Homemade breads flavored with ingredients such as cheese, herbs, spices or meat such as prosciutto invariably draw raves from family and friends.
Recipes such as this one for Prosciutto Bread, which yields four small loaves, come in handy for bread-loving households. The breads are shaped into rings, which can be sliced neatly into wedges.
Prosciutto Bread goes well with a simple bread-and-soup dinner but it also can add a special Italian accent to a more elaborate meal.
1 package dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water, 110 degrees
3 cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 pound prosciutto, cubed
Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Cover and set aside 10 minutes.
Place flour, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup olive oil in processor. With machine running, add yeast mixture to container within 20 seconds, then process 20 seconds. Add prosciutto cubes and process 30 to 40 seconds longer until dough is thoroughly kneaded and prosciutto is chopped.
Transfer dough to warm, wet bowl. Cover and set aside until tripled, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Remove dough from bowl. Without kneading, divide dough into 4 equal pieces, then shape each into round. With finger, make hole in center of dough and stretch to make doughnut-shaped loaf about 6 inches diameter with center space of 3 1/2 inches.
Place dough rings on oiled baking sheet. Cover with cloth towel and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush tops of breads with additional olive oil. Bake 20 minutes until lightly browned. Makes 4 (1/2-pound) loaves.