Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pan de Jamón (Ham bread), Mabel, Venezuela

Cut preparation time in half by using premade white-bread dough, available in the frozen-food section at your local grocer, (Byerlys, Target, Cubs. Brand: RHODES)

1-pound loaf premade frozen bread dough, thawed
4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
4 to 5 bacon strips
1/2 pound deli-style cooked ham, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1/4 cup raisins

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to make a rectangle of approximately 12 by 20 inches. Brush on 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, and stagger the bacon strips lengthwise along the center. Layer with the cooked ham, overlapping the slices, and leave a 1/2-inch edge along the perimeter of the dough. Sprinkle the olive slices and raisins evenly on top.

Starting at the short end, carefully roll the dough—jelly-roll fashion—to enclose the filling completely. Pinch both ends closed, and tuck them underneath the loaf. Place in a lightly buttered 12-inch loaf pan or baking dish. Prick the surface a few times with a fork and cover with a clean cloth.

Allow the bread to rise undisturbed in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour. Remove the cloth and brush the surface of the loaf with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Cut into 1-inch-thick slices and serve. Makes 1 loaf.

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