Country Ham Bread Recipe

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I often serve wedges of this hearty bread warm from the oven with my zesty herb butter and a simple tossed salad for dinner. My husband and teenage son just love it!—Sue Stamper, Grayson, Kentucky
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + rising Bake: 25 min.
MAKES:32 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. + rising Bake: 25 min.
MAKES: 32 servings


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 cups warm buttermilk (110° to 115°)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornmeal, divided
  • 5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups ground fully cooked ham
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Dash pepper

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 slice) equals 190 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 32 mg cholesterol, 302 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the buttermilk, egg, sugar, butter, pepper, salt, cayenne, 1 cup cornmeal and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Beat in ham. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each portion into a round loaf. Sprinkle two greased 9-in. round baking pans with remaining cornmeal. Place loaves in prepared pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the butter, chives, parsley, lemon juice and pepper. Serve with bread. Store ham bread and herb butter in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 loaves (2/3 cup butter).
Editor's Note: Warmed buttermilk will appear curdled.
Originally published as Country Ham Bread in Country Woman March/April 2000, p38

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