Complete with olive eyes, this slithering fellow is so realistic, you expect him to hiss.

Constricting Snake Bites

3 (16-ounce) loaves frozen white bread dough, thawed
6 tablespoons brown mustard
16-ounces thinly sliced ham
12-ounces thinly sliced salami
6-ounces provolone cheese, shredded
6-ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon water
Green, red, and yellow liquid food coloring
3 large egg yolks
2 whole cloves
3 tablespoons Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
2 small pimiento-stuffed olives
Bottled roasted red sweet pepper strip (6 x 1-inch)
  1. Line 3 cookie sheets with foil, grease the foil and set aside. Roll one of the loaves of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 26 x 6-inch rectangle. May need to allow dough to rest a few minutes occasionally while rolling out. Lightly brush 2 tablespoons mustard to within 1 inch of the sides of dough. Layer one third of the ham and salami over mustard. Mix together cheeses. Sprinkle one third of the cheese mixture over ham and salami. Brush edges of dough with water. Roll up into a spiral, tightly, starting with one of the long sides. Pinch all edges to seal. Shape dough on baking sheet in an 'S' shape.
  2. Combine one of the egg yolks, one teaspoon water, and several drops of desired food coloring. Repeat making green, red, and yellow egg wash. Using a small brush paint stripes crosswise over loaf, allowing wash to drizzle down the sides.
  3. Let loaf rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle top of loaf with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  4. While one section of the 'snake ' rises, repeat with remaining bread dough and ingredients. Taper one end of each of these loaves to a rounded point making a head and tail. Insert 2 whole cloves at one of these ends making nostrils of the 'snake'. Place on remaining prepared cookie sheets. Paint and let rise as above.
  5. Bake snake sections in a 375 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bottoms of loaves are golden. Insert olives with toothpicks above the cloves, to form eyes. Place red pepper strip in front of snake's mouth. Assemble snake portions on bamboo leaves, if desired. Slice and serve warm.

Makes 24 slices.

Recipe provided by Better Homes and Gardens - BHG.com a member of the Home and Family Network for the best of cooking, gardening, decorating and more. © Copyright 2003 Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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