A favorite around Easter time in Napoli, this fragrant bread contains swirls stuffed full of the regions favorite flavours. Although made at home, Tortano can also be bought in bakeries and stalls and is usually eaten unaccompanied by the slice. Using the basic bread formula, the fillings can be replaced as desired to create infinite. Tortano is not far removed from other Napoletan favorites Casatiello and Panino Napoletano.
1 Kilo 00 Flour
2 Cups Lard – Melted and cooled until tepid.
¾ Cup Milk
1 tbsp Salt
2 tsp Quick Yeast
1 tsp Sugar
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ cup fried Pancetta cubes
½ cup Cubed Salami
Cubes of Provolone / Parmesan
Generous amounts of freshly milled Black Pepper
Place your flour in a large bowl and add salt, yeast, sugar and pepper. Mix with hands. Make a well in the centre and add the milk then the lard. Mix with a firm claw, incorporating all flour mixture and mixing in a little at a time ½ cup of parmesan until dough is formed.
Turn out onto a floured board, and kneed for 15 minutes until elastic and smooth. Place back into bowl and cover, leaving to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
Turn onto board once dough has risen, stretching and flattening with hands to a 1.5 to 2cm thickness. Sprinkle over remaining parmesan cheese, and cubes of pancetta, salami and cheeses.
Roll into a cigar shape, and lay into a greased round tin. If individual portions preferred, slice into mini loaves, 10 cm long. Cover again and let rest and finish rising for a further 30 mins.
Brush with egg wash, then bake for 40 minutes, until dough is cooked through and top is golden brown. Enjoy once cooled. For a vegetarian alternative, replace lard with olive oil. Alternative fillings could be pesto, olives, tapenade, sundried tomatoes, walnuts, or whatever takes your fancy!