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Crescentine Fritte

Fried Dough with Prosciutto

With Ray McVinnie

Serves 6

Paolo Pancotti from Napier’s Milk & Honey restaurant served this dish at a function during the 2012 Hawke’s Bay Food and Wine Classic. This recipe is based on one from Emilia-Romagna in my Enciclopedia della Cucina Regionale Italiana. The dough can be made the day before and refrigerated.


125ml warm milk
1⁄2 tablespoon dried yeast
250g 00 flour (from specialty food stores)
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon caster sugar
25g butter, softened
12 paper-thin slices prosciutto
pure pork lard for frying (or use grapeseed oil)


Put the milk in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast, 11⁄2 tablespoons of the flour,  the salt and sugar over it. Set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes or until frothy.

Put the remaining flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mix and butter and mix well.

Turn the mixture out on to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth, soft dough (you can also do this in an electric mixer with a dough hook).

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Punch the dough down and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick. Cut into pieces or triangles about 15cm x 6cm (I like them in irregular shapes). Allow to rise for a further 10 minutes.

Melt enough lard or oil in a large, deep frying pan over moderate heat so it is about 2cm deep. When it is hot but not smoking, fry the pieces of dough, in batches, until well browned and puffed up on each side. Drain on kitchen paper.

Drape the prosciutto over the dough and sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt.

Wine: An elegant, complex Hawke’s Bay chardonnay such as Villa Maria Reserve Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2011.