Monday, July 9, 2012

Braided Sandwich Loaf

 recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks it Up and Mel's Kitchen Cafe

There are several variations you can experiment with when making this sandwich loaf.  We have tried barbeque chicken, ham and cheese, and the latest (pictured below) is a pepperoni and cheese combination.  It turned out great and is a lot like a calzone.  

I used the recipe and instructions from Jamie Cooks it Up, but as far as getting the whole idea of the braiding technique, I really like the tutorial on Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  So, here's the recipe!
*Recipe makes 2 large sandwich loaves

1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt (I used a little bit less)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 Tbsp yeast
5-6 cups flour
1 egg

You can choose what variation you would like.  For the sandwich braid pictured above, I used pepperoni slices, this pizza sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese. 

You could also use slices of deli meat (about 16 slices) and your choice of cheese (about 8 slices).

Barbeque sauce, shredded or sliced cooked chicken, sliced red onion, and mozzarella cheese would make a delicious loaf.

Be creative!

1. To make the dough, dissolve 1 Tbsp yeast in 1/3 cup lukewarm water.
2.  In the bottom of a stand mixer, mix the sugar, salt and butter together with a fork until well combined.
3.  Pour the boiling water over the sugar mixture.
4.  Pour the cold water over the sugar mixture.
5. Pour the yeast/water mixture over the sugar mixture.
6.  Add the flour 1 cup at a time while mixing.  You know you have enough flour with the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
7.  Once you have enough flour, knead the dough on high for 7-8 minutes.
8.  Let the dough rest for 2 minutes in the bowl.
9.  Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and let them rest on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray for about 5 minutes.
10.  Sprinkle your surface with a small amount of flour and roll the dough out into a large rectangle.  Using a pizza cutter, cut 11-12 one inch wide strips along both longs sides of the rectangle. Be sure to leave about 5 inches down the center uncut. You want to leave room for your fillings.
11.  Place pepperoni down the center of the dough and then spread enough pizza sauce over the top to cover the pepperoni.  Sprinkle cheese over the sauce.  (If you are using a sauce, try to put a "drier" ingredient on the bottom layer and then cover with sauce.  I have found that if you put the sauce on the bottom layer, the bottom of your loaf tends to be a little soggy.)
12.  Over lap the dough strips in the center over the top of your fillings.  (Again, see Mel's Kitchen Cafe for a great tutorial on how to do this.)
13.  Place the sandwich loaf on a large cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with a silpat.
14.  Beat the egg with a fork until frothy. Brush the egg all over the loaf.  Sprinkle with desired seasonings on top.  I used freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Depending on the type of loaf you have made, you could also top with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, Montreal Steak Seasoning, dried onions, or cheese.
15.  Repeat these steps with the other piece of dough.
16.  Let the dough rise in a warm oven (about 170 degrees) for about 20 minutes.
17.  While loaves are still in the oven, turn oven up to 400 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes.  
18.  When the loaves are golden brown on top, turn the oven down to 350 degrees, and switch the pan on the bottom rack to the top. Bake for another 5-7 minutes.
19.  Let the loaves rest for about 5 minutes, then cut and serve.