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Our phone does not give us a break since we announced that we were going to make Pan de Jamón (Venezuelan Ham Bread). Pan de Jamón is typical Venezuelan Christmas bread, filled with ham, bacon, raisins and green olives, and sometimes red peppers.  There are  many variation, like using Turkey instead of ham, or the gluten free version. But no matter who and how it is made, all agree that it is a delicacy that can be a dinner by itself, with no other  companion than a bottle of wine. Pan de Jamon appeared in the beginning of the 20th century in Caracas, handcrafted by Portuguese immigrants from Maderia, Portugal, who wanted to make good use of  the remaining cuts of ham sold their shop and bakeries during Christmas time. Slowly it became a tradition in the Christmas season in Venezuela

We want to share our recipe for you to try at home. Don’t do it alone, join a friend or relative and have fun on the making.

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PAN DE JAMON (This recipe is for two or three breads, depending the size)

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs of wheat flour

2 tablespoons fresh yeast (in grains or pasta)

7 oz of butter or margarine

2  eggs

7 oz of sugar

1 tablespoon of salt

½ liter of milk

14 oz of cooked bacon

2 lbs of ham (leg, back or / and smoked)

7 oz of raisins

7 oz of seedless olives

5 oz of brown sugar

PREPARATION:

In a cup of water pour two tablespoons of fresh yeast. Let stand for four minutes. In another container, place the milk, the salt and sugar.

Place the flour on a table, add the brewed yeast and mix with the hand. Add two whole eggs, butter, and gradually milk until the ingredients have been homogenized; In case the dough is very watery, for add additional flour slowly.

Cut olives into casters. Soak the raisins. Text your group chats telling t you are making Pan de Jamón, and send some pictures. If they say they want, tell them to come over with a bottle of wine.

Divide the dough into two parts and spread it with the roll until it forms a rectangle: on that rectangle spread the ham and the bacon until completely covered, then the raisins and olives. Roll the rectangle from there to here. Until forming a roll that later will be a bread.

With your fingers flatten both ends so that the contents do not spill. Save a piece of dough to decorate. Let the raw bread stand for 30 minutes before putting it in the oven, which we have already heated to 250-300 ° F (120-150 ° C). Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix one egg with the brown sugar, which will be sued to paint the bread so it acquire it gold brown finished. When the bread is in the oven 20 minutes, remove it and proceed to paint it, then put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes, but watch is carefully, time is given by the experience (do not let it burn).

Once done, let it rest for 30 minutes, sliced it and enjoy it.  You can also wrap in plastic foil and freeze it for later. It will be still good for six months

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