Calling this dish a “sandwich” is a bit of a stretch. I guess the technical definition of a “sandwich” is deliciousness stuffed in between two pieces of bread, so these don’t exactly fit the bill.
This is more like creamy, chickeny, cheesy deliciousness stuffed inside the best whole wheat sandwich bread dough, then baked together with more cheese. So sure, we’ll call it a sandwich for the ease of writing and comprehension.
See what I did there? Simplifying things so all can understand? That’s what us teachers call “modification”.
So onto this “sandwich”.
It looks a bit like a white-girl’s steamed bao bun in size and shape, but trust me, this is nothing like a bao bun. Well, its deliciousness in dough, but that’s where the similarities end. So it’s neither a sandwich nor a bao bun, but I think its somewhere in between. I’m still leaning towards “baked sandwich.”
I need to rewind a bit. Back in the very early days of this little blog of mine, due to those lovely students I see every day, I contracted an extremely vicious strain of the stomach flu, had to go to the ER for dehydration, and spent the majority of my spring break that year on the couch. This stomach flu was odd, in that I felt completely FINE during the day, and had this brilliant idea of buffalo chicken-filled wonton ravioli. I went to the grocery store, bought the ingredients, talked on the phone with a friend while I cooked, and all of a sudden I had to OMGGETOFFTHEPHONEANDINTHEBATHROOMNOWWWWWW
I haven’t made a creamy buffalo-chicken filled meal since then.
I was thinking on my way home from work about how (knock on wood) there hasn’t been a stomach flu outbreak like that year since that year. And hey, remember how much that sucked? OOH I was making buffalo chicken ravioli when that hit. Why haven’t i made those since? Ravioli is way too much work for a Monday. Stuffed sandwiches seem better, or whatever it is we’re calling these things.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Ingredients (6 “sandwiches”)
For the bread
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup bread flour or vital wheat gluten
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (more if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
For the filling
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or use leftover cooked chicken, about 2 cups)
- 8 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 Tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot sauce (or more to taste)
- salt and pepper
For the filling
Combine the chicken, ricotta, and cheddar cheese, reserving 1/4 of the cheese for sprinkling on the finished product. Season to taste with the Frank’s Red Hot and salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the bread
Pour 1 cup of warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow to proof 10 minutes, until foamy.
Add the bread flour or wheat gluten and mix until smooth. Add 1 cup of the wheat flour and knead with a dough hook until all the flour is incorporated. Add the oil, salt, and then add the remaining wheat flour. Knead with the dough hook until the dough clears the bowl, adding more flour or water if necessary. A smooth, slightly sticky dough will form. Allow to rise, covered, until nearly doubled, about 40 minutes.
Punch down the dough, roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2″ thickness. Cut into 6 even pieces. Place about 1/3 cup of the filling into each piece of dough, seal tightly, and sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake at 375°F until browned, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before eating.