Families and friends gather to celebrate and share traditions that have been passed down through generations. The Bresolin family, Guido and his wife, Virginia Martinez, originally from Caracas, Venezuela share their recipe for Pan de Jamon, a savory, sweet bread, and a tradition passed from his mother, who still resides in Venezuela and taught Guido to cook at age 10.
Virginia, a talented artist and painter and Guido, employed by P & G, live in Cincinnati with their son Alejandro, age 16, and Hershey, their chocolate lab.
Feliz Navidad, Happy Holidays!
PAN DE JAMON (BREAD WITH HAM)
2 Tbsp yeast
3 Tbsp sugar, divided
2 cups 2% low fat milk
3 cage-free eggs
1 stick of salted butter room temperature
1 Tbsp salt
8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter (use a microwave-safe bowl)
2 pounds thinly sliced Black Forest ham, divide in half
1 small jar (6 oz.) sliced green olives stuffed with pimentos, divide in half
1 box (1.5 oz.) raisins, divide in half
1 egg yolk plus 3 Tbsp milk, whisk together
Warm the milk to 105 degrees and place in a deep mixing bowl, stir in one teaspoon of sugar, then sprinkle the yeast little by little “in the form of rain” and let it rest for 10 minutes. If the yeast has not fermented, which sometimes happens, repeat with a different yeast.
To that, add the remaining sugar, milk, eggs, 1 stick room temp. butter and salt; gently combine each ingredient in mixer fitted with paddle or dough attachment. Finally add the flour slowly, letting the mixture to absorb little by little, until the mixture is not sticky — this is done by feel, if the dough is sticky add a little more flour, if not then do not add any more.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead; the more you work the dough — pull, stretch, hit, the more it will increase in size and the bread will be smoother. Place dough back into an oiled bowl, turn over once to coat it and cover with a clean cotton dish cloth and let sit for 2 hours, only.
Prepare 2 baking sheets — line with parchment paper, lightly grease with a bit of melted butter, sprinkle with flour. Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven; preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Divide the dough into 2, place one onto a floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll to a rectangular shape 1/4-inch thickness. Flour the rolling pin and surface as needed. Varnish dough with melted butter, lay slices of ham covering the surface, then sprinkle evenly with olives and raisins. Repeat with second dough as to prepare 2 loaves.
Starting at one end, roll dough lengthwise, lightly pressing close; fold ends under; repeat with second. Place the rolled loaves together but spaced apart on prepared baking sheet and let sit for 30 minutes. Brush each with egg yolk/milk mixture and place baking sheet on center rack of the oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until golden brown.
Slightly cool before slicing and serving.