Hye Thyme Cafe: Ham and Swiss Ring (...sort of)

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ham and Swiss Ring (...sort of)

The last time I made a batch of Cheese Bread Knots, because they are so good, and there is already Swiss Cheese in them, my brain wandered over to Ham and Swiss. Ever since then, I've been getting random impulses to make a batch of the dough, roll it out and wrap it with Swiss, Ham and Dijon. That's just what I did Thursday night!

The problem was my rolling skills - more specifically, my lack thereof! I can't roll a rectangle to save my life, so I was starting with more of a free form slab of dough. That doesn't really help when you always read that when you make a ring, it should go seam-side down. All my sides had seams! LOL  The only other time I tried to make a "ring," it was an herb bread that tasted awesome but deflated and looked more like a focaccia by the time it was done. 

Anyhow, I threw together the Cheese Bread Knot dough but did NOT put the Swiss in the dough. I divided the dough in half to make two rings.

I picked up a pound of thin-sliced boiled ham and a bag of finely shredded Swiss. That's another weird thing ... I always remember my mother buying boiled ham from the deli when I was a kid, but who boils ham? I've always had them baked, unless maybe it was a ham steak, then they're grilled, baked, or pan fried - never boiled. Do any of you boil your ham?

OK, so roll out one of your balls of dough on a lightly-floured surface, spread with half of the ham, leaving about an inch at one long edge bare. Slather the ham with Dijon mustard, then sprinkle with Swiss and roll lengthwise toward that bare edge. Bring the ends together and pinch to seal, then brush with melted butter, snip steam vents in the top, and bake at 350 for about 45". If it starts to brown too much, just cover it with a small piece of foil.  

As you can see, my dough grew into the center and the ends opened up. It may not be pretty, but it was definitely tasty! I was thinking about my screw up and wondering if I should try sticking an empty can in the middle next time to keep the ring shape - then I was thinking that making them as crescents would be good.

I served one of these big boys up with bowls of Lentil Soup on Thursday night. I carved off a slice last night and was going to zap it in the microwave for a few seconds, but it was already in use, so I took a bite straight out of the fridge. Damn, just like when I make the rolls, it was even better the next day! I really need to start baking the rolls ahead of time and then just warming them in a foil pouch on the day I really intended them for.

So, I thought I had royally screwed up, but now I'm just thinking I need practice. I'll definitely try the ring again. The other thing I remembered was that when I make the rolls, although the recipe calls for brushing them with melted butter, I don't actually do that until they come out. Because this browned so quickly and I needed to cover it with foil, I'll probably do that next time around as well.

It's nice when a goof turns into a good thing after all!  :)

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