Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dinner Braids

Enough bread dough for one loaf of bread (Brittany has a homemade bread recipe here)
Your choice of ingredients for the filling (see some options below)

I found it a little difficult to write the instructions in a clear way of how to braid the dough, and since we don't have a picture of the entire bread braid, I searched for a video that you can watch to see how it is done. You can use any combination of ingredients that you would like. This is a recipe that you can be very creative with. You can find the video here.

Just a few notes on what I do a little differently than the lady in the video: I roll the dough out onto my greased cookie sheet so that I don't have to transfer it later. Instead of using a ruler, I just eyeball it and try to make my strips equal. I also cut the strips using the edge of a large metal spatula, since it is about the length needed for the strips. You can choose to brush the dough with an egg white, or you can bake the braid without brushing it. If you add bread crumbs or spices on top, though, you will want to brush it with an egg white, oil, or melted butter. This recipe isn't as complicated as it seems, and is a fun variation of some common meals.

Dinner Braid Fillings
Chicken Broccoli and Cheese
1 ½ to 2 C. cooked shredded chicken
1 to 2 C. cooked broccoli
½ can cream of chicken soup or chicken gravy or more to taste
1 C. cheddar cheese

Chicken Cordon Bleu Braid
Ham or canadian bacon slices—enough to layer on bottom of braid
1 C. cooked shredded chicken
1 C. shredded swiss cheese
Layer the ingredients on the middle section of dough; braid. Spread egg wash or oil on braid and sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs on top before you let it raise. Bake.  You may pour gravy on to serve.

Taco Braid
½ to 1 lb. cooked ground beef flavored with taco flavoring
½ to 1 C. favorite cooked beans (kidney, black, pinto, refried, etc.)
Diced tomatoes
Green onions
Sliced olives
Cheddar cheese
Any other taco toppings that would bake well.

Chicken and Cream Cheese
2 cups cooked chicken shredded
cream cheese
green onions
Mix together and fill in braid.

Cream Cheese Dessert Braid
4 oz. softened cream cheese
½ C. powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Mix together well and spread in middle section of braid. Spread a small layer of jam or fresh fruit on top—you don't need a whole lot. Braid and bake. After it comes out of the oven, let it cool for 5-10 minutes then spread frosting on.

Frosting –this is about twice as much as you will need for one braid, so you can half it.
2 C. powdered sugar
¼ C. softened butter
½ tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. water

Other ideas
Chicken alfredo with peas, broccoli, carrots (all vegetables pre-cooked)
Cabbage bun filling (see here)
Pizza toppings—any variety, Hawaiian, supreme, etc.
BBQ pork or beef
Sloppy Joe

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