Coccoli Fritti with Prosciutto & Stracchino


Coccoli are dollops of deep-fried bread dough. When folks speak of Tuscan genius, I am pretty sure they are thinking of coccoli rather than anything related to art, science, architecture or philosophy. Coccoli are typically served as an antipasto but can certainly pass as a full meal in themselves.


200 grams (about 1 & 3/4 cups) flour
15 grams (1 & 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
150 ml water (about 2/3 of cup) warm water
olive oil
oil for frying


Dissolve the yeast in about half of the water in a mixing bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Add the flour a little at time, stirring and gradually adding the rest of the water. Add a pinch of salt and about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and keep blending until you have a uniform dough (it will be sticky). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for at least 1 hour. The dough will about double.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Flour your fingers and begin making balls about the size of a walnut. This recipe makes about 10 to 12 of this size. Fill a heavy, medium-sized saucepan about 3 inches deep with oil and heat. Test the oil by dropping in a small piece of dough. When the oil is ready, carefully ladle in about half of the coccoli. They will puff up after a few seconds. Fry them for about 5 minutes or until they are a light golden color. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels. Lightly salt the coccoli and serve them warm with stracchino and prosciutto (break the coccoli open and spoon in a bit of the cheese then wrap with the prosciutto).