After my super chef brother-in-law, Ryan, showed me how to to fancily braid my pizza pockets I have been looking to upgrade one of our dinner favorites. And then I found this on one of my favorite food blogs: My Kitchen Cafe. The bread recipe she uses is incredible!! My braid came out soft and fluffy on the inside with a light crunch on the outside.
If the braiding is confusing Melanie has a tutorial on her blog. Check it out.
The only change I made was adding mushrooms, and bacon crumbles and then brushing the top with garlic butter as soon as it comes out of the oven. My oh my this is delicious!
p.s. the kids aren’t too hot on BBQ so for them I make a ham and cheese or pepperoni—they LOVE it.
BBQ Chicken Braid
*Note: the amounts of chicken, onions, barbecue sauce, and cheese in the recipe can be altered based on your preference - simply add more or less to your liking.
*Makes 2 large braids
1 recipe French Bread Rolls
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
After the French bread roll recipe has gone through the first rise, split the dough into two parts. Lightly cover one portion and set aside. Roll the other portion into about an 11X17-inch rectangle (I roll mine out directly on a sheet of parchment to make for easy transfer to the baking sheet and oven). Using a pizza cutter or knife, 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.
Place the braid on a lined baking sheet (or simply transfer the silpat liner to a baking sheet) 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, brush with melted garlic butter and bake the second braid.
Let the braids rest for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut braid into sections and serve warm.
Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe
French Bread Rolls
adapted from allrecipes.com
*Makes about one dozen rolls
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 all-purpose flour
In a large 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. Divide the dough into 12-14 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. 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).
Bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown