A “Mini Meal”: Ham and Chili Pepper Twist Bread

“I believe in a benevolent God not because He created the Grand Canyon or Michelangelo, but because He gave us snacks.” Paul Rudnick 

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A snack is a small portion of food generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a wide variety of tastes, sizes and shapes.  Historically, snacks were prepared from ingredients either commonly available in all homes or from leftovers of the regular, main meals. Certain beverages, like coffee, are typically consumed along with snack foods. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became more and more significant, usually designed to be portable, quick, durable, small but filling, anything but healthy. They often contain substantial amounts of fat, salt, sugar, sweeteners and artificial preservatives, altogether appealing visually, less friendly for the body.

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The following alternative has all the positive characteristics of a snack item, being portable, durable, visually pleasing, small and filling, and,although it may need more love and attention than the act of lifting a packet of crisps off a shop shelf, it will certainly worth all the effort involved in its production. In addition to its quality of being extremely tasty, it is also hearty and healthy.

“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.” Pope Paul VI

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Ingredients
175 ml warm water
20 g fresh yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
250 g wholemeal flour
5 tbsp oil
2 chili peppers, finely chopped
10-15 very thin slices of smoked Parma ham
2 tbsp Nigella seeds
10-15 wet skewers
3 tbsp melted butter
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

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Method
Combine water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes or until yeast has activated (became bubbly). Then mix in flour gradually, finally salt, chilies and oil. Knead until all combined, dough is formed and is pulling away from sides of bowl. Spray another with cooking spray or oil, and place dough inside. Cover bowl and let dough rise until doubled in size. (30-60 minutes)
Take dough out of bowl and lay out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough out into a large rectangle. With a pizza cutter, slice into 10-15 strips. Take one wet skewer, wrap a slice of ham around it and gently repeat wrapping with dough, twisting it onto the skewer. Place on a non-stick sheet covered baking tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Once twists are all formed and placed, brush with water and sprinkle it with Nigella seeds. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise again until doubled in size. (30 minutes)
In the meantime preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Bake the bread twists for 20-25  minutes or until golden brown. Once twists are done baking, remove from oven and immediately take out the skewers, brush with melted butter and optionally sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese.

Taste cannot be controlled by law.” Thomas Jefferson

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