Bread & Pizza

Savoury Pumpkin Loaf Cake with Amaretti Biscuits and Pancetta

We liked the idea to combine the typical ingredients of pumpkin tortelli filling in this savoury loaf cake: pumpkin (needless to say) , Amaretti biscuits, Parmigiano cheese and a pinch of nutmeg. Then our personal addition of sage and pancetta (pork belly) which gave a rustic hint.

Serve 6, Preparation 15 mins, Cooking approx. 50 to 60 mins

  • 300 g. Plain flour / AP Flour, sifted
  • 150 g. pumpkin
  • 100 g. Smoked Pancetta, diced
  • Sage, 2-3 leaves
  • 2 Amaretti biscuits, crumbled
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 200 ml whole milk, cold
  • 90 ml Sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp of EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 70 g. grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 7 g Instant Yeast (rapid rise yeast) – 2 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 fine salt teaspoon
  • a pinch of nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4 and line a loaf tin baking mold measuring 30x14cm across the top and 7cm deep with baking paper.

Beat the eggs and set aside.

In a frying-pan heat a tablespoon of Evoo, fry the pancetta over medium heat until crispy. Place it on a a kitchen paper to drain, set aside. Do not get rid of the oil in the frying-pan since we’ll drizzle it over the loaf cake before baking.

Beat the eggs and set aside.

Peel and dice the pumpkin, cook it in 1 tablespoon of Evoo with sage leaves, garlic and a pinch of nutmeg until soft. You can also cook it in the oven.

Transfer it with herbs to a blender with the milk, a teaspoon of salt, 2 crumbled amaretti biscuits, the sunflower oil, the grated Parmigiano – just save a handful for the drizzle at the end – and get a pumpkin puree.

Tip: we didn’t blend it all too much since we liked the idea of ​​bit coarse texture.

Transfer the pumpkin puree in a bowl, add the beaten eggs and mix with a spoon, add crispy pancetta, mix everything.

Sift the flour, add the instant yeast and mix, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing just enough to combine.

Transfer and level the dough into the loaf cake mold lined with parchment paper or oiled and lightly floured, then sprinkle the rest of the pancetta, the rest of the grated Parmesan on top and the oil in which you fried the pancetta. You can also avoid adding the oil if you don’t like the idea.

Bake in a preheated oven approx. for 45-50 minutes.

Do the “toothpick test” to make sure of the correct cooking but also take into account the browning of the loaf cake. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down before slicing.

Tip: It is also possible to prepare the dough, keep it in the fridge and cook it the next day.

Is it OK to substitute Instant Yeast for Active Dry Yeast?

Yes it is, though the resulting rise times may vary slightly. Just add an extra 15/20 minutes of rise time when using active dry yeast in a recipe that calls for instant yeast.

Instant Yeast can be mixed directly into dry ingredients and skip the rehydration step. Instant yeast needs less time to rise.

Instant Yeast has a finer texture rather than Active Dry Yeast, thus it’s possible to skip the initial rise time and shape loaves just after kneading.

Active Dry Yeast needs rehydration thus must first be dissolved and rehydrated in lukewarm water.

Loaves made with Active Dry Yeast require longer rising times.

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