For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Jessica of The Inquiring Chef. Do you know that she lives in Thailand? So lucky! I absolutely love Thai food and I can only imagine the wonderful access she must have to both the food and the exotic ingredients to make it.
Her blog is filled with yummy recipes that she came up with herself and it was with great joy that I chose to make her Barbecue Chicken Sandwich Rolls. In case you didn't know, she grew up in Kansas with some great barbecue so these rolls are part of her personality and I wanted to showcase that. Besides, I love barbecue myself as well as baking bread, so this recipe was perfect for me.
I had some chicken tenders in my freezer, so I poached those and used them instead of roasted chicken. I also made my own barbecue sauce instead of using storebought. In addition, I changed the method of making the rolls a little, but otherwise, kept the recipe the same.
Eating these rolls reminded me of my favorite baked char siu bao (now I totally want to fill them with char siu aka Chinese barbecued pork). The rolls were super fluffy and soft, slightly sweet, and paired deliciously with the barbecue chicken filling on the inside. My only regret is that I didn't use more filling in the rolls. But, even then, my family declared this recipe to be fantastic and they thoroughly enjoyed eating them. I would love to try these rolls with other fillings in them, the char siu for instance or curried chicken or even sloppy joe filling. The possibilities are endless.
And, speaking of possibilities, since I'm very much a sweets person, I went ahead and filled some of the buns with leftover chocolate ganache that I had in my fridge. Voila! Chocolate filled sweet buns. Spread them with some raspberry jam and ohhh so good. So, if you do what I did, you'll have dinner and dessert with one recipe. Can't beat that.
Thanks Jessica for your delicious recipe.
Barbecue Chicken Sandwich Rolls (adapted from The Inquiring Chef)
3 Tbsp. warm milk (I used yogurt)
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar (I increased this to 4 Tbsp.)
3 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour (plus about ½ cup extra for shaping the rolls) (I used 1 c. bread flour + 2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour)
1 tsp. salt
2 ½ Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs (separated – 1 for dough and 1 for egg wash)
2 cups shredded and roughly chopped, roasted chicken (I used poached chicken breasts)
½ cup barbecue sauce (can use storebought or your own homemade sauce)
Combine the warm water with the yeast and a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 min. till foamy. Combine the yeast mixture with the melted butter, sugar, milk or yogurt, and the egg and mix well. Add 1 cup of bread flour and the salt and mix well. Add the rest of the flour and mix well till combined. Knead the dough as best as you can until it forms a smooth ball. Put the dough into a well-greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
Combine the chicken with the barbecue sauce and mix well.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using lightly floured hands, remove 1/4 of the risen dough and gently roll it into a cylinder, approximately 8 inches long. (The dough will be quite sticky, but add only as much flour as you need to prevent it from sticking to your hands.) Using a knife or dough scraper, cut the cylinder of dough into 8 even pieces. Flatten each piece into a circle. Drop one teaspoon of the chicken mixture into the center of each dough circle. Pull the sides of the dough around the filling and twist them together firmly to seal the chicken inside. Place each filled roll, seam-side down on parchement paper.
Let sit until doubled in size, about 30 min. Preheat oven to 350F.
Brush the top of each roll liberally with a beaten egg.
Bake until the surface of the rolls are golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: Alternately, you could fill each piece of dough with a teaspoon of chilled chocolate ganache.