- 60 minutes
- For 8 people
- € 1.5 / person
Recently I was asked to prepare a tapa with ham. I did not have to think much since the base was clear: bread and tomato , the classic pan tumaca or pa amb tomàquet , which resembles bread with oil typical of the Andalusian breakfast or bruschetta with Italian pomodoro , a combination very widespread throughout the Mediterranean. It is one of my favorite combinations and I am not going to reinvent the wheel, I think everyone likes this base, and if we also add a good Iberian ham and mushrooms … it will triumph as “Los Pecos”.
Bread with oil has been present in Mediterranean cuisine since ancient Greece, unlike tomato, which did not arrive in Europe until the 16th century and took time to be used regularly in the kitchen. It is said that it was the Murcian workers who went to Catalonia in the 1920s to work on the construction of the Barcelona metro who brought this combination there. Apparently they planted tomato plants along the tracks and at lunchtime they smeared the dry bread with the tomatoes to soften it and eat it. However, according to the journalist and gourmet Néstor Luján (“The book of Spanish cuisine”), the first written reference to bread with tomato dates from 1884 and already places it in Catalonia. This theory defends the Catalan origin of this recipe as a preparation that farmers used to soften dry bread and take advantage of the abundant harvest.
The next challenge was to transfer my idea to the concept of tapas , according to the RAE a ” small portion of some food that is served as an accompaniment to a drink .” What has become clear to me after these years of practicing tapas is that a lid can be eaten well with your hands, well with cutlery, and that its size is just enough to eat it in two or three bites … and that you immediately feel like it other. So I thought about preparing a small roll easy to eat, with bread dough and pieces of ham, a tomato and basil dressing to give it juiciness and topped with a sheet of Boletus Edulis confit and ham of the good, acorn-fed Iberian of course. A combination of flavors that will make each bite a pleasure. You will tell me.
Preparation of the ham dough for the rolls
The crispy buns are made with pizza dough but with a little more yeast to make them puff and leave us with a crispy crust but tender inside. If you don’t have time you can always skip this step and use a good muffin-type bread or a freshly baked bun, whichever you like best. But if you dare to make the entire recipe you will love these pieces of bread, almost glass, crispy in each bite and that enhance the flavor of the ham.
- In a large bowl, add the wheat flour (in this case whole flour to give it more consistency, but you can make them with flour of normal strength). We will leave a separate tablespoon of flour to fatten the dough.
- With a spoon we make a hole in the center of the bowl and add the yeast dissolved in water and the two tablespoons of honey. Beat with a wooden spoon from the center outwards and gradually mix with the flour.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil. We continue removing what begins to be the dough, for now it will be a sticky but firm mixture.
- We prepare the area where we are going to knead, for example the kitchen counter. Sprinkle the counter with flour, remove the dough from the bowl and start working the dough with your hands. It is very important to refine the dough to make it more elastic and rise better. To refine it, we must stretch the dough like a churro and spiral it several times. At the end we put back together and knead again for about ten minutes. This is the trick that makes dough amazing.
- After those 10 minutes, we can manipulate the dough more quickly, it will remain elastic and homogeneous. The correct flour measurement is ” until the flour sticks to your hands “, but it should not be abused either. I have put 1/2 kilo in the ingredients although in reality I used about 50 grams more, everything depends on the flour because they do not always come from equal millings, nor is the wheat the same.
- We cut the flakes of our favorite ham, in this case a great ham 5 jots, into small pieces without being completely chopped, since we want to find them later on the bun. We add the ham to the dough that is almost done.
- We are molding the ham dough into a ball. We take the previous bowl, flour it and put the ball of dough in it. We cover the bowl with a cotton cloth to let it rise for about 45 minutes. After the waiting time if we press it with a finger and the dough returns to its original position it will be ready to prepare. We reserve.
Preparation of the ham cover
- Peel a little the trunk of the boletus and clean all the land well. If they are healthy we will have finished, otherwise we will remove the soft or very hollow, ugly or insane parts. If we see that the boletus hat has a small yellow sponge, we would remove it, if it is white it would already be edible. The easiest way to make them fit evenly when cutting them is to make a horizontal cut at the base and roll.
- In a large frying pan, pour a good splash of olive oil. When it is hot add the boletus sheets and cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes until they change color.
- We preheat our oven to 250º for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the countertop with a little flour and roll out the dough with the rolling pin, leaving it a little chubby. With a hoop, a pasta cutter or a round surface, we cut several rounds and separate from the dough. Let it rest for about 1o minutes (just while the oven is heating) so that the yeast does its job and has some volume.
- We place the dough portions on a tray on parchment paper and bake at 200º for about 9 minutes, or until they are golden brown and the dough is crisp. Halfway through the cooking we can brush it with a little bit of ovo to give it a more golden tone.
- Drain the tomato and tighten by hand so that it does not have any water since we only want the tomato meat. Place in a bowl and combine with the chopped fresh basil. Add a splash of extra virgin olive oil, salt (just a pinch) and freshly ground black pepper. Don’t add a lot of salt because the lid has ham and the dough too. We remove with a spoon, mixing and integrating all the flavors. We already have our filling, we reserve.
- We cut the ham into small strips to fill the buns. We reserve.
- Take the buns out of the oven and let them cool down a bit so as not to burn when opened. Once tempered we open the buns with a serrated knife and fill first with the tomato, then we put one or two slices of boletus and top with the Iberian ham.
We already have an almost perfect cover, you just have to try it and you will tell me. I assure you that they will fly.
I encourage you to visit more recipes for tapas, snacks and pinchos perfect for an unforgettable evening with yours. Perfect for a light dinner, a party or, yes, a delicious way to share food with friends and the people you love.