Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

These prosciutto, ricotta and spinach morning buns are a savoury twist on the traditional sweet morning bun! They're feather light and stay fresh for days and are filled with a seasoned three cheese mix of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan and layered with baby spinach and leaves of prosciutto! If you love savoury buns, these are a pushy recipe Dear Reader!

Although I love sweets, my palate definitely runs more savoury and I crave savoury foods more and so I would probably reach more for a savoury morning bun than a sweet one. I was inspired to make this recipe by the prosciutto and ricotta sfogliatelle from Marta Bakery and by a recipe by Farideh Sadeghin using mortadella and salami.

Tangzhong or the water roux: 5 minutes to heavenly soft bread! It takes less than 5 minutes to make the water roux (heat up flour and water together in a saucepan) and this little step will ensure that your buns are downy soft and light in texture. This little step causes the starch to gelatinize and results in soft bread. Tangzhong is the base for my hot cross buns and lots of other soft breads as it produces a tender, soft crumb and no hard crust at all. It will change your bread life!

Tangzhong vs Yudane: The Yudane method is one where boiling hot water is poured over the dough and is how to make Japanese Shokupan milk bread. Both methods yield similar flavours but the texture is said to differ slightly. Tangzhong bread stays springier and softer while Yudane bread has a tighter crumb and higher rise. The Yudane method is slightly easier of the two but with a significant drawback. The initial Yudane mixture needs to rest from 4 hours to overnight whereas Tangzhong can be used straight away.

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

Do I use bread flour or plain all purpose flour? Bread flour is great for this but plain all purpose flour also works well.

Alternative meats to prosciutto: prosciutto is expensive so feel free to sub with mortadella and salami or ham.

I have to confess one thing to you Dear Reader. My spelling in Italian is very poor. For the first few years I misspelt prosciutto (I spelt it proscUItto because that's how I hear it) and I can never remember which letters are double or single ones.

I also forget some English words and names although it is my first and only language. Do you ever get in a situation when you can't remember someone's name but it's too late to ask because you've had several conversations with them and sort of bonded and if you ask, they'll probably be at the very least slightly offended.

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

This happened to Mr NQN and I recently. We met a really lovely girl and she was so helpful but we both didn't catch her name. "Was it Martha?" I said. "No it started with an S," said Mr NQN. Sometimes I wish everyone walked around with name badges or I had someone following me around Devil Wears Prada style whispering people's names in my ear. I'm great with faces but often names are lost on me. So in my infinite wisdom I said.

"So how do you spell your name?"

Slightly puzzled she said, "Oh it's just Sam."


Sam? SAM????

Arrrrgh. But undeterred and fully committed to this I continued on.

"Is that Sam with an S?" I said slightly dying inside. I mean what else could it be, Tsam?

"Yup, S A M," she said smiling. I think she knew.

So tell me Dear Reader, does your palate run more sweet or savoury? What is your best way to resolve the name issue?

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 30 minutes plus 2 hours rising tim

Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • 280g/10ozs bread flour
  • 125ml/4flozs. water
  • 90ml/3flozs. milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 30g/1ozs. butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 400g/14ozs. ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup/100g/3.5ozs. grated mozzarella
  • 2/3 cup/60g/2ozs. parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Small bunch of chives (around 10g/0.35ozs.), finely chopped
  • Black pepper
  • 200g/7ozs. prosciutto
  • 50g/1.7ozs. baby spinach

  • Egg wash (beaten egg) to brush

Step 1 - Make the tangzhong first. Take 1/6 cup of the total flour and place in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. Whisk until smooth and then heat it up until it reaches 65ºC/149ºF. Remove from heat, whisk in the milk, sugar, egg and butter and cool to 45ºC/113ºF.

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

Step 2 - In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook stir the rest of the flour and yeast. Add in the tangzhong and the milk mixture. Knead with the dough hook until you can gently pull the dough apart without it breaking-this is called the window pane effect. Knead in the salt. Roll into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Allow to double in size in a warm area - around 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 3 - While the dough is proving, mix the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan garlic powder and chives together and season with black pepper. Line two 22cm/9inch spring form pans with parchment on the base and sides.

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

Step 4 - Flour a surface and roll out the dough to become a 30x20cms/11.8x8inch rectangle. Spread out the cheese mixture leaving 1/2 an inch at each long end. Then top with baby spinach and then two layers of prosciutto. Roll up along the longest side to create a long log.

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

Step 5 - Slice into 10 pieces placing 5 pieces in each prepared tin. Allow to rise for 45 minutes in a warm area. Brush with egg wash (optional). Bake in a 180C/350F oven for 35 minutes.

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

Prosciutto Ricotta Morning Buns

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