Monday, April 19, 2010

BBQ Chicken Braid

Dear Yeastaphobes,

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.
Wow. Did I really make this?

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!!
"Off with its head!" I still feel bad about doing this decapitation to the lovely braid.

I have posted some step-by-step photos below and a link to a printable version without photos. I suggest making the filling first or during the bread's first rising. Also, mix the chicken with the other fillings (minus the cheese) for quicker distribution.
Thanks, Mel!
There's a yummy filling inside of that soft dough!

I am submitting this lovely braid to YEASTSPOTTING!

*UPDATE* Check out the Pizza Braid I made with the leftover dough!

French Bread Rolls
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe who got it from
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).

The left ball of dough is now in the freezer.

Bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

BBQ Chicken Braid
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.
TIP: Make the filling first, and store it until ready to use.

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).
Grate your own cheese for a better flavor!

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.
Can you tell how soft this dough was?

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.


  1. Wow, Memoria

    Oh, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Girl, you have managed to combine two of my favorite ingredients: BBQ chicken and homemade yeast bread. Furthermore, your excellent photos demonstrate the vast amount of patience required when making bread! I can tell it paid off--you will save me some, won't ya?

  2. wow, Memoria....this just looks divine n' to top have shown every step in such simple your blog...truly....kudos to you...i'm following you for sure...;)

  3. Mem- Superb! I saw a similar recipe the other day using ham & swiss, but this looks like it oud be a lot healthier (or not!). Thanks- going to make this one night this week for supper!

  4. I LOVE THIS!! I love savory stuff wrapped in bread and used to go nuts reading through Pillsbury Bake-Off cookbooks (as a teen) because so many contestants wrapped savory meals in Pillsbury biscuit dough and breadstick dough lol

    Your cheesy BBQ chicken braid looks outrageous..spectacular...phenomenal! this is one for the bookmarks!

  5. i love the way you have illustrated the whole recipe and the method with your looks soo delicious that im definately gona give it a try for the weekends :)

  6. Wow, my mouth is watering!! I love how thorough your photos are and how pretty. The braid looks so beautiful I can see why you didn't want to cut into it :) I'll be checking out the link for the other versions too.

  7. Your braid is definitely lovely! This is kind of like a dressed up, fancy hot pocket. My family would love it. Mi familia le encantaría.

  8. Thanks for sharing the recipe and your braid looks beautiful!

  9. This bread is absolutely beautiful! I am someone that used to fear yeast, but quickly got over that once I realized how many wonderful recipes I was missing out on.

  10. This looks so good! I've made a breakfast braid before and it was the perfect way to start the morning. I will definitely have to try making the dough from scratch now after seeing how easy and delicious your recipe is! =)

  11. Stunning! It looks really beautiful and delicious.

  12. This looks craaaazy good! Can't wait to make it...


  13. As always, your photos are amazing! I love all the step-by-step pictures. I'm so glad you liked this recipe and think a buffalo chicken version would be to die for!

  14. Oh. My. Word.

    I must make this immediately.

  15. This looks simply fabulous, beautiful, delicious, and every wonderful superlative I can think of. What an inspired idea, and my thanks for sharing it with us. I will definitely bookmark this and make it pronto!

  16. Very beautiful Memoria. I love the savory filling with two different type of cheese.

  17. that is a lovely braid and it sounds delicious! you could make a braid for dinner and another for dessert :-)

  18. Wow, this braid bread is fantastic. Love your pictures. They are gorgeous. BBQ chicken is my favourit.

  19. Wow! That's pretty damn impressive!

  20. Wow! This looks amazing. Hey, I wonder if there is a problem with your feed. I don't think your posts have been showing up in my google reader :(

  21. Gorgeous and tantalizing. My imagination fills my nose with smells...

  22. This savoury BBQ chicken braid sounds so good!

  23. Memoria, esto se ve exquisito! La trenza se ve super bien hecha, y el relleno me se ve super rico.

  24. What a great idea, am I going to try it with our chicken curry filling we use with puff pastry. Thanks for the inspiration.

  25. that is so gorgeous looking! most impressive indeed!
    and your advice on fear of yeast is very sage: I have had very little kitchen fear in my life and I think my ignorance of what could go wrong has saved me from much of it.

  26. What a soft dough and yummy filling!

  27. Memoria, you amaze me for real! This braid looks un-freaking-believable!! I must I must try this -- but I'm sure mine will not turn not nearly as beautiful as yours.

  28. memoria, This looks great. Will try this with a sweet recipe. Thanks for the post. Simply divine.

  29. Oh wow! This looks absolutely delicious! I usually make sweet-stuffed braids. But I've been wanting to make a savory filled one for a while. I think I found a winner! :)

    Saludos desde Mexico!

  30. this is BEAUTIFUL! It looks so delicious. I'm a huge fan of BBQ pizza, so I think my tummy would appreciate this.

  31. I used to have SUCH a fear of yeast but now I bake bread constantly! This is gorgeous...almost like a calzone but WAY prettier!

  32. Wow. This is gorgeous and I like the tutorial for braiding. I'm finally over my fear of yeast. I think. This has so many possible fillings! So creative!

  33. Oh WOW! This sounds amazing!

    And it is absolutely gorgeous!

  34. Whoa. This is making me so hungry. It's beautiful and I must try this one out!

  35. This is beautiful and looks delicious. Loved all the pictures.

  36. How can anyone hate yeast after seeing such a gorgeous creation from you?!

  37. that is the most beautiful piece of bread that I have ever seen. I am going to have to make this with my barbecue sauce recipe. Absolutely stunning.

  38. OMG, I will be making this on Tuesday night! Love, love, love the post!

  39. Mmm looks tasty, I love the visual effect the braiding creates!

  40. I've never seen anything quite like this, but it looks AMAZING. What a gorgeous photo. I can taste is already. Definitely on my "must try" list.

  41. Wow, you did Mel proud! That is the most gorgeous braid I've ever seen!

  42. love the step by step pictures! now i really need to make this soon. Maybe tomorrow. :D

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