Fried Dough with Prosciutto
Gnocco Fritto Con Prosciutto

serves: 6 servings

This is a typical way to serve prosciutto around Modena. They also turn this into a sweet dish by drizzling some honey and powdered sugar over the rounds of fried dough while they're still hot.

2 ounces fresh yeast, or 1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk, warm
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups mineral water
3 cups vegetable oil, for frying
12 slices prosciutto


In a heavy duty mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, yeast and oil. Mix at low speed until the yeast is dissolved. Add the mineral water, 4 cups of the flour and the salt. Continue mixing at slow speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the dough is very smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap it in a damp kitchen towel and let rest 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough to 1/4-inch thick. With a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into circles and set them aside. (Cut the rounds as close together as possible to reduce the amount of scraps.) Repeat with the remaining dough. Knead the dough scraps into a smooth ball and let stand 15 minutes before rolling and cutting into rounds.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees. (A small piece of the dough should give off a lively sizzle when dipped in the oil.) Add about one third of the dough circles and fry until they puff up, about 1 minute, Continue frying, turning often with a long-handled fork to cook the rounds evenly, until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining dough circles.

Sprinkle the fried dough lightly with salt and serve them warm, alongside the prosciutto.