A few people have asked me what the mess in the middle of my header image is. It was a braided bread full of chicken parmesan that I made with Ted a year or two ago.
I made it again this week, but with a buffalo chicken filling instead of the parm. I used canned chicken, which was just way easier and required way less heating up the kitchen than cooking and shredding chicken otherwise would have.
To make the dough, first combine one cup of flour, a quarter cup of parmesan cheese, the yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
Heat the water and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees), and stir until the butter is melted.
Gradually pour the warm water into the flour mixture while stirring, and continue to stir for two minutes. Add the egg and a second cup of flour and stir another two minutes. Add another cup and a half of flour and stir until it sticks mostly together, and then turn out onto your workspace. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding up to another half cup of flour as necessary to keep the dough from being very sticky. It should take you 8-10 minutes to reach the smooth and elastic state. Cover the dough and let it rest ten minutes.
Divide the dough into three equal portions, and roll each into a 16X4″ rectangle. Spread the chicken down each rectangle and drizzle with blue cheese dressing.
Flip the ropes so that the seams are on the bottom, and bring them all parallel. Lightly pinch the ends on one side together, and braid the ropes. If you support each piece as you move it, they actually hold up pretty well.
When you reach the end, press together those ends. Carefully transfer the braid to a greased baking sheet.
Cover the braid, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about an hour.
Whisk together an egg with two tablespoons of water to, then brush the egg wash over the braid. Sprinkle extra cheese on top of the braid.
I could see, for a party or something, putting a different, complementary, meat in each rope. Ooh, corned beef, roast beef, and chopped liver? I’d eat the heck out of that, if it weren’t impossible to find chopped liver in DC!
I’ll be submitting this post to yeastspotting!
Buffalo Chicken Bread
Adapted from Bread World.
- 3 1 / 2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 / 4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 envelopes yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1 / 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 large egg
Buffalo Chicken Filling:
- 3/4 cup buffalo sauce
- 2 1/2 cups shredded/canned chicken
- blue cheese dressing
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- extra grated parmesan cheese
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, the parmesan cheese, yeast, sugar, and salt. Heat the water and butter until very warm (120 to 130 degrees). Gradually add to flour mixture. Stir for two minutes. Add the egg and another 1 cup flour; stir another two minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough, beginning with 1 1/2 cups, going up to 2 as necessary. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Stir the chicken into the buffalo sauce.
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and roll each into a 16X4″ rectangle. Spread the chicken over each rectangle, drizzle with blue cheese dressing, and pinch closed into ropes. Roll each rope over to put the seam on the bottom. Braid the ropes, pinching the ends together, and carefully transfer to a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together the egg and water and brush over the braid. Sprinkle the cheese on top, then bake for half an hour. Remove, slice, and serve.