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.
Total TimePrep: 50 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.
- 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 whole milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups 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
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, cheeses, soup mix, sugar, yeast and salt; mix well.
- 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 12x10-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.
Nutrition Facts1 piece: 183 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 54mg cholesterol, 468mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 8g protein.
Originally published as Breakfast Braid in Country Woman Christmas 2004