Pan de jamón is a Venezuelan Christmas bread that is generally stuffed with ham, olives and raisins. I’ve been intrigued by this appetizer because 1. It includes some of my favorite flavors. When you combine savory ham, sweet raisins and bitter/salty green olives, you’ve got yourself a winning combination. 2. It’s bread! I like bread. No, I love bread! Give me bread and I’m happy. Stuff it with ham and I’ll smile from ear to ear. And 3. It just looks cool! This appetizer is a great conversation starter and pairs perfectly with your favorite red wine.
“Looks complicated” you say? Looks can be deceiving. I’ve made this bread a total of six times since I developed the recipe and I’ve perfected it in a way that when you slice it, you will always get one or two olives and raisins in your slice. Simply follow my recipe and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to prepare. You’ll be having pan de jamón for every occasion from now on.
- ¾ cup NESTLÉ CARNATION Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon MAGGI Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon
- ¼ cup lukewarm water (110° F)
- 1 packet (7 grams) active-dry yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten, divided
- ½ pound sliced ham
- ½ cup raisins
- ¾ cup pimiento-stuffed olives
- Combine evaporated milk, butter, sugar and bouillon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
- Combine water and dry yeast in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate yeast.
- Add flour to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Make well in the center of the flour and add yeast mixture, milk mixture and 1 beaten egg. Knead on low speed with dough hook attachment until dough is elastic and no longer sticky.
- Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm area for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Dough should double in size.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead and roll out to a 15 x 12-inch rectangle.
- Spread ham and raisins evenly over rolled out dough, keeping a ½-inch dough border. Arrange a row of olives close to border and another row closer to the middle (this will ensure every slice has at least two pieces of olive).
- Roll dough up into a loaf. Place on baking sheet. Wet fingers with lukewarm water and spread on seam and sides, pinching sides shut and sealing the seam. Cover roll with plastic wrap and a towel and let rest for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Brush top of loaf with remaining beaten egg; pierce loaf with fork. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until bread is golden brown. Remove from oven; let cool for15 minutes and serve.
Tip: Add a layer of pancetta or bacon for a variation of flavor. For a spicy kick, add pickled jalapeños.
Recipe developed for El Mejor Nido.