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Gnocco fritto

Delicious bundles square and break- shaped, prepared with bread dough and than fried and served with typical cold cuts and cheeses of Modena. Gnocco is a traditional product of Emilia Romagna region but the history of its preparation is linked to the Lombard culture, which had the availability of lots of lard. Until the second half of the XXth century fried dumplings represented both the traditional food of street festivals, and farmer's breakfast food.

RECIPE

300 g plain flour

25 g pork lard

15 g fresh yeast

4 g salt

160 ml water

Sunflower oil for deep frying 

Put the flour onto a working surface and make a little well. Put the pork lard in the centre of the well, then add the salt to the flour and finally dissolve the yeast into the glass of tepid water before adding the water to the flour. Mix everything together using your hands and work the dough for 10 minutes. Using your hands will help melt the lard so that it evenly mixes with the other ingredients. The dough’s consistency should be the same as for pizza or bread dough. Once the dough is ready, put it into a container and cover with a kitchen cloth or film and let it to rise for a couple of hours. After two hours the dough will have doubled its size. Now, it’s time to put it back onto the working surface. Spread a bit of flour onto the working surface so that the dough will not stick to it during the following stage. Using the rolling pin, make a large disc roughly 4 or 5 mm thick. Then, using a pastry wheel, cut some rectangles, size 10x8 cm and don’t be worried if you get some with different sizes, like 10x6 cm or 10x7 cm; it will work whichever way you do it. Also, if you want diamonds or squares instead of rectangles, make yourself at home! Meanwhile, you should have started to heat the oil up and here we need really hot oil. I suggest using sunflower oil at 190-200 °C (a deep fat fryer would be a safer option, also because it would be easier to control the temperature). When you drop the rectangle into the hot oil you will see that it will stay in the bottom of the pan for just few seconds, then it will float and after few seconds again, it will inflate. Then, fry each side until they are golden in colour. Usually, it takes 20-30 seconds per side, if fried between 190°C and 200°C, but it could be less if the temperature of the oil goes up, so stick to the golden colour thing rather than time.

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