This is an amazing way to use up little bits of leftover meat and fillings for sandwiches. I've even made stuffed bread out of remaining fast food hamburgers! You know how the kids will sometimes eat the fries and pick at the bun, leaving the burger intact? Well, refrigerate that burger and chop it up to make a cheeseburger stuffed bread! :)
Sometimes you might have just a cup or so of shredded beef, pork, chicken, etc, and not know what to do with it. Well, you can add a few other ingredients (mushroom, peppers, onion, chopped tomato, cheese....about anything you like in a sandwich that can be heated) and make a yummy hot meal. Combine it with some chips for a casual light dinner, or soup for something more hearty, or even regular sides like rice and a vegetable - the possibilities are endless, as are the combinations for your bread.
We start with your favorite bread recipe, or you can even use frozen bread dough to make it more simple. Make (or thaw) the dough, and then roll it out on a baking sheet or rectangular baking stone to the size of the sheet/stone. Here is the recipe I use most often for bread, adapted from The Bread Machine Cookbook II:
1 1/4 c. water
2 T. olive oil
3 T. honey
3 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
2 t. yeast
Put in machine in order suggested by manufacturer and set on "dough" cycle.
Once you have your bread all rolled out, you're ready to "stuff" it. Right down the middle (about the middle third of the bread), stack whatever you want in your bread - spread out the leftover cooked meat, then top with the veggies or other items, and finally, whatever kind of cheese strikes your fancy.
Now, on either side of the filling, from the outside of the loaf in, cut the dough into slits about 1" wide. I usually go at an angle from the top corners and go about 1.5" from the filling. Once you've done this, simply braid the bread strips over the filling. Allow the bread to rise in a warm place for 30-60 minutes, then bake for about 30 minutes at 350°.
The result is a hot, fresh-baked "sandwich" of sorts. Cut it into slices and serve. My family LOVES these! This really makes soup more of a meal, too, if your family doesn't feel that soup is enough to fill them up.
In addition, you can make this a breakfast meal by filling your bread with scrambled eggs, cooked and crumbled bacon, chopped cooked sausage, etc. It's a wonderful and inexpensive breakfast meal that is very filling.
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