Freezer Meal: Ham & Cheese Braid
This is an easy recipe to make multiples of to store in your freezer. An easy way to do this is to buy a bag of store bought frozen bread dough that comes 4-5 loaves in a package and make them all up at once. Even better, invite a friend over and make a whole other batch of Pepperoni Bread and divide them up between you! Each of you can cook one up for your own dinners that night and freeze up to 2 Ham & Cheese Braids and 2 Pepperoni Breads each! Great work in a short amount of time! For this session I saved money by making my own dough. I made a 2 lb. loaf and divided it into 2 breads.
Ham & Cheese Braid
1 lb. loaf bread dough thawed (You could use the pillsbury style pizza dough also)
1 (9 oz.) package of thinly sliced ham
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup softened butter/margarine
1 pkg. of Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix
Roll out bread dough to a rectangle (mine was about 18 x 24 inches)
Mix butter and Ranch seasoning in a small bowl and spread half of it onto the rolled out dough. (Save the other half for later.)
Top with shredded cheese and then layer all the ham.
Using a pizza cutter cut strips of dough along both long edges. You'll need an even number of strips on both sides. (I ended up with 10 but should have made them fatter and done like 8)
Starting on one short end, fold up the short end over the ham
and begin criscrossing the first two strips on each side:
Continue criscrossing the strips to cover the entire top of the bread. At the other end, fold up the short end to tuck it under the last set of braided twists.
Spread remaining butter/ranch mix across the top of the braided bread
To bake right away:
Bake in 350 degree oven 25-30 minutes or until bread dough is golden brown. (If using the pillsbury pizza dough, may be done much sooner)
To Freeze for later: Wrap dough in plastic wrap and then wrap in aluminum foil. Label and freeze for up to 4 months. To Bake after freezing: Pull Ham & Cheese Braid from freezer and allow to thaw in the refrigerator. A half hour before baking place on a greased baking sheet and allow to rise on counter. Bake as directed above. ( I bet you could bake this right from the freezer, I'm just not sure of the baking time)