On my very first post, I made a Cherry Cream Cheese Danish that required not only laminated dough but the use of yeast. I never knew there existed a fear of yeast until I became more integrated into the food blog world. I say this not to brag but to tell you that most likely your fear of yeast lies in the knowledge of the fear of yeast itself (huh?!). In other words, because I never knew there existed a fear of yeast, I treated this fungal ingredient as any other ingredient. I just followed the instructions and avoided the pitfalls I had read or heard on other recipes (i.e., avoid hot water and salt). I used a thermometer to check the temperature of the water and only added salt after adding the flour, and everything always has worked out fine....well, at least in the yeast department. So, pretend like the fear of yeast doesn't exist. Just remember that it's just another ingredient like eggs or milk. All ingredients require a certain procedure in order to obtain optimal use out of them. NOW GO FORTH AND MAKE THE BELOW BREAD DISH! :)
Memoria of Mangio da sola
I have to admit that this is the prettiest, savory dish I've ever seen in my own apartment haha. This braid was so lovely that I almost didn't want to cut into it...almost. It was delicious.
The bread was soft with a slight, welcomed crunch due to my overheating oven. The filling was very flavorful despite the little bit of BBQ sauce I had in my possession. After I made this braid, I went back to the recipe source at Mel's blog, My Kitchen Cafe, and saw that other people who had tried this braid experimented with other fillings that I would like to try in the near future.
Since I live alone, I froze one half of the dough for later. With that dough, I would like to make a sort of a buffalo chicken filling with Frank's Red Hot Wing Sauce. For the vegetarians out there, I'm sure you could use a variety of meat-less fillings as well. Stuff the braid with various grilled veggies. That mixture even sounds good to me!!
There's a yummy filling inside of that soft dough!
Yields one dozen rolls or two braids
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread (or AP) flour (I used bread flour)
In a large mixer bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. (If doing regular french rolls: Divide the dough into 12-14 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.] [If doing the braid: Divide the dough into two, equal-sized balls. (I weighed them out). Scroll down to the next recipe for more instructions.] Cover the rolls with a damp cloth (or greased saran wrap), and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
BBQ Chicken Braid
adapted by My Kitchen Cafe
adapted by My Kitchen Cafe
1 recipe French Bread Rolls (above)
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1/2 medium onion, sliced into thin half moons
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (I only had 3/4 cups of bbq sauce in the house)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used and shredded a block of provolone)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
FILLING: Season your chicken well. Boil or grill your chicken and then shred it. Add the BBQ sauce and chopped onions to the chicken.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
BREAD BRAID: After the french bread roll recipe has gone through the first rise, split the dough into two parts (I weighed my dough. Each one came out to about 528 grams). Lightly cover one portion and set aside, or refrigerate (up to 2 days) or freeze (up to 2 months) the other ball. Roll the other portion into about an 11X17-inch rectangle (I rolled mine out on a silpat liner for easy transfer to the baking sheet and oven).
Using a pizza cutter, knife, or dough cutter, cut 1-inch wide strips in towards the center, starting on the long sides. There should be a solid strip about 3 inches wide down the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side.
Spread half of the barbecue sauce down the center strip. Top with the chicken, onions and cheese. Fold the side strips over filling, alternating strips from each side and pressing them into the dough on the opposite side, forming a braid. Pinch or twist to seal.
Pick up the Silpat or parchment paper, and transfer it to the baking sheet. Or you can slide the pan under the Silpat liner, and let rest for 15 minutes.
While it is resting, follow the same steps above for the second portion of dough. Bake the first braid for 15-20 minutes (while the second braid is resting), until golden brown and bread is baked through. Remove from oven and bake the second braid.
Let the braids rest for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut braid into sections, and serve warm.