Braided Easter Ham Pepperoni & Cheese Bread with Tutorial

 

easter-ham-cheese-bread copy.jpgMy Mama always made this tasty bread for every religious holiday and if we begged, sometimes in between. Mom used to buy pounds of aged meats and cheeses and painstakingly cube every bit. Then she would mix fresh beaten eggs and finely grated Parmesan and fill and roll, what seemed like dozens, of loaves.

I’ve converted her recipe into a “busy chef” version by using slices instead of cubes and adding Alfredo sauce as the first layer and also for dipping.

There are several ways to construct this bread, but my favorite is the easy and reliable braid (see below). Frozen bread dough may be used or my 30 minute Full Proof Pizza Dough recipe. Also, most pizzerias will sell pounds of their dough to the public. Find your favorite shop and ask for a couple of pounds.

This luscious bread is best served warm or at room temperature. It’s easy, delicious and quite fun to make. Great for picnics and parties too!

Ingredients

2 pounds of good quality pizzeria-style pizza, or bread dough (please email me for my made from scratch version)

½ pound each (all sliced); pepperoni, Swiss cheese, Virginia ham and sharp cheddar: Divide equally between the 2 loaves.

1 jar or container of good quality Alfredo Sauce; using about 1 1/2 cups for filling and the rest for dipping.

1 egg beaten for egg wash

¼ Cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Salt and fresh ground pepper

teenayummydelights.jpg
A Super Picture Tutorial From Yummy Delights

Directions

Remove dough from wrapping and follow manufacturer’s directions through the thawing and first rising process. If using dough from your local pizzeria start here:

Deflate dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough into a 10×14 inch rectangle. Make parallel cuts 3/4 inch wide and 2 inches long on the two long edges of the rectangle.

Evenly spread Alfredo sauce into the center of the rectangle—leaving a 1” section all around. Lay as many slices of pepperoni as you can, repeat with Swiss, then ham and finish with cheddar. Fold the short ends of the rectangle over the filling. Starting from each end fold end sections over into filling. Alternately, stretch strips from the two sides across the filling so the strips overlap diagonally. Repeat all of the above for 2nd loaf.

**If the above it too intimidating you can use the jelly roll method instead of braiding.

Transfer the loaves to a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets for 30 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool for another 30 minutes before slicing.

Makes 2 Hearty Loaves

NOTE: The add-ins are endless! Chopped olives, onions, peppers, spinach, various cheeses—mix and match just about any meat, cheese and veggie!

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh this looks so delicious and delightful 🙂

    1. Shhh, don’t tell anyone, Lynne, but I visit my local pizzeria for dough A LOT! lol!

      1. Haha. your secret is safe with me 🙂 and, hey, a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do 🙂

  2. Wow this looks lovely and delicious!

    1. Thanks, Lynn! It’s super easy too! xoxo!

      1. Looks so wonderful! xoxo

  3. Linda says:

    Lovely Lana!! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Linda! Fond memories of mama 🙂

  4. Anita Kushwaha says:

    So beautiful, Lana! It’s making me hungry! 🙂

    1. haha! Thanks, Anita! I would send some over if I could 🙂

      1. Anita Kushwaha says:

        Ha ha, thanks Lana! WordPress really needs to figure out that feature 😉

      2. haha!! You’re such a darling!!

  5. I could snack on this bread all day long 🙂 Beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Marisa! We snacked on it all day long too! lol! It was wonderful!

  6. Another keeper, Lana! My boys (and their friends!) would love to come home to this!

    1. Thanks, Jean! I bet they would!! And easy for mama to prepare 🙂

  7. cynthiamvoss says:

    What s beautiful braiding technique! The recipe sounds delicious. I would beg Mama to make it, too 🙂

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! Mama always complied 🙂 Always wanting to make us happy ♥

      1. cynthiamvoss says:

        That’s very sweet 🙂

  8. Wow doesn’t that look awesome or what? I made my first braided bread (cheating using the frozen stuff) with leftover corned beef. Why not this too?

    1. Thanks, Kathryn! Mmm! What a great idea! I bet it was fabulous! Thanks for the idea!!

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