Thursday, March 13, 2008

Prosciutto Spiral Focaccia

What I've made is a simple spiral focaccia to serve in place of sandiwch, along side soup. It's more than bread, less than a sandwich, although you'll find it rich enough to get by with one piece.

It doesn't escape my attention that this "cheater's focaccia" is something the love-to-hate Sandra Lee would make, but I rest more easily knowing she'd probably use Carl Buddig ham or bologna, and dried herbs from the .98 cent store, instead of proscuitto and fresh herbs.

With this version, I've used prosciutto and herbs, however, it's very easy to customize this recipe. Olives and Parmesan would be wonderful, herbs and cheese would be wonderful. I've even seen it with bacon and cheddar cheese (too fatty for my tastes), and pepperoni for a "pizza spiral."

Let's assemble the ingredients. Chopped fresh herbs of your choice (here I have diced thyme, scallion, sage, and parsley), an egg, a bit of butter, several slices of prosciutto, and a tube of ready-to-bake dough breadsticks. I've used Pillsbury Low Fat (don't worry, we'll fix that) Breadsticks.

Seperate the breadsticks and flatten each one slightly, so that you may spread ingredients on each piece. It isn't necessary to saute the herbs, but that is my preference. You could just sprinkle the herbs on the dough, but I melted a small amount (perhaps a tablespoon) of butter and quickly heated the herbs to release their flavors. I spread the herb butter on each breadstick.

Seperate the thin layers of prosciutto and tear into long shreds, laying a narrow piece on each breadstick. Complete coverage isn't necessary -- it's salty and flavorful, so a little goes a long way.

Coil up one breadstick, and place it in the center of a lightly buttered pie tin. Leave the tail of that piece exposed slightly, as you'll be continuing the coil. Take the second piece, and press the end very firmly into the first end of the coil, and begin to wrap that piece, as well.

As you coil each piece, it will begin to look like a large rose. It's important to make sure the ends are pinched together tightly as you affix each new piece, but, do not wrap them tightly. You want them to expand and cook fully throughout.

When the spiral is complete, use the rest of any herb butter, and brush over the top. Now, beat the egg and brush beaten egg over the top, as well. Be generous with the egg, you want it to dribble into any nooks and crannies to help seal the spiral.

Bake the spiral at 375 for approximately 20-25 minutes, until well-browned. Let cool a bit before slicing into wedges, and serve. Be sure to expand this last photo ... it's really sexy up close.

You know what I'm thinking? You could make one mondo cinnamon roll with this. Make your favorite filling, roll it up, glaze it with cream cheese frosting, and serve this extra large roll at the table. For bakers who are yeast whisperers and not afraid of making their own dough, you could also make your dough and roll it spiral style, for homemade focaccia in a new style. Hmmmm. The variations are endless.

P.S. Guess who's boyfriend bought her a new digital camera? He's such a keeper. No more cell phone blogging!


  1. I think this is sheer genius! I am definitely trying this...

  2. oh wow, does that ever look & sound fabulous!

  3. haven't tried it yet, but looks easy to do, and VASTLY superior to the frozen ones at Sam's Club - thanks!

  4. good lord, that would be the cinnamon roll of my dreams. please make it so i can drool over the picture and not worry about my waistline. i can never resist a cinnamon roll.

  5. I was JUST thinking that! You read my mind. Wouldn't that be the greatest entree sized cinnamon roll? You could custom design it --- no raisins or extra raisins -- I think I'd add lots of coconut and marzipan to mine. Let me know if you try it, I'd love to see it.