These Sofficini are delicious fried pastries filled with ham and cheese.
Think about it, pastry filled with ham, cheese and besciamella sauce, crumbed and fried. It’s got to be good. And it is!
Be sure to also try my Bagna Cauda appetizer it is a great traditional dish that everybody loves.
The amounts of filling required for the sofficini are really variable depending on the size of the rounds that you cut. Also you will notice sesame seeds on my finished sofficini. No, definitely not traditional however I make my own breadcrumbs from stale and unfinished bread – never waste bread, remember! Homemade breadcrumbs are the best. I always flavour my breadcrumbs with a little garlic, herbs or seeds.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 oz (30 grams/ 6 teaspoons) butter
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cups flour sifted
- 1 oz (30 grams/6 teaspoons) butter
- 6 teaspoons all purpose plain flour
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- a grinding of whole nutmeg
- 1¾ cups (140 grams) cheese gouda, swiss, mozzarella or provolone
- 1 cup (125 grams) diced ham
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs to coat
- light olive oil or grape seed oil for shallow frying
- Bring the milk, water, butter and salt to the boil. Once it boils take it off the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir well until the dough comes away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a lumpy dough. This is like a choux pastry without the eggs.
- Once the dough is cool enough to handle knead gently until smooth. It’s a beautiful dough that handles well. Now wrap in plastic and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until the butter and flour mixture is bubbling. Change to a whisk and carefully add the milk whisking all the time. Bring to boil stirring or whisking the whole time to avoid lumps. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Once it boils allow to bubble for a minute to cook out the flour. Remove from the heat. Set aside until needed.
To assemble and fry
- Roll out the dough fairly thinly, about ⅛in/ 3mm. Cut 4in/10cm rounds.
- In the middle of the round place a rounded teaspoonful each of besciamella, cheese and ham. Pick up like a taco, fold over and press to close. The dough adheres easily and rerolls beautifully.
- Break eggs in a shallow bowl then beat with a fork. Dip the sofficini first in the egg then in the breadcrumbs. Fry in hot oil. Sofficini can be frozen at the breadcrumb stage and then fried from the frozen.