Looks good, doesn’t it? It is… but, did you know it all came about because of a joke?
We were out shopping, and came across ‘Gather Together for church suppers’ from Taste of Home in the check out line.
Pitch-in dinners are not one of Rich’s mom’s favorite things – not because she doesn’t enjoy the dinners, or the folk – but because they seem to cluster together, and there are times she can’t leave her house without a casserole or cake in hand.
Back to the Gathering Together…
With that title, we had to pick a copy up for her, and she did get quite the kick out of it when we presented it to her as part of a late birthday present.
Then, we started actually thumbing through the magazine…
wow! There is some really good-looking stuff in here!
And so, we come to Ham Bundles (tho’ mine came together as rolls) by Chris Sendelbach in Henry, IL. She uses leftover baked ham, plus some bacon and cheese, while I relied on a blend of Polish and spiced hams from the deli and a few leftover Portuguese-style garlic sausages, with a bit of grilled onion and pepper, all nicely chopped in the food processor, then stirred together and rolled into some oh! so very nice dough.
Check out my version here, and go buy the magazine – it’s available until September 24.
•2-1/4 tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast
•1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
•3/4 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
•1/2 cup shortening*
•3 eggs, lightly beaten
•1/2 cup sugar
•1-1/2 tsp salt
•4-1/2 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
•Butter, for brushing on the rolls
•4 cups (1-1/4 lb) cubed cooked ham
•3 leftover cooked linguiça
•4 oz jar diced pimientos, drained
•3 tbsp pimiento stuffed olives, sliced
•1 sweet onion, diced
•1/2 yellow onion, diced
*Note: I totally missed adding the shortening to the dough – and mine came out really, really nicely.
Warm the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the diced onion and sauté for five minutes, just until the onion is tender. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with one tablespoon of the sugar and let rest for ten minutes.
Whisk two cup of the flour together with the remaining sugar and salt in a separate bowl, then add to the yeast mixture with the milk, eggs, and shortening, if you decide to use it, and beat together until smooth.
Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough – I used all 4-3/4 cups – then turn out onto a floured board and knead (or, as did I, set your mixer, with the dough hook, on medium) and knead for eight minutes until you have a smooth, elastic dough – I go by when the dough gathers on to the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl.
Gather the dough into a ball (or peel it off the hook) and place it in a lightly oiled bowl (I use the mostly cleaned mixing bowl), turning the dough to coat all sides.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm spot for an hour or so.
Once the dough has risen, chop your ham and linguiça finely – I used my food processor – then stir together with the cooled onion, pimiento, and sliced olives.
Punch the dough down, then divide into thirds.
Roll each third out on a lightly floured board, then cut into strips or squares. Ms. Sendelbach rolls each third into a 16×8 inch rectangle, then divides that into 4 inch square bits of dough. I am not that skilled, and ended up with (mostly) these strips, which still worked really well.
Add a tablespoon or so of the ham/linguiça mixture and roll up the dough strips – or fold the corners of a dough square up into the center and press together to seal the edges.
Transfer your filled dough rolls or squares (seam side down, if you’ve done rolls) to a couple of parchment paper lined baking sheets – Ms. Sendelbach recommends allowing two inches apart, I crowded mine just a bit – then cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes.
Heat your oven to 350°.
Note: I did try to make bundles – see the back row in this image, but my dough rectangle was more suitable to rolls, and in the end, I prefer the rolls to the bundles.
Melt three tablespoons or so of unsalted butter and brush over the filled dough.
Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the dough is golden brown.
Serve warm, or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use. These are wonderful warm from the oven, but not too, too shabby grabbed straight from the fridge for a quick snack.
I got about 48 total rolls/bundles, so have a nice stash in the freezer to pull out and reheat when folk drop by, and am thinking of trying a version with some nice deli pepperoni and provolone I need to use up.
I should also add that I think this dough would make killer rolls – mebbe with just a bit of fresh orange zest added?