There is a special kind of feeling you get during the summer – a carefree playful spirit that finds its way into the warm meandering days. A few weeks ago I unexpectedly found myself alone on my drive up to the mountains for vacation. The hot sun beating down on the car as I took the mountain curves, passing the slower moving semi trucks, my favorite play list was blaring through the sound system, all the windows were rolled down, sun roof wide open, and my hair wildly twisting in the wind. It was a feeling that reminded me of my youth, freedom from all obligations. This feeling carried with it the allure of long summer days. In all reality, the music was much too loud, the base exceedingly high; the wind whipping through the car windows was far too strong; and yet through it all my smile was very very prominent. Life felt good. I felt alive.
These are the times to tuck away in our memories. Those formerly average moments that are no longer average, that carry with them unencumbered smiles and lightheartedness often times captured in movies. I recognized this enigma and drank in the moment. I would try to hold onto this feeling as long as possible. Beats. Air. Sun. The only thing missing was some delicious food and people to share it with.
Siri, our adopted family from Norway, was in town for a visit and joined us in the mountains for some quality vacation time. Aside from being a wonderful person, she has a magical way with fresh dough. I imagine this gift comes from her mother, Mette. Siri’s cardamom rolls, pizzas, stick bread, cinnamon buns….oh and the list of deliciousness continues….are indescribably delicious.
This time during her visit she shared with us that in Norway they often make these ham and cheese horns for picnics. Her mother’s recipe became our ‘grab-and-go’ beach inspired picnic lunch. Once baked these sandwich like breads freeze beautifully for a quick reheat – that is if you can keep your people from devouring them on the spot. I highly suggest hiding some of them away as soon as they cool if you want left overs otherwise the only other option is to double the recipe!
This naturally sweet flavored dough is beautifully complimented by the salty prosciutto and balanced by the soft creamy melted cheese. The first time you make them you may want to reverse the portions of white and wheat flour as that is probably the more common recipe. And for those of you who are vegetarian, I recommend using multiple cheeses for a delicious blend of flavors.
Mette’s Norwegian Ham & Cheese Horns
1 ½ cups milk
2 cups wheat flour
½ cup white flour
1 TBS salt
1 ½ oz yeast (52 g)
1 cube unsalted butter
10-12 oz prosciutto, turkey, or ham
10-12 oz Jarlsberg or other cheese
In a large bowl add flour, salt, and yeast. Stir to combine. In a small pot, heat butter and milk over medium-low heat. Once butter and milk mixture is melted, (do not boil) remove from heat and allow to cool. Temperature should be warm to the touch but not hot.
Set aside and cover with a cloth. Allow the dough to rise for approximately 40 minutes, or until double in size.
On a floured surface, divide dough in half and reshape into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a circle approximately ¼-inch thick. Slice into eight pizza-esque wedges, using a pizza cutter, or a knife.
On the wide, outer most edges of the dough, add your fillings about ½-inch deep. Begin to carefully roll inward towards the small point as to ensure filling remains in tact. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, with the center point facing down and ends slightly curved in towards the middle. Lightly brush with egg. At this point, there is the option to allow the ‘horns’ to rise a second time. This is not required, but it makes for a larger horn.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees farenheit, cook on the upper shelf 10-16 minutes. After the first 10 minutes of baking, check the bottoms of the horns to make sure there is no burning, and then continue to bake, checking regularly as to not overcook the stuffed bread. Remove from oven and allow to cool before eating and/or freezing the horns.