Monday, February 6, 2012

Confession #13: Braids aren't just for hair anymore

Follow Me on Pinterest
I was hungry the other day so I was on looking for something to make. And that's when I discovered the joy of stuffed braided bread! So sit back, take your shoes off, and fill your bellies with something yummy.

 I didn't really follow the calzone recipe but it did give me the idea. I used my own pizza dough recipe because I know I already love it. I used this pizza dough recipe for all three of the recipes below.

Vanessa's Pizza Dough for Lazy People:
6 1/2 ounces of water
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbs dry skin milk
2 Tbs sugar
1 ts sea salt
1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 ts dry active yeast
1/3 cup ground flax seed

Mix everything into a bread maker and select Dough. Walk away and enjoy your day or prep the pizza sauce. Dough cycle takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. After the buzzer sounds, remove dough and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the oven (DO NOT TURN ON THE OVEN). After 20 minutes, take out and pull into two equal balls. Place in separate greased bowls and cover with clean cloth for 15 minutes. Place back in own (DO NOT TURN OVEN ON).

Vanessa's Braided Calzone

1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cups spinach
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (you could use any type of cheese, but this is what I had)
1 head of garlic, roasted (yes, we love garlic in this house)
1 cup pizza sauce (see below for a recipe to make your own)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (see directions below to make your own)
1/2 cup corn (Something we started adding to our pizza after we lived in the Dominican Republic)
1 egg white for brushing
1 loaf of my pizza dough
Of course you can use whatever ingredients you want.

1.  I didn't have pizza sauce so I made my own using one of my canned tomato pints, sage, oregano, a little Wildtree grape seed oil, and garlic ( I peeled in seconds). I simmered it while the bread was in the machine for about 35 minutes. Until it was good a thick.

Fill it up with topping of your choice!
2.  In an other sauce pan I caramelized the chopped onion. Once the onions were done, I put them into a bowl for later. I used the same pan from the onions to wilt the spinach.

3. Once everything was ready I placed a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I rolled out the dough into a rectangle so that it would fit the whole area of the cookie sheet.

4. Next place the pizza sauce in the center of the dough, in the form of a rectangle. Layer your ingredients over the sauce. Top with cheese. .
Ready to go in the oven (I wish I had used parchment paper)
5. Fold the small ends of the dough over the filling. Take kitchen scissors and cut strips along the sizes of the dough, stopping 1/2 inch before the filling. Now "braid" the bread by overlapping one strip at a time. Alternating between the sides (see photo to your right).

6. Your last step before baking is to brush the top of the calzone with the egg white. I also sprinkled the second one I made with crushed red papers, sea salt, and basil.

Doesn't it look amazing!
7. Place it in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. The recipe on Allrecipes left it in for much longer. But I found it was perfect after only 15 minutes. Your oven may differ. Let cook on a wire rack (5min) and enjoy!
The verdict: Amazing and fun. It tastes SO good and was fun to make. I think next time I will put sausage in mine.

I loved how this turned out so much that I thought "What else can I put in bread?" Turns out, a lot!

For The Love of Cooking has a recipe similar to the one below but they used store bought dough.
So this is my version:

Vanessa's Braided Breakfast
Braided Breakfast fresh from the oven
5 eggs, I egg white separated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, crumbled or cut into cubes
1 Tbs milk
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 serving of my pizza dough
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Whisk the eggs (excluding the 1 egg white) with milk, salt, and pepper. Want it hot? Add some cayenne pepper. Cook scrambled eggs in skillet. Once eggs are almost done add spinach and green onion.

2. Place dough on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Roll out dough into a rectangle to fill the sheet. Place egg mixture on the center of the dough (just like the calzone). Top with cheese and sun dried tomatoes.

3. Cut and fold the dough (see Step 5 of the calzone recipe).

4. Brush the top with egg white and place in a preheated 350 oven for 15 minutes. Let cook on a wire rack (5min) and enjoy!

Verdict: If you get up early enough before breakfast, make this! Next time I am going to add potatoes and sausage.

My third braided meal came to me from Rhodes Bake n' Serve Blog. Of course I didn't use Rhodes bread but I would have never thought of this on my own. Here's my version:

Spaghetti Bread, get it before it's gone!
Vanessa's Spaghetti Braid

6 ounces of brown rice pasta
1 cup pasta sauce (I used the pizza sauce from the calzone recipe)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1 egg white
1 loaf of my pizza dough
a pinch of red pepper flakes, basil, and course sea salt

1. Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and toss with pasta sauce.

2. Line coolie sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough In rectangle to cover the sheet.

3. Place spaghetti in the center of the dough, forming a rectangle. Place cheese evenly on top.

4. Fold and braid dough (see calzone recipe Step 5)

5. Brush with egg white and sprinkle red pepper flakes, basil, and sea salt on top.

6. Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack (5min) and enjoy!

Verdict: My husband and daughter ate the whole thing. So it must have been awesome.

So there you have it, 3 braided bread recipes. And if you love bread, you will love them. I am sure in the weeks to come, I will come up with more braided bread recipes. I just love the idea.

And if  you don't like the idea of using parchment paper, a friend of mine (you know who you are) introduced me to the world of Silpat. They are essentially reusable baking sheet liners. The most amazing thing is that you can roll out your bread on them and instead of transferring your masterpiece to a baking sheet, you just lift up the Silpat and put it on top of the baking sheet. Keeping your cookies, bread, cinnamon rolls in perfect condition. I have yet to go buy one but I plan on doing it real soon. Your local mom and pop kitchen store will probably carry them. No more throwing out or buy parchment paper!

Make your own Sun Dried Tomatoes

Cut cherry tomatoes in half
Place on a screen skin side down
Place screen out side for 4-5 days. Or until completely dried.
If you want to do this in a dehydrator, just turn the dehydrator on med and leave in over night. Add more time if not completely dried.
So simple and yummy!

No comments:

Post a Comment