As much as grand dinners and extravagant dishes are nice, and a fantastic treat, sometimes there just ain’t nothing better than the simple pleasures. Peanut butter fingers, bread covered with a thick spread of butter, a cheeky slice of cheese cut straight from the fridge, the perfect cup of milky sweet builders’ tea. These little gratifications are the things that perk up the humdrum of daily life.
On my recent trip to Italy, my holiday equivalent to the above, my daily snack, my mid-afternoon pick-me-up, was breadsticks wrapped in prosciutto. So good, and much missed since my return. Our dry tasteless shop-bought breadsticks just do not match up to our Italian cousins efforts. So when my cravings eventually got the better of me, I decided to make fresh breadsticks and recreate my holiday favourite at home. Now, you may be thinking that this is a lot of effort to make for what is supposed to be a “simple pleasure”, but honestly breadsticks are so easy and quick to make – and they keep pretty well in a spaghetti jar too, so you recreate that simple pleasure again and again. I for shiz did.
Torinesi breadsticks wrapped with Prosciutto di San Daniele and served with shavings of Grana Padano Cheese
Adapted from a recipe by Giancarlo Caldesi
- 325g ‘00’ flour
- 15g fresh yeast or 7g dried
- 200ml tepid milk
- 100g soft butter
- 5g salt
- Grated Grana Padano cheese (optional)
- A slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele for each breadstick
- 50g of Grana Padano Cheese (shavings)
Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Mix the yeast with the tepid milk and stir well to combine. Blend the remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Pour in the yeasted milk and use your fingers to incorporate everything evenly and bring to a dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a thickness of 0.5cm.
Cut into lengths about 30cm long and 1cm wide. Place on a greased baking sheet slightly apart. If you like, grate some Grana Padano cheese over all or some of your dough lengths to make cheesy breadsticks. Place in the oven and cook for 25–30 minutes or until a rich golden brown.
Leave to cool and store in a tall airtight jar such as a spaghetti jar. They will keep for about a month.
To serve, wrap each finger in a thin slice of fresh Prosciutto di San Daniele, and serve with fresh shavings of Grana Padano Cheese.
It’s what life’s all about.
This post was sponsored by Consortium of Prosciutto di San Daniele and Consortium of Grana Padano Cheese.