Buffalo chicken. Pull apart. Bread. If you still don’t feel like busting out your loaf pan, you need to do some serious soul searching.
The inspiration for this insanely delicious bread came from this recipe. For the dough, I reverted back to the cheesy thyme pull apart bread which I made a while back but I doubled the recipe. To make buffalo chicken pull apart bread, I started with the dough using:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
About 1 and 1/4 cups extra all-purpose flour
1 t salt
2 T sugar
4 1/2 t active dry yeast
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup water
4 eggs (at room temperature)
About 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
About 3 T olive oil for greasing
1. Put 2 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, sugar and active dry yeast into a big bowl and whisk thoroughly.
2. Heat a small saucepan on low. Add milk and butter and let gently simmer until all the butter is melted. Set aside for about a minute and add in water.
3. Pour the milk and butter mixture into the big mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix well. It will look dry but don’t worry. I used the dough hook of my electric hand mixer. Very nifty.
4. Add in the eggs and mix some more.
5. Now the dough will look too wet but again, not to worry. I had some leftover mature cheddar so I grated it into the dough and mixed it some more. Cheese good.
6. Add in the other 1 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour and knead it into the dough. This is to adjust the wetness of your dough so you’ll have to feel this out for yourself. I also started with 1 cup of flour and gradually added more. Don’t be alarmed if you need more than that. You’re good when the dough doesn’t stick to the bottom of your mixing bowl so much.
7. Grease another big mixing bowl with olive oil and transfer the dough. Cover with cling wrap and leave someplace warm to rise for an hour. My dough is glistening because I brushed it with whatever olive oil was clinging to my brush.
While the dough is rising, we can get to our buffalo chicken for which I used:
2 and 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (at room temperature)
1 T chicken powder
1/4 cup Frank’s RedHot Wings sauce or to taste
1 T water
1 t garlic powder
salt to taste
1. First, we need to cook the chicken breasts. Here’s a foolproof way to do it. Place the chicken breasts in a medium saucepan and fill with water until they’re submerged. Stir in chicken powder. Chicken powder is optional. I just like it because it subtly seasons the chicken. Bring this to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it starts boiling, immediately take it off the stove and set it aside. Let sit for about 15 minutes and lookie. It yields perfectly cooked chicken breasts every single time.
2. Shred the chicken breasts once they’re cool enough to handle. I was supposed to stop here but the chicken looked really bland so I tossed it with a dressing of buffalo sauce, water, garlic powder and salt. I’m really glad I did that. Set aside.
Once the hour is up, we can get started on assembling this gorgeous bread. We’re gonna assemble it so we can pull it apart. Harhar. Preheat the oven to 175 C/350 F.
I prepared a little rolling and assembly station and aside from the dough and buffalo chicken, I made sure I had:
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Frank’s RedHot Wings sauce as needed
Softened butter as needed
All-purpose flour for dusting
1. I love, love, love this part. HALLELUJAH THE DOUGH HAS RISEN.
2. Punch the dough to let all the air out.
3. I had a lot of dough and not a lot of rolling space so I worked in batches. Transfer to a floured rolling surface. Flour the dough on top and knead with your hands.
4. Roll out the dough. Check out the specks of cheddar! Isn’t that pretty?
5. Clearly, this is not a perfectly square sheet of dough and that’s just the way I like it. Don’t lose sleep over getting all the edges straight and perfect. You’ll see when it comes out of the oven that it’s actually the mess and imperfections that make this bread beautiful and interesting. So. Brush the gloriously imperfect sheet of dough with softened butter.
6. Brush with buffalo sauce.
7. Sprinkle buffalo chicken.
8. Dot with crumbled blue cheese.
9. Confetti with chopped fresh parsley. The original recipe uses cilantro and although I love cilantro, I wasn’t too sure about it with buffalo chicken. I really liked how the vibrant green freshened up the bread though so I opted for parsley.
10. Now we can slice and stack! To cut somewhat equal squares of dough, start by slicing in half right down the middle and then halving the two halves and so on. But again, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
11. Stacking the strips like so will make for easier and speedier slicing.
12. Transfer the squares into a loaf pan that’s been greased and floured. I had some leftover grated parmesan as well so I sprinkled some on top. By “some” I mean “a lot”. I also sprinkled with more chopped parsley. This goes in the oven to bake for 20 minutes or until it’s golden brown and the cheese on top is melted.
I KNOW RIIIIIIIIIIIGHT???
First of all, this smells incredible when it’s baking. The dough, the buffalo sauce, the cheeses… And then it turns into this gorgeous sexy thing. When my loaf pan came out of the oven, I couldn’t help but look at it lovingly much like how a mother would look at a child. And then you put it in your mouth and it’s game over.
Dressing the shredded chicken was friggin’ genius of me, thankyouverymuch. The addition of cheddar and parmesan to the blue cheese was also great because…wait, that doesn’t need an explanation. If I were to nitpick, I would’ve liked a tad more buffalo sauce. But really, this bread is so yummy and super fun! Our family of three polished off a loaf that came right out of the oven. Good thing I doubled my recipe!
Steady your cardiac arrest and make this. Today.
Fun Food Fact: Pretty much any cheese (cow, goat, sheep) can be considered blue as long as it is ripened with the blue-green mold Penicillium roqueforti.