Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ham & Cheese Bread



My sis-in-law, Cherie, makes this all the time and I always love it. It's something substantial, but compact and easy to serve in a buffet kind of setting. Perfect for book group, baby shower, picnics, etc . . . I recently made it for a church meeting and it turned out really great. The above picture is a cheese only version (with Irish white cheddar and sharp yellow cheddar) which wasn't nearly as good as the ham and cheese version. It also looks way more impressive than it really is. It takes a little over 2 hours to make, not bad for a bread, and looks really pretty with little effort.

Ham & Cheese Bread

4 c. very warm water
1/2 c. melted butter or vegetable oil
3 T. yeast
1/3 c. sugar
2 T. salt
9-10 c. flour

Mix water, sugar, melted butter (or oil), salt. Add yeast and allow 2-3 mintues to dissolve. Add flour one cup at a time until dough is slightly sticky but can be handled. Transfer to large greased bowl and let rise for 50 minutes, stirring down once after about 20 minutes. Divide into 3 pieces. Roll into rectangle. Working lengthwise, spread middle third of each rectangle with mustard (use as thick a layer as you would on a sandwich), thinly sliced deli ham (2 layers) and sharp cheddar cheese (1 layer). Cut two inch strips along each edge and fold into middle. (See diagram below.) Repeat with other two pieces of dough. Let raise 30 minutes. Brush with egg mixture (1 beaten egg, 2 T. water). Bake 350 for 30 minutes.

3 comments:

rachel said...

OOOO this looks yummy. I've made versions of this before and the bread is always too thick. Is there a trick??

Erin said...

Rachel, I would try putting more filling in. The ham & cheese version was more filling to bread and I liked the ratio, or you could let it rise less the second time.

Tania said...

I do one like this in the winter a lot and we have it with soup. I put in mushrooms and broccoli too. Yummy.