Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Parma ham, pine nut and parmesan pin wheels

It seems like ages since my last blog post but December familial duties meant a trip to the North. I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the month but with 3 days to Christmas I thought I should pull my finger out.

I seem to have done a lot of bread in the past two months but as I created these for a dinner party and they were a roaring success I wanted to share them. They were appetisers so I made them as small as possible. Whoever first came up with the idea of bread or pastry as a pre-dinner snack was just plum greedy. Think of cheese straws, mini quiches, sausage rolls, or gougere and then imagine eating a 4 or 5 course meal after them?  It's just not practical.

The recipe is based on Richard Bertinet's olive dough slices, although I haven't used semolina in my dough and the quantities of the added ingredients vary. The end result is a savoury chelsea bun and they were incredibly well recieved. I filled them with the taste of Italy by layering ham, pine nuts, parmesan and basil. As they bake the cheese melts and holds everything together. I already have plans to make a tonne of these babies over Christmas and really need all the snow to melt so I can get back to the running that enables my obsessive eating habit.

Parma ham, pine nut, parmesan and basil pin wheels

Olive dough

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 15g fresh yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 320g lukewarm water


  • 150g grated parmesan 
  • 100g pan-roasted pine nuts
  • 8 slices Parma ham
  • handful of chopped basil
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  1. Weigh and sift the flour into a large bowl and rub the yeast into it, mix in the salt and olive oil before gradually adding the lukewarm water until the dough combines. Knead and stretch the dough on an un-floured surface for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Cover and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size
  2. Preheat your oven to 240C.
  3. Gently knock back the dough and flatten it into a rectangle with your fingers. Use a rolling pin if you find this easier. It should be approximately 20cm x 30cm. Brush with olive oil
  4. Mix together the grated parmesan and pine nuts and sprinkle half the mixture evenly across the surface of the dough. Now layer the slices of ham over the top (like a pizza), sprinkle with basil and finally top off with the rest of the cheese and nuts. Make sure your filling goes to the edges of dough so that the filling runs all the way through.
  5. Roll the dough up like a Swiss roll, tucking in as tightly as possible. Seal the edge of the dough by slightly pressing down with your fingers and position the roll so the seal is underneath.
  6. First cut in half, then cut each piece in half again until you have 16 slices. They will be thin and delicate so if required use a flat blade  or palette knife to lift the slices onto the pre-greased tray. Leave to prove for 45 minutes.
  7. Bake for 12-15 mins until golden brown then turn onto a cooling rack. While still warm brush lightly with olive oil and leave to cool.


  1. this sounds absolutely stunning!!!!!!!!!! but what's 'strong' white flour??

  2. Strong flour has a high gluten content, which is what gives the bread it's elastic, spongy texture. It may be marketed as bread flour where you are.