Monday, October 3, 2011

Croque Monsieur Bread

I saw this recipe and had to make it Sunday for football.  It was amazing.  We ate both loafs if that tells you anything.  I had mentioned before when I made the Pepperoni Bread that you could put anything you wanted inside it, so I made the pizza dough and put this inside it.  Oozing with ham, mustard and cheese, this was so delicious.  I can't believe that my family actually ate both loafs yesterday.  It's that good.  And extremely simple.  If you don't want to make your own dough, store bought is great as well. 

Use whatever cheese you have on hand, it does call for Gruyere, but it's ok if you don't have it.  Mix the sliced ham, mustard and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and then add it to the pizza dough with the cheese, then fold it up, put some slits in the top and brush with butter, and off to the oven they go.

fresh from the oven
Let cool for 5 minutes and then time to eat.  My Dad couldn't believe that we ate both loafs.  I think he was looking forward to having some in his lunch today.  But he got cupcakes yesterday so I think he will be happy.  :)  This is an excellent appetizer for any occasion.  No one will be disappointed. 

Pizza Dough

1/2 cup warm water
1 envelope instant yeast
1 1/4 cups room temperature water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

  1. Measure the warm water into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup.  Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes.  Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
  2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed.  Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms.  Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Press the dough to deflate it.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth.  Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
  4. Use both halves of the dough or wrap one half tightly in plastic wrap and place in plastic zipper bag.  Freeze for up to 2 months.

Croque Monsieur Bread

shredded gruyere cheese
1 cup sliced deli ham, cut into chunks
4 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  In a small bowl mix together ham, mustard and salt and pepper. 
  2. Dust a clean work surface with flour.  Roll out dough into a long oblong shape, about 12-14" long and about 8" wide.
  3. Visually divide the dough into thirds long-ways.  Down the center third of the dough sprinkle the cheese and ham and mustard mixture.  Fold one side of the exposed dough over the stuffed center.  Repeat a layer with the remaining cheese and ham and mustard mixture on top of the dough half that covered the first layer.  Fold the remaining 1/3 of the dough over the stuffed area and wrap it under the log.  Wrap the ends under the log as well.
  4. Place dough on a pan lined with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, make 4-5 slits on the diagonal into the top of the dough to allow the bread to vent while it cooks.  Using a pastry brush, brush melted butter over the top of the bread and down the sides.  
  5. Place pan into the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes until nicely browned.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Cut into pieces. 

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