culinary review

Prosciutto, Asiago Cheese, Red Wine & Rye Bread

Last Modified: 10/08/11
First Published: 10/08/11
Views: 924
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Views: 924

A bread full of flavor and with a rich aroma is what this recipe will make. To combine the best of all worlds, we decided to make a bread that didn't just incorporate the wonderful flavor of prosciutto, but to further make it more interesting by adding small cubes of flavorful cheese, some rich red wine, a bit of sourdough and finally a touch of rye.

The initial model for this bread was the bacon ring, which we have made in the past. However this time, we opted to use prosciutto instead and we also added in addition to the yeast, a bit of stiff sourdough. To add developed sourdough to this recipe was purely for flavor, we still added yeast, so that step could technically be skipped, however it did add a complexity to the bread which it otherwise would have lacked.

Also, to increase the amount of flavor of this bread, we decided to add a small amount of rye flour. This made the loaf a bit darker and also gave it a hint of earthy rye flavor.

To further increase the depth and flavor of this bread, we choose to add a bit of red wine. We had leftover red wine on hand, but if you don't have any handy (or don't want to open a bottle to have an excuse to drink a glass!) then it could of course be substituted for water, however the wine also helped the flavor along and gave the dough a pretty color.

All in all this turned out wonderful. More is more definitely rings true here: the crumb was nice and light and the flavor so rich and complex.


  • 300 g bread flour
  • 40 g rye flour
  • 30 g honey
  • 3/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (grind fresh peppers until your arms hurt just about!)
  • 100 g red wine
  • 136 g water
  • 165 g sourdough
  • 100 g prosciutto, in pieces
  • 60 g asiago cheese (or other aged, flavorful cheese), chopped in small cubes


Whisk together bread and rye flour, yeast and pepper. Then add the salt. Add the honey, the red wine, the water and the sourdough and mix until the dough comes together, about one minute. After that, knead the dough on medium for about 7 minutes. At this point, add the prosciutto and the cheese and knead on low for about another minute until everything comes together.

Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes. Then wet your hands, pick up the dough and turn it a few times (to distribute any air bubbles), then cover again and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Now shape the dough into abut an 18 inch rope and shape it into a ring, press the edges together. Place the ring on a sheet of parchment paper which rests on a baking peel. Cover the ring with oiled plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour.

About 30 minutes before baking, put the oven on 450 degrees and ideally have a baking stone and a rack underneath with a cast iron pan for steaming.

Once the bread has risen, use the peel to put the bread on the parchment on the baking stone, toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes on the cast iron pan and immediately shut the door. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes (if needed tint the bread at this point with foil to avoid getting it too dark) or until an instant read thermometer reads about 205 degrees F.

Let the bread cool on a baking rack.