Ham-and-Cheese Stuffed Bread
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Hands On Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 package (1 pound) prepared pizza dough, at room temperature
- All-purpose flour (for work surface)
- 3 large eggs
- 5 ounces shredded Cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 ounces good-quality sliced ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 scallions, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Garnish: 1 scallion, halved lengthwise
Instructions:Set one oven rack to the lowest position; set the second rack a couple of levels above. Fill a pie plate or other shallow pan halfway with water and set it on the oven’s upper shelf (to create steam and let the bread rise better). Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface to form a rectangle about 10 inches wide and 12 inches long. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk the eggs until blended; then add the cheese, ham, scallions, basil, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
Pour the egg mixture down the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges (save the small amount of egg left in the bowl for later). Form a loaf by first folding the shorter edges up an inch or so over the filling (as you would with a burrito); then fold the long sides up so that they meet in the center; now pinch them together. Be sure to seal the dough well so that the filling stays inside during baking.
Turn the loaf over, seam side down, onto the lined baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make a few shallow slashes on the top of the dough. Brush the top with the leftover egg from the mixing bowl and lay a halved scallion lengthwise down the center to garnish. Bake until the bread is deep brown, about 50 minutes. Check the bread periodically during the latter half of cooking—if any filling is leaking out, bring the foil up and around the sides of the loaf to hold everything in.
Transfer to a wire rack for at least 15 minutes to cool before serving. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temperature.