Monday, May 17, 2010

Prosciutto Ring

2 cups + 3 tbsp bread flour (+1/2 cup, depending on texture)
1 tbsp malt powder (or 1 tbsp sugar)
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 c water (70F - 90F)
3 oz Prosciutto, 1/8" thick -- cut into 1/2" pieces
4 tsp bacon fat, lard, or butter -- melted

Using the whisk attachment, thoroughly combine flour, malt, and yeast. Add salt and mix. Add the salt after mixing to avoid it coming into direct contact with the yeast.

Use the dough hook on the mixer, add water to bowl and combine with flour at low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and knead for seven minutes. Add Prosciutto and mix in on low. Dough should be tacky not sticky. If it is too sticky add a bit more flour and knead in, if too dry, spray with a bit of water and knead in.

Dump dough onto a lightly floured counter, shape into a ball, dust lightly with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Place baking stone or a baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven and a baking sheet on the bottom of the oven. Heat oven to 450F.

Roll dough into an 18" rope, form into a ring, overlapping ends by two inches on a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a large bowl or oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in bulk -- about one hour. Brush with melted bacon grease.

Transfer bread on parchment to stone or baking sheet. Toss half a dozen ice cubes into the pan on the bottom of the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes, remove parchment, and rotate bread 180 degrees. Bake another five minutes and reduce heat to 400F. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes. Turn oven off, prop open door, and leave the bread in the oven for five minutes.

Remove bread from oven, brush again with bacon fat or butter, and allow to cool completely.


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