Maison Kayser's sourdough baguettes may have us in French bread paradise of late, but what's the bread you're most likely to see at SE HQ right now? Lard Bread, also called prosciutto bread. It's an Italian bread with cured pork baked right into the dough, and we're in love.
That means tearing off plain chunks as we pass by the kitchen counter, toasting it until the crust feels and smells like pork rinds, spreading on cold butter and dunking it in bowls of stracciatella cheese, and making some pretty special sandwiches (more on that soon).
Parisi Bakery in Little Italy makes theirs ($6.65) with a mix of prosciutto, sopressata, and capicola. You'll also find jolts of chili and black pepper, along with an orange swirl of fat in the dough. It's a bread that really benefits from toasting to make the crumb and meat soften, and so the flavors bloom like a porky bouquet.
In Carroll Gardens, Mazzola Bakery makes a lard bread ($5.50) that by all rights is a savory cake. The slightly sweet loaf is less crusty and more tender than Parisi's; the salami is more moist, as is the crumb, thanks to a generous hit of provolone cheese. It's a flavorful, fatty loaf that we've been eating plain and as fodder for impromptu open-faced tomato toast sandwiches (like a BLT, but with the pork in the bread).
Do you love lard bread? Have a loaf we should check out? Let us know! We're looking for more.
192 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (map) 718-643-1719