Friday, March 18, 2016

Ham and Cheese Bread

     You probably know by now that I don't always have top of the line ingredients on hand. That's not really my thing. It's nice to have fancy meats and cheeses and stuff like that, but it's also nice to be able to pay the mortgage and utilities. I often find recipes that I end up avoiding because I never have the ingredients on hand, or more likely, I can't seem to justify the cost of the ingredients. That's probably why you don't see more recipes with Gruyere on my pages. Anyways, I found a bread recipe and wanted to make it for some time, but never had the key ingredients. Finally, I just cracked and used super-cheap alternatives. I couldn't have been happier with the results. I ended up with a nice, crusty bread perfect for sandwiches! As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Ham and Cheese Bread
adapted from Torta Di Testo Di Prosciutti E Formaggio
via The Art of Bread
  • 2 teaspoon (1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp water (I ended up using 4 tbsp water for whatever reason. Maybe I used too much flour.)
  • 3-1/2 cups unbleached flour (I just used plain old white flour from ALDI. I didn't have time to take the Rolls Royce out for "special" flour)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (even this amount was noticeable. If you're not a fan of nutmeg, just omit this)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (a stick of generic margarine microwaved for 20 seconds, you say? Done!)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 5 ounces ounces sliced prosciutto, chopped (lah-de-dah! Emmental cheese! Let me break out the good china! I'm going to be honest. I used a pack of Buddig honey ham)
  • 5 Emmental, dicedounces sliced prosciutto, chopped (seeing as all my liquid assets are tied up in long term investments in yacht and gold futures, I used an equal amount of shredded pepperjack cheese)
  1. Sprinkle yeast into water in a bowl. Leave for five minutes (they should really be more specific. I left the kitchen and got as far as the driveway before I realized I couldn't finish the recipe from out there. Even though the recipe didn't say to return, I did); stir to dissolve.
  2. Mix flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl (I used my KitchenAid, so that was my large bowl). Make a well in the center and add the dissolved yeast and everything else. 
  3. Mix until you've formed a soft, sticky dough (as mentioned, this took a little extra water to achieve). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until silky and elastic, about 10 minutes (I just slapped the dough hook on the mixer and let it take care of things while I had a drink or six.)
  4. Put the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch down, then let rest for 10 minutes. 
  5. Shape the dough into a round loaf. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet (I used a pizza stone and a thin spray of cooking oil) and cover with a dish towel (they had to specify dish towel? Was there a chance I'd chuck a beach towel over it? Maybe a washcloth?). Proof until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Bake in an oven preheated to 350F (180C, Gasmark 4) for 1-1/2 hours, until golden brown (yeah, I know this seems like a long time, but it's right. You'll need every minute of it), cool on a wire rack.
Good Times!


  1. I love baking bread, my kids love when I bake too! I bet this came out great! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty

    1. You are quite welcome. This was a very good bread!