Pan de Jamón (Venezuelan Holiday Bread)

a savory roll bread stuffed with smoked ham, bacon, green olives and raisins. The bacon and raisins make this bread very moist while the combination of savory and sweet flavors from the ham, olives and raisins give a wonderful contrast and balance at the same time. Although you can only find this bread during Christmas time in Venezuela, I have made it in almost any celebration I had and people love it.
Yield: 2 roll breads

  • 1 tablespoon dried yeast (1 packages)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 ounces butter, at room temperature (not melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pound smoked ham
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup pitted green olives stuffed with pepper
  • 20 bacon sliced

For the glaze

  • 1 yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water

Sprinkle yeast over warm water (110 F) in a large bowl; let stand until foam (about 5 minutes). Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/3 cup of the flour without stirring. Let it rest (covered with plastic wrap) for 20 minutes. Add the rest of the flour, the milk and the eggs. Mix it together until the dough pulls out from the sides of the bowl (around 10 minutes). Add the rest of the sugar and salt and continue mixing at medium speed until the dough is soft, shiny and elastic (7-10 minutes). Add the butter little by little while mixing. Knead the dough until thoroughly combined. Let it rest covered until it doubles in size (about 1 ½ – 2 hours). In the meantime make a glaze mixing the egg yolk and the water just until combined. Punch down the dough and divide into 2 pieces. Roll each piece of dough with a rolling pin into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Arrange the ham, bacon, olives and the raisins on the top leaving 1 inch at the end, so you can seal the bread up. Roll it up like a Swiss roll and brush it with some egg to seal it. Place the bread in a baking sheet pan and let it rise covered with plastic wrap until doubles its size. Brush the breads evenly with the glaze and with a fork make incisions on the top. Bake at 400° F for a half hour or until golden brown. Let them cool slightly before slice them.
Slice in 1 inch thick pieces and serve it warm or at room temperature.

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