of Italian flavors, so I am going to give it a try today in our 16″ camp Dutch oven with a little fried pancetta added to the dough.



  • 4 ounces coursely chopped pancetta
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packages of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 25.5 ounces unbleached bread flour (about 6 cups)
  • 1 8.5-ounce jar oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, Julenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh basil


Place a 10″ Dutch oven over a bed of hot charcoal and add chopped pancetta.  Fry pancetta until crispy.  Turn out on a plate with a paper towel to drain off oil.

In a large bowl, mix together fried pancetta, sugar, yeast, oil, eggs, and salt.

Place a 5″ Dutch oven over a 4 or 5 hot charcoals and add milk.  Monitor temperature until liquid is about 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add warm bowl and mix.  Gradually mix in flour until dough forms and pulls away from the side of the bowl.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.  Add a drizzle of olive oil into a large bowl.  Place dough in bowl, turning to cover all parts of the dough with oil.  Cover tigthly with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area until dough doubles in size, about one hour.


While the dough is rising, prepare the basil and tomatoes.  Drain sun-dried tomatoes thoroughly.  Lay them on a paper towl to absorb any extra oil.  Chiffonade the basil.

20140824-IMG_2930-Edit-1When the dough has doubled in size, gently turn it out on a floured surface and roll it out into a rectangle about 24 inches long and 12 inches wide.20140824-IMG_2931-Edit-1

Sprinkle garlic powder across the dough, then add basil, tomatoes, and cheese.

20140824-IMG_2933-Edit-1 20140824-IMG_2935-Edit-1Starting with the long edge, roll the dough into a log the long way.  Pinch the ends and turn under.

With a very sharp knife, make a cut 1/2 inch from one end to the other, cutting half way down through half of the layers.

20140824-IMG_2939-Edit-1Keeping the cut side up, form an “S” shape.  (To see how to properly cut and shape, visit this King Arthur blog post and check out the wonderful photographs.  Very helpful!)20140824-IMG_2940-Edit-1Place in a 16″ camp Dutch oven that has been sprayed with olive oil.  Cover and place in a warm place to let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour.  Fire up a big chimney of charcoal.  Place 14 hot charcoal underneath and 20 on the lid and bake for 15 minutes.  Place a sheet of parchment on top of the bread to prevent over-browning.  Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.IMG_2947Wow!

This is a light and flavorful bread, a meal all by itself.  Enjoy!!


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1 Response to Pancetta, Tomato, & Basil Pane Bianco

  1. Ema Jones says:

    Yummy flavorful bread…
    I’m adding in some melted butter for extra soft texture…

    Liked by 1 person

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