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Breakfast Braid

 Breakfast Braid
I created this recipe years ago and was thrilled when it won first prize in a newspaper cooking contest. Stuffed with ham, cheese and olives, it's hearty enough to satisfy Santa himself.
24 ServingsPrep: 50 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.

Ingredients

  • 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • FILLING:
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups diced fully cooked ham
  • 1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 jar (2 ounces) chopped pimientos, drained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • Additional Romano cheese

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, cheeses, soup mix, sugar,
  • yeast and salt; mix well.

2 of 2

Breakfast Braid (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • In a saucepan, heat milk, water and butter to 120°-130°. Add
  • to dry ingredients; beat until moistened. Add eggs; beat on medium
  • speed for 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft
  • dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about
  • 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • For filling, in a bowl, combine the cheddar cheese, ham, mozzarella
  • cheese, green pepper, onion, pimientos and olives; refrigerate until
  • ready to use.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in
  • half. Roll out each portion into a 12-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Place
  • on greased baking sheets.
  • Spread filling down the center of each rectangle. Drizzle each with 2
  • teaspoons butter. On each long side, cut 3/4-in.-wide strips on a
  • diagonal, about 2-1/2 in. into center. Starting at one end, fold
  • alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until browned and cheese is
  • melted. Remove from pans to wire racks. Brush with remaining butter
  • and sprinkle with additional Romano cheese. Serve warm. Refrigerate
  • leftovers. Yield: 2 loaves.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 183 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 54 mg cholesterol, 468 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 8 g protein.