Monday, March 14, 2011

Ham Florentine Braid

If you think this looks pretty, you should taste it! Braiding is a tried and true Pampered Chef technique, and I can remember having my first experience with it back in 1999. Basically, you roll out crescent rolls, fill them with whatever you want, and tuck them around to look pretty. More on that later. For now, let me tell you this recipe is perfect for any occasion or any time of day. I took it to a missions breakfast at church, and it was my solution for people who wanted something warm but didn't do well with the consistency of breakfast casserole. People like me. It was gone before I made it through the line, but I'll survive... I have the recipe.

Ham Florentine

2 packages (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls
8 oz. deli ham, chopped
1 1/4 cups sharp white cheddar, grated
10 oz. frozen, chopped spinach (thawed, drained)
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 egg, separated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together ham, 1 cup of the cheese, spinach, mayonnaise, and pepper.

Unroll crescent rolls, and spread on Rectangle Stone. Pinch seams, and roll together. Cut dough in strips lengthwise, and roll seams back together in the middle. Fill middle with spinach and ham mixture, top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese, and "braid" dough strips across using a "lift, twist, tuck" method.

Whisk egg white until frothy, and brush over braided dough. Bake 25-30 minutes.

This is one of the simplest recipes I have in my arsenal, and it's also one of the prettiest. Could things get any better? Didn't think so. The only work involved is prepping ingredients, and that's quick thanks to good tools. My mayonnaise is in the Measure-All Cup (LOVE!), and my cheese is in an Easy Read Measuring Cup. We just introduced the Microplane Adjustable Coarse Grater, and let me tell you - wow! this thing is awesome awesome awesome! The ham is just sandwich meat, and I'm slicing it with the 5" Utility Knife from the Forged Cutlery Collection. This is the knife that comes in the Consultant Kit, and I promise it will change the way you feel about prep work if you try it.

You know what's fun? Colors coming together to make a beautiful mixture. All of my ingredients are in a Stainless Mixing Bowl, and I'm using the Mix 'n Scraper for, well, mixing. This is the absolute best tool ever for thick batters or mixtures! Of course my Pepper is from the Pampered Pantry, and I'm using my Bamboo Grinder.

The nice thing about this recipe is that even if you mess up, you're still going to get a great end result. If you don't cut your strips straight, no one will even notice. My dough is spread on the Rectangle Stone, and I used the Baker's Roller (now it's fancy, but this is the old one) to pinch all those seams together. Then came the Pizza Cutter for slicing it all in strips. Roll the middle back together after the strips are cut.

Behold the "Lift, Twist, Tuck." Lift the strips on both sides of the filling, twist them in a complete circle, and tuck them together, giving them a little pinch. So the word "braid" is used pretty loosely in this recipe, but "Ham Florentine Lift, Twist, Tuck Thing" doesn't have the same ring. Anyway, do this all the way down, and give each end a little tuck to make sure nothing seeps out in the oven. Losing filling would be tragic! I love how this fits the Rectangle Stone perfectly, but you'll get the same result on any of the Stoneware pieces. Well, maybe not the Muffin Pan.

Then comes the egg white. I adore the Egg Separator because it's the best way to keep your hands out of the gag-inducing egg raw egg texture. Besides, it keeps you from having to wash your hands again in the middle of the recipe. Notice how the Egg Separator hangs on the Small Batter Bowl perfectly thanks to the clipper-onner. I frothed the egg white in no time using the Mini-Whipper, a handy little tool that's perfect for your morning shakes, chocolate milk, or egg whites.

After giving the crescent rolls a quick brush of egg white using the Chef's Silicone Basting Brush, this beauty is ready to go in the oven. You can make this without the egg white, but this is what gives it that pretty, glazed look as it bakes. Throw this in the oven for 25-30 minutes, and get ready to be amazed. Whatever you do, DO NOT bake this when you're home alone. There is no way to avoid excessive snacking because no one is there to say, "Really, you're eating a fifth serving?" Trust me on this.

Like the products you saw used?
Shop Online 24/7 at
E-mail me: chefjennylyn[at]
Call me up: (205) 585-2464


  1. That looks incredible! I'll have to try it one day when I'm feeling adventurous. Thanks Jenny!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I'm getting ( ready ) to try this .
    Let y'all know tomorrow .