So to start off you'll need the following:
- Rhodes frozen loaf bread (a refrigerated pizza crust would work too)
- shredded chicken (about two breasts)
- buffalo sauce (we used Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic flavored sauce)
- Ranch dressing
- shredded mozzarella or co.jack cheese
- optional* shredded parmesan cheese
1. Thaw frozen loaf bread according to packaged directions
2. Coat your shredded chicken with your buffalo sauce. I used about 2-3 tbsp.
3. Roll your dough into a rectangle. To make things easier on yourself, if you have a slipmat, roll your dough on there and then you can just transfer the slip mat onto a baking sheet.
4. Using a pizza cutter or a knife cut strips along the long sides of the rectangle. The cuts should be about 2" in, leaving about 4" along the middle.
5. Spread some ranch dressing along the bottom of the bread. About 1/4 cup should do. Be careful not to put too much dressing or when the bread is baking you'll end up with a soggy bottom. If you want to add a little more flavor, sprinkle some pizza seasoning (oregano, basil, parsley..) over the ranch.
6. Add the coated chicken on top of the ranch dressing, then top with the shredded cheese.
7. Starting at one of the ends, start "braiding" the flaps across the top of the pizza filling. Pull the left flap to the right side, right flap to the left side, etc...
8. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top, and again, if you want to be extra fancy you can add an egg wash on top to make it nice and golden brown when done baking. Transfer to greased baking sheet, carefully!
9. Let the braid rise for about an hour.
10. Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until bread is cooked through.
When making this braid recipe, I only used 3/4 of the thawed bread dough (enough for my husband and I to enjoy two large portions with a portion left over for lunch the next day) and made buffalo chicken rolls with the remaining dough. In order to do this:
1. Simply divide remaining dough into equal parts and roll out into circles.
2. Fill dough balls with chicken and cheese.
3. Fold up the sides of the dough to cover the toppings, being sure to pinch and seal off the dough.
4. Place rolls, seam side down, into greased muffin tins. I topped mine with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
5. Let rise for an hour.
6. Bake in 325 degree oven for 20 minutes or until dough is cooked through. Dip in ranch and you've got a yummy snack!
I love this braid recipe because it's so versatile. You could add ham and cheese, pizza sauce and pepperonis, or steak and peppers for a Philly cheesesteak style bread. Like I said, endless possibilities!!
Hope you enjoy!