Christmas menu: Delicious & traditional pan de jamón

Christmas is just around the corner and today I'm baking Pan de Jamón. This is a traditional Venezuelan recipe. The bakeries start baking it at the beginning of October, but when December 24 Nochebuena approaches, no Christmas menu is complete without Pan de Jamón.

These days, families gather to make it while listening to villancicos and gaitas and drinking homemade rum punch. Here in Miami, where we have the largest Venezuelan population of the United States, you can buy it, literally, in every corner. Here is my recipe, and if you want to find out how to make it, see below for my step-by-step instructions.


Pan de Jamón

Yield two breads, make 18 to 20 slices each

Ingredients for the dough:

1/2 cup tepid water

2 Tbs. of granulated sugar

2 Tbs. of yeast

1 pound of all purpose flour

1 egg

1 cup of tepid milk

2 Tbs. of unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for the filling:

1 Tbs. of brown sugar

2 Tbs. of unsalted butter, melted

5 slices of bacon

1 pound of ham, shaved (I used fat free black forest)

1 1/2 cups of stuffed manzanilla olives, sliced

3/4 cup of raisins (black)

3 cup of raisins (blond)

2 Tbs. of molasses

Dissolve the granulated sugar in tepid water. Add the yeast and let it rise, around 20 minutes. Once the yeast has risen, in the bowl of an standing mixer with the dough blade, add the flour, the yeast mixture, one egg and the milk. Process it until uniform and compact. You may need to scoop some more flour. Cover the bowl with plastic film. Let the dough rise, for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Divide the dough. On a floured surface, with the help of a roller, extend the half of the dough to make a 15 by 20 inches, 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Make the edges a little bit thinner. Brush some butter to cover the dough. Distribute the half of the bacon and evenly cover the dough with the ham. Sprinkle half of the olives and raisins. Make an airy roll, by carefully folding the dough. Fold both edges under. With a fork evenly poke across the loaf. Repeat the whole procedure with the other half of the dough.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully transfer the roll to the baking sheet. Bake it for 40 minutes. In a bowl, beat one egg and add the molasses. Brush the bread crust with the egg molasses mix. Bake it for 5 minutes. Let it cool down for at least one hour. Slice it and enjoy.

Image via Enriqueta Lemoine

Topics: holiday food  latin recipe  latin recipes