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Friday, March 6, 2009

FabuLESS Freezer Cooking: Ham and Cheese Braid

(Click to see the start of this series with links to all posts in the series!)


1 loaf Rhodes bread dough
1 cube butter or margarine
1 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
6 cubes butter or margarine
6 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!


Darcy said...

I was wondering when you freeze these meals with the Rhodes bread dough...Before or after you have cooked them...Thanks!

Jennifer said...

To go along with Darcy's comment...if you freeze before cooking when it is time to cook do you thaw it first or just cook for a longer amount of time?

Cathy said...

Darcy - You get them all ready to be baked, and then freeze them.

Jennifer - Some recipes require you to thaw first, others you just bake from frozen. I haven't made this particular recipe, but I do believe the bake time assumes that you are baking from frozen.

Hope that helps! I'm sure Monica will confirm later today when she gets home.

Monica said...

5 more minutes of lunch break let's see if I can get this figured out! The braid is rec to be baked after thawing. You place it on your greased pan and cover it with plastic wrap, or you can leave it on the foil if you plan to bake it on that to save on mess. Put it in the fridge overnight to thaw. Leave to warm on counter for 30 minutes and then bake.
It was actually like 11:45 when I scheduled that post last night and I did not take the time to reread the reciepe. Sorry.

Darcy and Jennifer- thanks for the questions! I am glad that people are interested in using these and doing freezer meals it is so awesome.
Keep the questions coming!

Audra Krell said...

This is a great service you are providing. I'll bet this ham braid is awesome. Love the helpful pics!

The Halbert Home said...

I can't wait to try this but please define a "cube" of butter? Is that stick or a couple of teaspoons?

Monica said...

The Halbert Home- It is a stick. Some of the ladies in the group felt like it was too much, I on the other hand love butter. But keep that in mind if you think it is too much for you.

Denise said...

You inspired me, I'm making a pizza version of this!!

Hall Family Highlights said...

Is it the same cooking time and degrees if i make it directly without freezing?

Cathy said...

Hall Fam - yes, just follow as is! Enjoy!

Sara said...

Hi there! I have read about this idea of freezer meals on various website, but so far yours is the most helpful! I am curious though, Rhodes bread dough...what is it? Is it more of a pizza dough? Does it come refrigerated in a can or frozen?

Thank you so much for your website! It is so helpful!!

Cathy said...

Hi Sara!

Here is the Rhodes Rolls website:


Hopefully that will help! :)

Marne said...

Hey gals!

I just have to plug in that I LOVE this recipe. Tiffani told me about it and it is now one of my family's favs! I just made 3 the other day and put them in the freezer for quick meals. We love it so much that one loaf isn't enough for my hungry kiddos! My oldest son can eat half a loaf himself!

JC Designs said...

I made this recipe and it smelled wonderful, but it was much too salty. I used an inexpensive ham. Do you think that was the problem?

Monica said...

JC Designs- It could have been the ham.
You may try halving the butter/ranch packet mixture. Some of the ladies in my group like it better with half. I think this would make it less salty.