Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Havarti and Ham Herb Brioche

I got the idea for this from a comment that a friend made. She told me how she used to work in a bakery, and how the favorite item was the Havarti Dill and Ham Brioche that the bakery would sell. I had been wanting to make the Brioche from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, and this sounded like a perfect experiment.

I am not a big fan of dill, so I took the herb mixture from my favorite Herb Peel-Away Bread, doubled it to fit the amount of dough in the Brioche recipe from ABin5, and then got myself some plain creamy Havarti cheese, and some ham. I would have gotten some nice, maple honey ham from the deli, but they were closed up by the time I actually made it to the store, so I had to settle for cheap ham from the packaged section. Nothing terrible, but the deli stuff would be really good in this.

So, here is my recipe for the Havarti and Ham Herb Brioche.

Havarti and Ham Herb Brioche

Make a batch of the Brioche dough from ABin5. To the dough add:

2 Tablespoons dried Parsley
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1 teaspoon crushed Rosemary (try to find the crushed stuff, you don't want big rosemary leaves getting caught in your teeth)
1 teaspoon dried Thyme

Mix it all up and allow the dough to rest overnight. It is much easier to work with when cold and you need the dough to have set for a good amount of time.

3-4 ounces thick sliced ham
3-4 ounces thick sliced turkey
4-6 ounces creamy havarti cheese, plain

When your dough is ready, chop up a few pieces of ham and/or turkey. You can use whatever kind of ham or turkey you want, just dice it nicely so that it will go into the dough easily. Shred or dice some havarti, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup or so.

Flour the top of the dough, as well as your hands. Have a little flour on the side to help with stickiness. You don't want to over flour these, but you don't want them sticking to your hands either. Look for a nice balance.

Take a piece of dough roughly 3 ounces.

Flatten it out a bit and make a well with the dough. Fill with a little bit of Havarti, some ham, turkey or both, and a little more Havarti.

Close the dough around the filling, and place in a very well greased muffin tin. Do this 12 times (or 24 if you want to do two muffin tins). Make a nice little indent in the top of each brioche. Take a walnut sized piece of dough, roll it into a nice little ball, and place it on top of each of the brioche (this will be your top-knot).

Turn your oven on to 350 degrees. Allow your dough to rest for about 20-30 minutes or so, or until they've risen a bit. You don't quite want it to double, but you want it to have sufficient rising time.

Brush with your egg wash, andake for about 30 minutes or so, or until the bread is a beautiful golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes, pop out of the muffin tins, and eat warm.

I just barely managed to save a few of these to freeze and reheat, which would make a wonderful backup lunch for my husband. I'll let you know how well they reheat. **they reheated pretty nicely from the fridge**

As my husband and I were talking about these, we started coming up with some other ideas too. I thought about using an Italian herb mix, and filling these with some Provolone, mozzarella and pepperoni, to make some little pizza bread brioches. I could probably do some turkey and havarti or another type of cheese as well. The possibilities are endless :) My husband said they're like little hot pockets, but way better.