Ham Braid

Ham and Swiss Braid
4 Cups all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
2 pkg. quick rise yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Cup water
1/4 Cup dijon mustard
2 T. butter
1 lb. thin sliced deli black forest ham (I used diced honey ham)
1/4 Cup mayo (I mixed in some mustard,too)
1 C. shredded swiss cheese (I used cheddar)
1/2 C. chopped dill pickles
1/8 C. chopped jalapenos from a jar (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a mixing bowl, combine 3 C. flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a microwave dish, heat water, mustard and butter to 120-130 degrees (butter will be melted). Add to flour mixture. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be stiff). Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (if by hand 6-8 min.) or use kitchen aid to knead.

Roll dough into a 14X12 inch rectangle on a piece of parchment. Arrange half of the ham down the middle of the dough. Brush with mayo if using. Top with cheese, pickles, jalapenos (if using) and remaining ham. On each long side, cut 3/4 inch wide strips about 2.5 inches into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across the filling. Pinch the ends to seal. Cover with a moist towel and let rise about 15 min. (it will not rise much. I do however let it go for about 45 min if I have time.)

Brush with egg. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm.

*my kids LOVED this! My 5 year old said "Mom, I just can't stop eating this!" Ü