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Chopped Bread

Copyright 1994 Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)
From Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services
Selected and Prepared by Tribune Media Services

By Jane Snow
Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Chopped bread is whizzing out of supermarkets faster than a hunk of dough and a
handful of vegetables can be whacked to pieces with a butcher knife.

Chopped bread, for you white-bread types, is a crazy quilt of bread dough and various
ingredients chopped together on a cutting board, piled on a baking sheet and fused into a
round, flavorful loaf in the oven.

The bread comes in a dozen or so varieties, from savory to sweet. Popular combinations
are corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese (Reuben); vegetables and Cheddar cheese;
pepperoni and cheese; and salami, cheese and banana peppers (Stromboli).

It's seems almost like magic, watching bakers turn scraps of dough, cheese and
vegetables into a fragrant, solid loaf.

Almost, but not quite.

You can make a loaf yourself in about 5 minutes, not counting rising and baking time.
In fact, chop bread is so easy to make that once you try it, you'll be picnicking on it all
summer -- for a fraction of the $3 or so the loaves cost in stores.

We used frozen bread dough, which can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or on a
counter for about two hours. In the five recipes we developed, we threw in more added
ingredients than stores can afford, and seasoned the breads with herbs for extra flavor.
Tasters wolfed them down.

The lineup: Pepperoni-Cheese, Stromboli, Vegetable-Cheese, Apple-Cinnamon, and
Peaches and Cream.

The dessert breads are made with frozen sweet bread dough, available in many
supermarkets. For the apple-cinnamon bread, sliced firm apples (Golden Delicious are
ideal), sugar and cinnamon are chopped into the dough. For the peaches and cream,
sliced fresh peaches, whole almonds and cream cheese are chopped into the dough.

Those watching their diets should try the vegetable bread. Fat-free shredded Cheddar
cheese didn't hurt the flavor a bit. The low-fat cream cheese in the peaches and cream
bread was a hit, too.

After thawing, the dough is patted into a 10-inch circle and left to rise until doubled in
bulk, before the other ingredients are added. If dough is thawed and risen overnight in
the refrigerator, the room-temperature rising time is omitted.

Then, the other items are piled on top, the dough drawn up around them, and
everything chopped with a knife. The dough should be in about 2-inch pieces, which are
large enough to bind the other items during baking. The whole mixture is scraped onto
a lightly greased baking sheet, formed into a rough circle and baked for about 30
minutes.

That's it.

After you master the process, you can make up your own flavors -- raspberry streusel,
taco, and black olive-pesto are possibilities that come to mind. Just avoid ingredients
that are too juicy or greasy, such as cooked ground beef that hasn't been drained
extremely well.

The savory breads can be served with a salad for dinner, and either sweet or savory
would be a fine contribution to a pot-luck picnic.

Here are the recipes. 




APPLE-CINNAMON CHOP BREAD

1 loaf frozen sweet bread dough
3 large apples (about 1 lb.), preferably Golden Delicious
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Thaw dough at room temperature on a cutting board lightly sprayed with vegetable oil
spray for 2 hours, or until thawed. Pat into a 10-inch circle on cutting board. Cover with
a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or in an air-conditioned house for 2
hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Or dough may be thawed and risen overnight in the refrigerator, in a bowl lightly coated
with vegetable oil spray. Pat dough into a 10-inch circle on a cutting board and continue
with recipe.

Meanwhile, peel and core apples and slice into a bowl. Toss with sugar and cinnamon
and let stand at least 30 minutes. When dough has risen, remove apple mixture from
bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving behind any accumulated juices. Pile on dough.

Draw dough up around apples. With a large, sharp knife, slice bundle about five or six
times across, then five or six times in the other direction. With knife, gently mix by
lifting dough and apples from bottom and piling on top. The dough pieces should be
about 2 inches square.

With a spatula, gently mound mixture on a lightly greased baking sheet, re-shaping into
a circle and making sure most of the filling touches the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until puffy and brown. Remove from oven
and let stand 10 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Serve warm or cold. To
reheat, bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through.





PEACHES AND CREAM CHOP BREAD

1 loaf frozen sweet bread dough
4 large peaches (about 1&1/4 lbs.)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
8 oz. light cream cheese, chilled
1/4 cup whole almonds or pecan pieces

Thaw dough at room temperature on a cutting board lightly sprayed with vegetable oil
spray for 2 hours, or until thawed. Pat into a 10-inch circle on cutting board. Cover with
a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or in an air-conditioned house for 2
hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Or dough may be thawed and risen overnight in the refrigerator, in a bowl lightly coated
with vegetable oil spray. Pat dough into a 10-inch circle on a cutting board and continue
with recipe.

Meanwhile, plunge peaches into boiling water for 10 minutes to loosen skin, then cool
slightly and peel. Slice into a bowl and toss with sugar. When dough has risen, cut
cream cheese into 1/2-inch cubes and toss with peach mixture and nuts. Remove
mixture from bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving behind any accumulated juices. Pile on
dough.

Draw dough up around filling. With a large, sharp knife, slice bundle about five or six
times across, then five or six times in the other direction. With knife, gently mix by
lifting dough and filling from bottom and piling on top. The dough pieces should be
about 2 inches square.

With a spatula, gently mound mixture on a lightly greased baking sheet, re-shaping into
a circle and making sure most of the filling touches the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until puffy and brown. Remove from oven
and let stand 10 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Serve warm or cold. To
reheat, bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through.





STROMBOLI CHOP BREAD

1 loaf frozen white bread dough
1/4 lb. sliced salami
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup drained, mild banana pepper rings
1 tsp. oregano
3 cloves minced garlic

Thaw dough at room temperature on a cutting board lightly sprayed with vegetable oil
spray for 2 hours, or until thawed. Pat into a 10-inch circle on cutting board. Cover with
a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or in an air-conditioned house for 2
hours, or until doubled in bulk. 

Or dough may be thawed and risen overnight in the refrigerator, in a bowl lightly coated
with vegetable oil spray. Pat dough into a 10-inch circle on a cutting board and continue
with recipe.

Cut stack of salami slices into fourths. Place in a bowl with remaining ingredients and
toss well, making sure salami pieces are separated. Pile on dough.

Draw dough up around mixture. With a large, sharp knife, slice bundle about five or six
times across, then five or six times in the other direction. With knife, gently mix by
lifting dough and salami mixture from bottom and piling on top. The dough pieces
should be about 2 inches square.

With a spatula, gently mound mixture on a lightly greased baking sheet, re-shaping into
a circle and making sure most of the filling touches the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until puffy and brown. Remove from oven
and let stand 10 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Serve warm or cold. To
reheat, bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through.





VEGETABLE CHOP BREAD

1 loaf frozen white bread dough
1 cup coarse-chopped broccoli florets
1 cup coarse-chopped cauliflower florets
1/2 cup coarse-chopped carrots
1/2 cup coarse-chopped Vidalia onion
1 cup shredded fat-free Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. dried basil

Thaw dough at room temperature on a cutting board lightly sprayed with vegetable oil
spray for 2 hours, or until thawed. Pat into a 10-inch circle on cutting board. Cover with
a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or in an air-conditioned house for 2
hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Or dough may be thawed and risen overnight in the refrigerator, in a bowl lightly coated
with vegetable oil spray. Pat dough into a 10-inch circle on a cutting board and continue
with recipe.

Vegetables may be chopped in a food processor, using the pulse button. After chopping,
place in a bowl. Add cheese and basil and toss well. Pile on dough.

Draw dough up around mixture. With a large, sharp knife, slice bundle about five or six
times across, then five or six times in the other direction. With knife, gently mix by
lifting dough and vegetables from bottom and piling on top. The dough pieces should be
about 2 inches square.

With a spatula, gently mound mixture on a lightly greased baking sheet, re-shaping into
a circle and making sure most of the filling touches the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until puffy and brown. Remove from oven
and let stand 10 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Serve warm or cold. To
reheat, bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through.





PEPPERONI-CHEESE CHOP BREAD

1 loaf frozen white bread dough
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 tsp. oregano
3 oz. thin-sliced pepperoni
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Thaw dough at room temperature on a cutting board lightly sprayed with vegetable oil
spray for 2 hours, or until thawed. Pat into a 10-inch circle on cutting board. Cover with
a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or in an air-conditioned house for 2
hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Or dough may be thawed and risen overnight in the refrigerator, in a bowl lightly coated
with vegetable oil spray. Pat dough into a 10-inch circle on a cutting board and continue
with recipe.

Spread pizza sauce over dough. Sprinkle with oregano. Top with pepperoni, then
mozzarella cheese.

Draw dough up around filling. With a large, sharp knife, slice bundle about five or six
times across, then five or six times in the other direction. With knife, gently mix by
lifting dough and pizza mixture from bottom and piling on top. The dough pieces
should be about 2 inches square.

With a spatula, gently mound mixture on a lightly greased baking sheet, re-shaping into
a circle and making sure most of the filling touches the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until puffy and brown. Remove from oven
and let stand 10 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Serve warm or cold. To
reheat, bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through.





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