Parma Ham Pockets
- 250 g Flour (Strong Bread)
- 1 t yeast (active dry)
- 150 mL water
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 t Salt (Table)
- 100 g Parma ham
- 350 g gruyere cheese (or Fontina cheese)
- 3 T finely chopped sage (fresh)
- ground black pepper
- 15 fresh rosemary (small sprigs)
- 2 T olive oil
- Salt (Sea) (to taste)
Mix flour, yeast, and salt well with a spoon in a bowl. Add oil, stir together. Gradually add water until a dough forms. You may need a bit more or less depending on the weather.
Knead the dough about 10-12 minutes, until the proteins line up and the feel of the dough changes. It should feel softer. Put in an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with cling film, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Towards the end of the time, prepare the filling by slicing the cheese slices thinly, separating the slices of ham, and finely chopping the sage.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, divide it into two, and then roll out one half to form a rough rounded rectangle about 28cm x 20cm (11"x8").
Place the rolled out dough onto a baking tray or pizza stone and arrange the slices of ham on top, making sure they go right up to the edges. Follow this with the cheese, then scatter the sage and season well with the pepper. Roll out the remaining dough, lay it on top of the other half, and pinch the edges together to completely enclose the filling. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to puff up for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to Gas 6 / 400F / 200C. When the dough is ready, make about 15 little dimpless in it with your finger and press in the sprigs of rosemary. Finally, drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the dough is crisp and golden.
Serve straight from the oven, cut into wedges or squares.
SJ Note: I adapted this from a recipe calling for a breadmaker, as I don't have one (and I have no interest in getting one); if you have a breadmaker, you should click on the "Source" link above to see the directions including that.
SJ Note 26 April 2010: This was tasty! Too much salt on the top, but we just scraped it off. Next time I'll just scatter a few dashes of salt on top. The original recipe called for 350g cheese, but that seemed like too much when we were putting it on, so we only used 250g; next time we'll use the full 350g. I like that this was simple so the flavor of the parma ham came through, since it's a special thing for us. Definitely a keeper recipe.
SJ Note 2 Aug 2010: Tried with only a few dashes of salt on top, works much better. Used prosciutto instead of Parma ham - came out too greasy, despite trimming much of the fat off beforehand. Make sure to use a lean meat in the filling. The dough never rose the second time, seems to not like a cold rise.