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A 12-step Pan de Jamón recipe

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

Because traditions may change but recipes never do.

Hi everyone, my name is Stephany Ridderstap and I'm 26 years old. I am currently studying international communication in the Netherlands and I've recently joined the Phryme team. Something you should know about me is that; I love to experiment with new recipes, especially when it comes to typical Aruban cuisine, or basically anything that reminds me of home. I will keep making that recipe until I have perfected it. Since my brother is vegan, I've adapted some of Aruba's traditional snacks to his dietary preferences as well. Basically, you should know that I like to cook, and I love to share my kitchen knowledge with others.

Since the holidays are upon us, it has made me think about the traditions that my family has around Christmas time. What I came to realize is that as I've gotten older many things have changed, and traditions have been adapted. The one thing that has always remained a constant is the ‘Pan de Jamón” that is always on the table and my absolute favorite part of our Christmas lunch is this dish. And for all you vegans out there, I have a vegan "pan de jamón" recipe as well. So, if you're interested let us know and we'll publish it as well soon.

A ‘pan de jamón,’ or ham bread in English, is a traditional Venezuelan dish that is thought to have been created in 1905 in Caracas. This dish consists of ham, raisins and olives rolled up in a soft dough. For some, this might sound like a strange combination of both sweet and salty but let me tell you it’s just pure joy in a bite, this coming from someone who doesn’t usually like raisins at all. If you like ham, raisins and olives individually you will love this recipe.

Once I moved to the Netherlands and the holidays came around, I realized I wouldn’t get a pan de jamón anymore for as long as I lived here. However, I was determined to find a recipe for it, luckily my brother had been living in the Netherlands for a few years already, and he came to the rescue. In this blog, I’m sharing the recipe my brother and I have perfected with y’all. Let me begin by saying that it's a recipe that is relatively easy to make. Although you should keep in mind that it takes time, a lot of time. I suggest you clear a morning or afternoon, to try this recipe because from start to finish it will take approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes including baking time. You’re, for all intents and purposes, going to be baking bread. Which means that the dough will need to be left to rise, this is what takes so much time.

Now that you’ve been properly warned, let’s get into it.


  • Bread

  • Filling

  • 5 gr quick yeast

  • 50 gr sugar

  • 500 gr all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 50 gr margarine

  • 2 eggs

  • 200 ml of lukewarm milk

  • 500 gr of ham

  • 6 pcs of bacon (optional)

  • 2 cups of sliced green olives

  • 1 cup of raisins

  • 1 egg yolk (for egg-wash)


Got all the ingredients? Let’s get started then, in 12 easy-ish steps you’ll have a delicious dish to feast on.

  1. In a medium bowl, add all dry ingredients on the bread list and mix well.

  1. Create a hole in the center of the bowl, (it should resemble a dam) and add all wet ingredients on the bread list.

  1. Mix until all the liquids have been absorbed. (If you are using a kitchen mixer use a dough hook).

I don’t like to do this step by hand at all. Much like when baking bread and kneading the dough it gets sticky and ends up on your hands, this recipe does the same. My lifesaver has been a kitchen mixer just put all the ingredients in use the right hook and let the machine do its thing. If like me you do not like kneading the dough due to the stickiness or because it takes too much strength, I suggest you invest in a kitchen mixer, you’ll bake much more often just because it’ll be much easier to do so.

  1. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth (basically till it's no longer sticking to your counter). If you've been kneading for over 3 minutes and it is still very stick add about half a table spoon of flour at a time, until it's no longer sticking to your counter.

  2. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover it with a damp towel and let it rest in a warm, draft free place for about an hour and half to two hours. During this time the dough will rise and when the two hours have passed, the dough should've double in size. Since you've cleared your schedule to make this recipe, use this time to catch up on whatever series you are watching.

  3. Stretch the dough from center to corner with a rolling pin to form a rectangle, make sure that the rectangle is not wider than your oven.

Stretch the dough from center to corner with a rolling pin to form a rectangle, make sure that the rectangle is not wider than your oven.

Stretch the dough from center to corner with a rolling pin to form a rectangle, make sure that the rectangle is not wider than your oven.

  1. Cover the dough evenly with the ham slices, the olives and raisins.

  1. Once the filling has been layered over the dough, roll the dough firmly up from the long edge. Tuck the edges under the roll. And make sure to seal the edges by dipping your fingers in a cup of water and brushing the edges (including the sides) with water while firmly, but gently, pressing them closed.

  1. Cover the roll with both plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, then let the dough rise, in a warm, draft free place for about an hour.

Near the end of this final rising time, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

  1. Now dip your baking brush in the eggwash, and brush the roll untill completely covered (this will give your pan de jamón a nice shine once baked).

  1. A trick to get the loaf to cook through is to puncture the top of the loaf with a fork. If you do this in a pattern over the whole loaf, it will look like a decoration but it’s useful to make sure that everything cooks evenly once placed in the oven.

  1. Place the loaf in the middle of the oven and let it bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven and carefully transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Serving tips and alternatives:

This bread should be made ahead of time and eaten either when it’s slightly warm or room temperature. If the bread is sliced while still warm, it can end up tearing and not looking Instagram worthy. I know it’s almost impossible to the resist the temptation to eat it as soon as it’s out of the oven, but do it for the 'gram.

You should also know that you can use any sliced ham you have on hand. Some less traditional versions use ham and cheese or bacon instead of ham.

Finally, I know that for those of us who live abroad, the holidays can make us homesick and nostalgic. Recreating traditional dishes and filling your home with familiar fragrances can make you feel a little closer to home, and as you can imagine this bread is very fragrant when in the oven and should do the trick. I encourage you to try this pan de jamón and surprise those who you are spending the holidays with.

Share your experience trying this dish with us and happy holidays!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme Magazine.

#pandejamon #navidad #christmas #food #dessert


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