These small pieces of puffed fried bread are served with salami, prosciutto or cheese to stuff the bread with. I love the informal countryside restaurants in Emilia-Romagna where big groups of friends and families join to order gnocco fritto and tigelle with a range of salumi, cheeses and sauces to fill them with. —woo wei-duan
fresh yeast, dissolved in 100 mls of tepid water
lard, skin removed and finely chopped
oil (can use lard which is more traditional but you need to get it to a much higher temperature which is more difficult to do)
Place the flour and salt into large bowl and make a well in the middle.
Add the yeast with its water and the lard and begin mixing with your hand.
Add the milk and begin incorporating.
When the milk has been mixed in begin adding some of the water, adding slowly and kneading the dough for 15 minutes until you have a nice soft but not sticky dough.
Soak a dishtowel and ring it out thoroughly and cover the bowl with the dough with the towel (can use cling film). Leave it to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Flour a clean work surface and roll the dough out to about 4 mm thick.
Fold the dough over on itself.
Roll the dough again to 3 mm thick, and cut into 8cm circles, diamonds, or squares.
Put the oil into a sautepan or wok and heat to 200C or until break off a tiny piece of dough and throw it into the oil and see if it immediately begins to fry. Put 2 or 3 pieces of dough in at a time and try make sure that the oil doesn’t well on top of the dough as this will inhibit it from puffing. When one side is golden and puffed, turn over and fry the other side. Should only take about 2 minutes per side.
When golden, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve with the prosciutto. To eat, break open the bread and fill with prosciutto and enjoy!