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Most people love fried food. Most people love bread. Put the two together, pair them with the finest hams and cheeses, and it's heaven. These dollops of fried dough are the best way to enjoy an aperitivo or antipasto! 

You can find coccoli at street food vendors in Florence, to be filled with creamy Stracchino or Crescenza cheese and prosciutto. They're best enjoyed warm, but we doubt they'll last long enough to cool down, anyway.


Difficulty: Easy
Preparation time: 1.5 hours
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Quantity: Serves 4-6
Cost: Low

Ingredients

For the dough

250g plain flour
8g sachet of yeast (dried)
150ml water (lukewarm)
Coarse salt
Peanut or sunflower oil for deep frying

To serve

150g Stracchino or Crescenza cheese (or another fresh cheese)
150-200g prosciutto crudo

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and combine with the yeast.
  2. Add the lukewarm water and stir into the flour with a wooden spoon. 
  3. Work the dough with your hands for a few minutes until it comes together. Add the salt and continue to work the dough. When reasonably solid, transfer the dough to a work surface (lightly floured) until it's smooth and elastic. 
  4. Place the dough in a clean mixing bowl, cover with clingfilm and a clean dishcloth, and allow to rest in a warm place (such as the oven, with the light turned on) for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. 
  5. Roll the dough into a sausage shape, twist off small pieces of equal size, and roll into little balls (about the size of a walnut). 
  6. Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a small saucepan or deep-fryer to 170°C. To test the oil, you can insert a toothpick. If the oil bubbles around it, you know it's almost ready. Then, you can then test a small piece of dough: if it bubbles vigorously and it sizzles, you can begin cooking your coccoli. 
  7. Cook the coccoli in batches for 3–4 minutes, turning frequently, until they are a light golden colour. 
  8. Leave your coccoli to drain on kitchen towel and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy straight away with stracchino and prosciutto! 

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