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Ham and cheese picnic bread

recipe july16

Ingredients

1 (7g) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped ham
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 (100g) jar pimento peppers drained and diced
½ cup black olives, drained and chopped

Directions

In a small mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the flour, egg, butter, sugar and salt; mix well. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 200ºC.

Combine the ham, cheese, pimento, and olive in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.

Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough into a 25x35cm rectangle.

Make parallel cuts 2cm wide and 5cm long on the two long edges of the rectangle. Evenly spread the filling mixture over the centre of the rectangle. Fold the short ends of the rectangle over the filling. Starting from one of these ends, alternately stretch strips from the two sides across the filling so that the strips overlap diagonally to create a plait effect.

Transfer the loaf to a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

Bake at for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

NB: You can change the filling, using different types of cheese or ham to suit, or even add some chopped sun dried tomatoes.