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Ham bread for Christmas

Ham bread for Christmas


  • Half
  • 200 minutes
  • For 8 people
  • 1.1 € / person
  • 346kcal per 100g.
  • · ·

How to make Venezuelan ham bread.

Each country has its traditions when it comes to celebrating the Christmas holidays, but in all of them gastronomy plays a very important role.

The family gathered around the table sharing food and laughter is a custom that crosses borders and reaches every corner. 

In Venezuela for Christmas they eat in addition to Hallacas , the Venezuelan black roast or other delicious dishes, but above all you cannot miss a very special bread, the ham bread . A sweet bread stuffed with raisins, smoked ham, bacon (bacon) and olives.

It appeared in Caracas at the beginning of the 19th century and little by little it spread throughout the country until it became an essential dish at Christmas and family gatherings. Over time the ham bread has been very versioned so it is easy to find some with figs, walnuts or cream cheese.

On the blog we have a very similar Spanish-style ham bread , without sugar, paper or panela. But without a doubt if you want to do it the way it is done in Venezuela, follow this recipe from my Venezuelan friend María Ángeles.

This is the recipe for classic ham bread, it is easy to make -although it takes time- and it will always be good for us if we respect the resting and baking times. 

Preparation of Venezuelan ham bread  

  1. To prepare the dough, mix the flour with the yeast, the powdered milk, the sugar, the salt, the warm water and the beaten egg in a large bowl.
  2. We knead with the hands, we will have a sticky dough but little by little it will become more consistent.
  3. When we have the worked dough we add the butter at pomade temperature. Mix well until you get a homogeneous mass.
  4. We put a jet of oil in a container to grease it, pass the dough and soak it with the oil.
  5. Cover with a clean cloth and let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Kneading and filling the ham bread

  1. After this time we dump the dough on a clean and floured surface. Divided the dough in two.
  2. We knead one half with a rolling pin, we reserve the other half. We give it the shape of a rectangle, we can help ourselves with our hands.
  3. We place the olives aligned on one side, so they will all be in the same place. This step is purely decorative, we can spread the olives throughout the mass if we prefer.
  4. In the center of the dough we spread the raisins, put the smoked ham and the strips of bacon on top.
  5. On the opposite side to the olives we make horizontal cuts to make decorative strips. Optional.
  6. We roll the dough inwards from the side of the olives, when we reach the cuts we stop rolling and seal the bread with the strips of dough.
  7. We repeat the whole process with the other half of the dough that we had reserved. We prick the two loaves with a fork so that air enters when baking.

Baking and final presentation of ham bread

  1. We cover again with a cloth and let rest for another 40 minutes.
  2. We preheat the oven to 180º with heat up and down. We put the loaves on a tray on parchment paper. Bake 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven, brush with the beaten egg and bake again for another 20 minutes.

Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this recipe for Venezuelan ham bread . Do not miss any detail so that it is delicious.

Tips for a perfect Venezuelan ham bread

  • If we see that when baking the upper part is toasting too much, cover with a foil or aluminum foil. 
  • It is essential to respect the 40 minutes of baking so that the bread is not raw inside.
  • The ham and bacon have to be of quality to get a good flavor.
  • If you do not have milk powder (widely used in Venezuela recently for economic reasons) you can substitute 100 ml. of whole milk and change the measure of water to 150 ml.

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