April 5, 2016
Once in a while I try new recipes where I expect the outcome to be a disaster. Something that looks so complicated that only restaurants and expert grannies manage to produce something like that.
Boy was I wrong on this recipe. Already the first try was a huge success. The dough came together in no time, rose perfectly and the outcome was picture perfect. And the meat was one of the juiciest things I’ve ever tried.
I prefer to go with a 0.6 to 0.8 kg piece of ham – because I like a little more bread in comparison to meat – plus who can eat 1.2 kg of ham?
Try to get a round piece of ham. If you go for a sliced one it’s harder to get a nice bread shape and you have to watch out that the hard edges of the ham don’t cut through the dough. If that happens the bread breaks open in the oven. It’s not a huge problem – it will still taste nice – just looses a bit of it’s moisture and the bread crust might get soggy.
So even if this looks scary advanced – give it a try. It’s actually surprisingly easy. You might be able to impress somebody at the dinner table next time!
HAM IN BREAD
_ crumble yeast into a bowl
_ add water, sour dough, maple syrup and salt
_ stir until yeast is dissolved
_ place the flour into a large bowl and form a little volcano
_ pour yeast-sour dough mixture into the center
_ use a fork to slowly combine flour and liquids
_ once well combined turn over onto a floured surface
_ knead [and add more flour if necessary] until you end up with a smooth, non-sticky dough
_ place dough into a floured bowl
_ cover and let rise in a warm spot for about 1.5 hours
_ preheat oven to 250°C
_ place dough onto a floured surface
_ roll out until about 1.5 cm thick
_ brush with a little water
_ place the ham [cut side down] in the center and fold dough over it [try to trap as little air as possible]
_ make sure the dough is sealed around the ham and is nowhere too thin
_ shape dough into a loaf
_ place onto a baking sheet, cover and let rise for about 25 minutes
_ bake at 230°C [all the way in the bottom of your oven] for about 15 minutes
_ reduce heat to 200°C and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes until the bread has a dark golden brown
[alternatively you can bake the bread in a dutch oven – 230°C for 30 minutes with lid on plus 15 minutes with lid off]