Sunday Supper Fennel, Onion and Pancetta Rolls

Nancy A.


Sunday's were a very special time growing up for me, where family and friends would always come together for a great Italian meal, and we would of course, always have a delicious form of homemade bread to compliment our meal. These wonderful rolls are derived from one of my favorite breads that my grandmother would make when I was growing up, and I always loved to carry on this special tradition.


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3 Hr 30 Min
30 Min


  • 1 pkg
    (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
  • 1/4 c
    warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1/4 c
    (plus 1/4 teaspoon) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    canola oil
  • 1/2 c
    chopped sweet onion
  • 4 oz
    diced pancetta
  • 1 c
    milk, scalded
  • 1/4 c
    butter, softened
  • 1 tsp
  • 4 1/4 c
    all purpose flour
  • 2
    large eggs
  • 2 tsp
    fennel seed
  • 11/4 tsp
    onion powder

How to Make Sunday Supper Fennel, Onion and Pancetta Rolls


  1. Combine yeast, warm water and ¼ teaspoon sugar; let stand to proof (foam) for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In small skillet , heat 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil, add in ½ cup chopped onion and lightly sauté over low heat for approximately 5 minutes, continuously stirring, as not to burn. Add in 4 ounces pancetta, and cook over medium heat until browned, approximately 8 minutes. Remove from heat, drain on paper towels, and set aside.
  3. In large bowl of stand mixer, add in 1 cup scalded milk, ¼ cup softened butter, and 1 teaspoon salt; cool to lukewarm. Gradually add in 2 cups flour; mix thoroughly, add in yeast mixture and 1 large egg, beat until well incorporated. Slowly add an additional 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon fennel seed , mix together, then add in onion and pancetta mixture, mix thoroughly.( If dough seems too sticky, mix in additional ¼ cup flour) Transfer dough to greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise until double. (1 ½ to 2 hours)
  4. Grease 12 large muffin cups. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and divide dough into 12 tennis ball size shapes. Place them in each muffin cup, cover, and let shaped rolls rise an additional 30-45minutes
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    In small bowl, lightly beat together 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons water, brush on top of each roll with pastry brush.
    Mix together in small bowl, 1 teaspoon fennel seed with ½ teaspoon onion powder.
    With kitchen shears, slightly snip tops of each roll in a criss cross angle, sprinkle each roll with fennel onion powder mixture.
    Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until golden; serve warm or room temperature

Printable Recipe Card

About Sunday Supper Fennel, Onion and Pancetta Rolls

Course/Dish: Savory Breads
Main Ingredient: Bread
Regional Style: Italian

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