I love to experiment with foods and baking, and I thought that by putting beef and cheese in the middle of bread it would taste like a sub sandwich - and it does! The recipe may sound complicated, but it's actually easy to make.
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- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup butter, divided
- 2-3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup shredded dried beef
- 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Soften 2 tablespoons butter; add to yeast mixture with 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and egg; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
- Turn out onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- In a small bowl, combine the beef, cheese and basil; set aside. Punch dough down. Roll into a 12-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Cut dough lengthwise into three 12-in. x 3-in. strips. Melt remaining butter; brush some over strips.
- Divide beef mixture in thirds and sprinkle down the center of each strip. Bring lengthwise edges together and pinch to seal, forming a rope. Place on a greased baking sheet, seam side down. Secure one end and braid the ropes together; secure other end. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Brush with remaining melted butter. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Slice and serve warm. Yield: 1 loaf.
Originally published as Beef 'n' Cheese Braid in Country Extra May 1994, p47
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