Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Schinken im Brotteig": Ham baked in bread

This is an old traditional recipe which used to be a popular party dish in Switzerland and Germany. Although potluck dinners are virtually unknown in these regions,“Schinken im Brotteig” (ham baked in bread) was the ideal meal for a large crowd as it could easily be prepared in advance. For larger gatherings, two or three hams would be baked and served with a variety of salads, including potato salad.

Recipe:( serves 6-8 people)

1 smoked rolled ham (Toupie ham or Alsacian ham), approx. 1 kg (2 Lbs)
- If ham is already cooked leave it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.
- If ham is uncooked, cook it according to package instructions (for approx. 60 minutes per kg) in a broth of the following:
A pot of water, 3 bay leaves, a few pepper corns, 1 large onion cut into rings.

If you don’t have time to make the bread dough you can substitute with 2 packets of store-bought pizza dough.

Bread dough:
400 grams (2 1/3 cup) unbleached all purpose flour
100 grams (2/3 cup) whole wheat flour
7 grams (2 teaspoons) quick rising yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
150 ml beer, room temperature (if you don't like beer just add extra water)
200 ml water, warm

Mix all ingredients in your bread maker (dough function) or knead vigorously by hand (approx. 10 minutes). Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let dough rise at room temperature for approx. 1 hour. Knead dough again briefly to get some of the air out. If it feels wet, sprinkle with some flour. Roll out with a rolling pin until dough is rectangular and large enough to wrap up the ham.

Pack ham firmly into the dough and brush edges with some water to make them stick. Make sure that the seam is at the bottom, so that it won’t burst during the baking process. 

If you have some leftover dough get creative. Cut out some nice shapes with a cookie cutter and glue on with some water.
Place ham on baking tray and bake for approx. 1 hour until nicely browned and crispy.
Normal oven: 180 ° C / 360 ° F
Convection oven: 160 ° / 320 ° F

Take bread out the oven and let it cool down a bit until it can be handled without gloves. With a sharp knife cut a lid off through the middle. Now you can carve the ham. Put the lid back on the meat to keep it warm. Before serving cut the lid into neat slices so that your guests can help themselves to ham and bread. The bread will be a little bit soggy from the meat juice but this makes it very tasty.

Serve with mustard, salad and pickles.

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