FabuLESS Freezer Cooking: Ham and Cheese Braid

March 6, 2009 24 Comments | Disclosure

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1 loaf Rhodes bread dough
¼ cup butter or margarine
½ envelope hidden valley ranch mix ( not generic):

3/4 lb. thinly sliced ham
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp poppy seeds


6 loaves Rhodes bread dough
1 ½ cups (3 cubes) butter or margarine
3 envelopes hidden valley ranch mix (not generic)
4 1/2 lbs. thinly sliced ham
9 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 tsp. poppy seeds

Roll bread dough out into a rectangular shape so its approx. 1/2 inch
thick. Combine margarine and ranch mix. Spread about 5 TBS of mixture on the rectangle. Layer ham and cheese down the center of the rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut strips along each side of the dough (even numbers on each side). Starting at the bottom, take each piece, cross and twist. Continue cris-crossing until your pizza is braided. Brush remaining butter/ranch mixture over top. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Wrap loaf with plastic wrap and then foil. To prepare after freezing: To thaw over night. Place in fridge as is if you wish to cook it on the foil. If you do not wish to cook it on the foil unwrap it and place on lightly greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap. Let thaw overnight. A couple of hours before you are ready to bake place it on the counter to continue to thaw and begin to rise. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Note: Photo’s are with a wheat bread dough. I would recommend white bread dough.

If you bake it right on the foil there is no mess to clean up!


  1. I just assembled these this week and my family absolutely loves this recipe. I made 5 in one night (because that is how many bread loaves were in the package of rhodes dough I bought).

    I also like this recipe because I like to purchase a whole or half ham and then take it to the deli and have them slice it. This cuts the price of lunch meat at least in half and I still get to choose my high end meats :). With that much sandwich meat I usually freeze it. This recipe I used it all up on the sandwiches (which I froze) but everything was already assembled.


  2. Glad you enjoyed it! :) Thanks for your comment!

  3. Where is the rhodes dough located?

  4. Thanks! Going to winco today.

  5. I made 3 of these today and we tried one of them out for dinner tonight, and they were very yummy. My DH thought that I bought them, he was pretty amazed that I made them myself(I don’t usually cook very much, but I have been trying to lately). Even my DD loved them, and she is very picky, she kept telling me how delicious they were.

  6. Jessica says:

    Its in the oven now and smells and looks great. But..how much is a cube of butter? I used 2 T

    • Did you LOVE IT? It is soooo yummy! 1 cube is equal to 1/2 cup. It actually tends to be too much so yours probably turned out great the way you did it. We actually usually use half that I am going to update the recipe.

  7. I wonder if you can make this like stromboli/calzones with pizza sauce, mozz. cheese and pepperoni/ham/veggies?

  8. My mom has a braid recipe (with a completely different filling) that uses Pillsbury crescent rolls pressed together for the crust… I used your recipe with that crust, and then used chicken instead of ham, and added bacon bits. My family enjoyed it, thanks!

  9. I was wondering do you cook it in the plastic wrap and the foil or do you remove the plastic wrap?

  10. Kim Peterson says:

    Making 5 of these for a frozen meal exchange with other moms. How long do you let the dough thaw/rise before making? Which method is best to use?

    • Hi Kim, we usually buy the Rhodes loaves and just follow the instructions on the back for thawing and letting it rise. We usually have them rising while we’re working on other meals, and they’ve gotten pretty huge and still turn out great. :) You’ll be fine if you just follow the instructions on the Rhodes packaging for letting it thaw/rise. Good luck!

      • The bread dough comes frozen, right? So, as you thaw it the first time does it rise and then you assemble the braid? Then you freeze it again? Does it rise again before you bake it? I’m not really that comfortable in the kitchen, but this recipe sounds like it would be really good…. thank you for the additional information.

  11. Do you have a handy trick for rolling out the bread dough? I had a bear of a time with mine, it kept shrinking back down.

  12. Can I just place in oven with no heat to thaw? I usually put my dishes in the oven to thaw at 6 am then set timer to cook when i need it to start. Never tried this with bread though

    • That sounds like it would work fine. Love the genius of not having your kitchen counter riddled with thawing food all day! Brilliant!

  13. Any suggestions instead of the ranch dressing. I have one sone who won’t anything with ranch and/or creamy dressings. HELP!

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