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Easter Recipe: Osterschinken or Ham in a Bread Blanket

If you're looking for a great Easter recipe to bring to parties, how about this great traditional European ham bread? It's a great party dish out of Germany and Northern Europe. In Germany, the dish is known as 'osterschinken' or ham-in-bread-blanket. Really make this recipe right, you'll want to start the dough the day before and use a ham that has already been cooked and cooled before baking.

A variety of bread types can be used in this recipe, though probably my favorite is rye. It mixes so well with the salty ham and the mustard glazed on top of the ham that it's a natural choice for the 'blanket'.  The day before Easter is a great time to start making the bread. We sweetened the dough with a little molasses and honey while flavoring it with caraway and coriander seeds.  Once the sponge was created, we let it rest in the fridge overnight. The day of, you just need to bring the dough to room temperature,coat the ham in mustard, and wrap it in the dough blanket. You'll really want to use a smaller ham for this recipe to make sure it warms all the way through. Keep reading below for this fantastic recipe...

Easter Recipe: Osterschinken or Ham in a Bread Blanket

Osterschinken or Ham in a Bread Blanket

Ingredients

BREAD

HAM

Directions

  1. The day before making the ham, prepare the bread. Sprinkle the yeast over 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until foamy.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the molasses, honey, and 1 3/4 cup water, stirring until blended. Let cool until the temperature is about 110F.
  3. Place the bread flour, caraway seeds, coriander, salt, and cardamom in a bowl. Mix until well blended. Pour in the yeast and molasses mixtures and mix with a wooden spoon until blended. Gradually add in the rye flour until the dough starts to become sticky and hold together. Once the dough starts to become difficult to mix with the spoon, knead by hand for about 8 to 10 minutes, still adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat all over. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume (about 2 hours). Punch down the dough, knead lightly and form into a ball once again. Return the dough to the bowl and wrap the bowl in plastic. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours.
  5. The next day, start preparing the ham. Place the ham into a pot and cover with water. Add the onions, sage, rosemary, and peppercorns. Bring the water to a boil then let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the ham from the heat and let it cool. While the ham cools, remove the dough from the fridge and bring to room temperature (1 to 2 hours).
  6. Place a little flour on the counter and roll the dough out so it is 1/2" thick and at least twice as long as the ham.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the black pepper, ground cloves, ground allspice, Dijon mustard, and brown sugar. Use a brush to baste the ham with the mustard mixture, then place on top of the dough. Slightly wet the edges of the dough, then fold over the ham, pressing the edges together to seal. Prepare a backing sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Transfer the ham and dough to the paper. Let sit for 30 minutes. While resting, preheat the oven to 250F.
  8. Sprinkle the edges of the baking sheet with a little water to create steam in the oven and bake the dough for 1 hour. Let the ham rest for 15 minutes out of the oven before slicing.
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Project