Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Recipe: Crusty Meat Braid

Are you looking for a delicious recipe to make on a cold night? I've got one for you! I enjoy Wednesdays, as I'm usually home all day and have more time to cook. Tonight, I made this recipe, and from the "umms" punctuating the air between bites, I think it was a hit. It also looked really pretty, before it got devoured!

Crusty Meat Braid
Turkey or Beef Filling (see below)
2 to 3 cups whole wheat bread or roll dough
2 TBSP finely grated cheese

Prepare filling as directed. Roll dough into a large rectangle, approximately 9 x 15 inches and 1/4 inch thick. Spread filling lengthwise down the center third of the dough. Cut dough into 1 inch strips on each side of the filling (you'll have two strips on each side). Braid dough over filling, tucking in the last strip. Place on a large, heave baking sheet (or simply roll it out and braid it on the sheet). Let raise 5 to 10 minutes. Bake in a 350* oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Pour remaining soup or sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese.

Turkey Filling
2 cups cooked and cubed turkey or chicken
1 tsp. instant minced onion
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, slightly cooked
1 4-ounce can mushrooms, drained
1 10.5-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
Salt and pepper

Mix first 4 ingredients. Add half the soup to the turkey mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the remaining soup with a few tablespoons water or milk to achieve gravy consistency, and reserve for baked bread.

Beef Filling
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, cooked
3 TBSP taco or pizza sauce seasoning mix
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper

Cook ground beef and onion; drain well. Stir in mixed vegetables, seasoning mix, and 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve remaining tomato sauce for top of baked bread.

The original recipe comes from Set For Life.

Now, for a few slight changes I made. =) I made the turkey filling, as it's a great way to use up some leftover turkey we had from, yes, last Thanksgiving! I don't care for mushrooms that much, so I omitted them and used cream of chicken soup instead. I also added a tad more meat and veggies then it called for and didn't measure the cheese, but just sprinkled some on top. I've gotten to the point that I'm a bit lax on my measurements, but it hasn't hurt me - yet!

Since we were almost out of bread, I made up a batch of bread, used one loaf's worth for the meat braid and made two more loaves. It's a great way to make two things at once! The bread I make about once-a-week (my family is spoiled now - although we occasionally get store-bought bread when we're busy, it just doesn't taste as good anymore!) is a recipe the Harts shared with me. It's pretty quick and easy and delicious!

1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
5 tsp. instant yeast
2 TBSP wheat gluten (optional, but improves texture)
6 to 7 1/4 cups flour (I use mostly fresh-ground wheat flour, with some unbleached white to make a good consistency)
1 TBSP salt

Combine first 5 ingredients. Add yeast, gluten, and 5 cups of flour. Add the salt, then continue to mix adding the flour 1/2 cup at a time.

Knead until you think it's ready (dough will be pretty smooth and elastic and just feel right). Let rise until double (around 1 hour). After rising, form into loaves or other shapes (rolls, bread braids, etc.).

Place in a greased loaf pan. Let rise until at least double in size. (I heat the oven to 150* then turn in off, placing the pans inside the nice warm space. The loaves rise nicely, taking about 30 minutes). Bake loaves at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Makes about 3 large sized loaves.

Enjoy! Happy baking to you!


Sammybunny said...

that looks amazing!!!!!!

Miriam Rebekah said...

Wow! That sounds really good. I may have to try that sometime soon.

Mrs. Hart said...

What?! No photos of your masterpiece?! For shame!

Just kidding, but I would love to have seen it in all its glory ...(before being devoured, I mean!)

Bravo for you - trying new recipes.
Love you,
Mrs. Hart

Luke said...

how many people do you think one "meat" loaf of bread would feed?

looking forward to seeing you soon!


Anna Naomi said...

Mrs. Hart, I would have liked to take a picture, but alas, I thought of it only after it was being eaten.

Michele, it fed the 4 of us here and Jubi's friend Rachael, and we had about a serving of it left over. We ate quite a bit though, for it was so good!

Ella said...

I am blessed that when I try new recipes, they have all been hits. I did that on Monday with a Rachael Ray recipe. Though do you have any advice on how to fry chicken better? All of my breading comes off!

Luke said...

I tried this recipe tonight and the family really enjoyed it!
Zach (our 4 year old) looked at me and said with a hint of surprise, "This is really good, Mommy, thank you for making it for me." :)


Mrs. Hart said...

"This is really good, Mommy, thank you for making it for me."

Aww...sweet! I'll bet your "mother's heart" gave a silent sigh of joy when he said that. Makes motherhood worth it all, doesn't it?

Mrs. Hart

Anna Naomi said...

Ella, sorry, I'm no good at frying chicken. In fact, I haven't tried doing it the "real way". I make oven fried chicken, which doesn't involve all the grease, since I don't enjoy messing with it.

Glad your family liked it, Michele! Zach is such a sweetie... I can't wait to see you all in only a week!