The shell bread and hermit crab bread, with a delicious filling of cream cheese and ham, makes a great party snack… wholesome and yummy! Find this and many more recipes with pictures on the English version of the Giallozafferano App http://itunes.apple.com/app/giallozafferano-recipes/id384387249?mt=8 (or Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=it.banzai.media.gzricette&hl=it)
Start by making the bread dough: take a bowl and add the flour, sifted flour. Dissolve the salt in the water, make an indentation in the middle of the flour, then add the instant yeast – it does not need to be dissolved in water – the sugar, the milk and the oil, the diced softened butter and lastly the salted water. Bring the dough together in the bowl, then transfer to a work surface and knead until smooth. The dough is nice and smooth: place in a bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to rise for at least a couple of hours; the turned off oven with the light on works well.
Here’s the risen dough: turn it out onto a work surface and roll into ropes, about 23 ½ inches (60 cm) long and ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Wrap it around the cone mould, tuck the end of the strip under to prevent it from unrolling during baking. Take two small pieces of dough and roll into balls, for the eyes of the hermit crab. Then take a larger piece of dough and roll into a rope about the same thickness and make the legs: divide in two and slice lengthwise about half way up. Take a parchment lined baking tray, the beaten egg, and assemble the hermit crab: brush the dough - the egg wash not only gives a glossy finish, but it also helps the eyes and legs stick to the shell - brush them with egg wash too, then move on to the other shells. Use the same mould, roll the dough into balls for the eyes, brush with the beaten egg and here’s the shell; stick the eyes, brush with the beaten egg, then make the legs, place them on the side, to save room in the baking tray, brush again and repeat to make more shells and hermit crabs, until the dough is used up. Bake in a preheated static oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 20 minutes.
Prepare the filling: combine the cream cheese with the ham – as an alternative, you could use salami, mortadella, prosciutto, whatever you like best – a couple of basil leaves and blend with a stick blender. Put the mixture in a pastry bag.
It’s time to assemble: take the hermit crab bread and fill with the ham mousse. Using a small round cookie cutter, about ¾ inch (2 cm), cut out circles of ham for the tongues. As for the shells, fill with the ham mousse, then stand them upright over the legs. And while I’m filling all the shells, let’s see together the ingredients needed for this recipe!
for 12 pieces
- ½ stick (60 g) of softened butter
- 1 ¼ tsp (4 g) of instant yeast
- 1 heaping tsp (5 g) of white sugar
- ½ cup (125 ml) of water
- 2 ¾ tbsp (40 ml) of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tbsp (10 g) of salt
- ½ cup (125 ml) of milk
- 4 cups (500 g) of all-purpose flour
For the ham mousse
- 1 ¼ cups (300 g) of cream cheese
- 3,5 oz (100 g) of ham
- 2 basil leaves
- 1 pinch of salt
For brushing and garnishing
- 1 egg
- 1 thick slice of ham