Ham With a Crispy Bread Crust: a Traditional Swiss Potluck Favourite

Updated on December 30, 2019
novascotiamiss profile image

I'm a freelance writer with over five years experience writing about food and health.

You certainly will not be disappointed with this delicious recipe.
You certainly will not be disappointed with this delicious recipe.

The Perfect Dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.

You will not be disappointed with this traditional recipe that used to be a popular party dish in Switzerland and Germany. Although potluck dinners are virtually unknown in these regions, “Schinken im Brotteig” (ham baked in bread) was the ideal meal for a large crowd as it could easily be prepared in advance. For larger gatherings, two or three hams would be baked and served with a variety of salads, including potato salad.


(Serves 6-8 people)

  • 1 smoked rolled ham (Toupie ham or Alsacian ham), approx. 1 kg
  • Note: If ham is already cooked leave it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. If ham is uncooked, cook it according to package instructions (for approx. 60 minutes per kg) in a broth of the following:
  • A pot of water, 3 bay leaves, a few pepper corns, 1 large onion cut into rings.

If you don’t have time to make the bread dough, you can substitute with 2 packets of store-bought pizza dough.

Bread Dough:

  • 400 grams (2 1/3 cup) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 100 grams (2/3 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 7 grams (2 teaspoons) quick rising yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 150 ml beer, room temperature (if you don't like beer just add extra water)
  • 200 ml water, warm
  1. Mix all ingredients in your bread maker (dough function), or knead vigorously by hand (approx. 10 minutes).
  2. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let dough rise at room temperature for approx. 1 hour.
  3. Knead dough again briefly to get some of the air out. If it feels wet, sprinkle with some flour.
  4. Roll out with a rolling pin until dough is rectangular and large enough to wrap up the ham.
  5. Pack ham firmly into the dough and brush edges with some water to make them stick. Make sure that the seam is at the bottom, so that it won’t burst during the baking process. If you have some leftover dough, get creative. Cut out some nice shapes with a cookie cutter and glue on with some water.
  6. Place ham on baking tray and bake for approx. 1 hour until nicely browned and crispy. Normal oven: 180 ° C / 360 ° F. Convection oven: 160 ° / 320 ° F.
  7. Take bread out the oven, and let it cool down a bit until it can be handled without gloves.
  8. With a sharp knife, cut a lid off through the middle. Now you can carve the ham.
  9. Put the lid back on the meat to keep it warm.
  10. Before serving, cut the lid into neat slices so that your guests can help themselves to ham and bread. The bread will be a little bit soggy from the meat juice but this makes it very tasty.
  11. Serve with mustard, salad and pickles.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Wrap ham in rolled-out doughPlace wrapped ham seams down on cookie sheet and use leftover dough for decoration.With a sharp knife cut off a lid. Carve ham and close lid immediately to keep ham warm until served.
Wrap ham in rolled-out dough
Wrap ham in rolled-out dough
Place wrapped ham seams down on cookie sheet and use leftover dough for decoration.
Place wrapped ham seams down on cookie sheet and use leftover dough for decoration.
With a sharp knife cut off a lid. Carve ham and close lid immediately to keep ham warm until served.
With a sharp knife cut off a lid. Carve ham and close lid immediately to keep ham warm until served.


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    • profile image


      12 months ago

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. My mouth is watering. As you say, one has to experiment. Sometimes the dough absorbs too much juice from the meat snd gets soggy. Toasting it for a few minutes in the oven is a great idea.

    • profile image

      Terry 2 

      12 months ago

      I never knew this was a Swiss recipe. The bakery in Ford City, Pennsylvania does this for customers at Easter Time, as long as the customer takes the properly prepared ham to the bakery, they will wrap it with the dough chosen by the customer, and bake it for them.

      My mom always baked our hams with frozen white bread dough, but I found out the bakery wraps hams with rye bread dough with the caraway seeds!! The baked bread had kinda like a reuben sandwich taste when we enjoyed our Easter Meal!

      I personally wrapped a ham, but when the bake time finished, the bread dough was not finished baking on the inside. I removed the bread shell from the ham, I set the bread onto a baking sheet, inside facing up, and returned the bread crust to the oven for an additional amount of time, I think 10 to 20 more minutes, when I removed the bread the second time, to my delight the bread was finished on the inside and had nooks and crannies just like English muffins, I broke off a piece, buttered it with Irish butter, and if food has a paradise island, I ended up there. I also had baked the ham a little more being the bread dough had not baked right next to the ham, even though the ham internal temperature was reached, when I removed the bread shell from it.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 

      6 years ago from Fountain, CO

      Very cool! I don't think I've ever seen this done before. I think my husband would love this!

    • novascotiamiss profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Jellygator & Chef-de-Jour. Happy cooking. This recipe is a winner, especially with kids around. The bread can get a bit soggy as it gets saturated with the hams juices. If you have leftovers, just re-heat the bread in the oven for 5-10 minutes the next day.

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 

      6 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      What a fascinating idea! Ham cooked within bread. Useful recipe to have if you want to impress your guests and family. Voted up and sharing too.

    • jellygator profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Voted well and keeping on my Pinterest recipe board. Thanks!

    • novascotiamiss profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      CraftytotheCore & Susan, thanks for your comments. I hope you'll enjoy this recipe as much as my Swiss family does. We just cooked it for my father's 95th birthday in December as it's his favourite. It's now also become the favourite of his 6 grand-children and 3 great-grandchildren.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I may try your recipe for Easter dinner this year. How interesting! Voting +++ Pinning and sharing.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      6 years ago

      This looks fantastic. I'm gluten free, but I make gluten-free bread. I can totally see myself wrapping a ham in my bread the next time I make it! Thanks for this delicious recipe.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I've never seen ham cooked that way and it looks wonderful. Thank you for the recipe.

    • lilibees profile image


      9 years ago

      ooooo, wow this looks devine, Thanks for sharing!


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