This bread is a favorite in Venezuela, especially during the holiday season!
Yields 8 servings
For the dough:
1 cup of 2% (reduced-fat) milk, warm
1 (¼-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ pounds bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ lb. butter, melted
For the filling:
1 lb. thick-sliced deli ham (¼-inch thick)
8 oz. thick-sliced mozzarella cheese (¼-inch thick)
2 oz. raisins
4 oz. red bell pepper, sliced
5 oz. medium-sized pimiento-stuffed olives
For the egg wash:
1 beaten egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water
*Special equipment: mixer with dough hook
1. In the mixing bowl of a standing mixer, place the warm milk, yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Stir together ingredients and let stand until yeast begins to foam.
2. Add the remaining flour, salt, beaten eggs and butter. Mix for 5-8 minutes on medium speed until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Place the dough in a lightly-greased glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, or until it doubles in bulk.
4. Punch down the dough. Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until you obtain a large rectangle, ¼-inch thick. If necessary, turn the dough so that you have a long edge facing you.
5. Place the ham slices over the entire surface of the dough. Next, place cheese slices in the middle of the dough, from one end to the other. Distribute the raisins and slices of bell pepper all over.
6. Line up the olives in a row, end-to-end, along the long edge nearest you. Tightly roll up the dough into a cylinder, starting from the long side with the olives. Lightly wet your fingers with water and moisten the edge to help seal the dough. Tuck the sides of the dough under so that the cylinder is completely sealed.
7. Place on a lightly-oiled metal tray, and using a fork, poke a few holes in the dough. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes, and then place in a preheated 350ºF oven for 20 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven, brush with egg wash, and return to the oven for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
To learn more about me or my recipes, visit me at DenisseOller.com and at AARP, where I am a chef and nutrition expert.