We welcome back author Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery as our guest blogger this week. Joanne offers up an appreciation of the poultry most people dwelling in the US ate (or avoided at all costs) last week, along with two recipes from this year’s follow-up to the acclaimed Flour cookbook, Flour, too.
Haven’t had enough of turkey!
Have you had enough of turkey? I haven’t. Every Thanksgiving season after the last of the carcass has been picked through and made into stock and I’ve had turkey sandwiches for lunch and potpie for dinner, I say to my husband Christopher, “We should have turkey more often!” Once a year really isn’t enough and I vow to roast another one in the new year. I’m not the only one, at least not if you take a look at the turkey sandwich sales at Flour. On average we sell over 200 turkey sandwiches a day—that’s a lot of turkey lovers!
We opened the bakery over 13 years ago with this sandwich—the chutney has been refined over the years but it’s remained basically the same: our fluffy addictive focaccia bread (this really makes the sandwich—all of these sandwiches actually—so don’t be intimidated by baking bread for this. It’s really quite a straightforward recipe.), sharp cheddar, fresh mesclun greens, a heap of roasted turkey, and a generous slather of this sweet and tart chutney.
Last year, in an effort to jazz up our sandwich menu we decided to tweak some of our offerings. This sandwich landed on the chopping block as we experimented with other possible variations. We debuted our new turkey sandwich, our version of the “Rachel” (which is a version of the Reuben). The same wonderful bread, homemade Thousand Island dressing, crisp crunchy coleslaw, and Swiss cheese. It was going to be a winner! We all loved it in all of the tastings and I couldn’t wait to see what our customers thought.
Well they liked it… but not as much as the original. In fact never have I gotten so many tweets, emails, Facebook posts and stops in the bakery with people imploring me to bring the cheddar and cranberry chutney sandwich back. “The recipe is in the new Flour, too book!” I told everyone, thinking they could easily replicate it at home. That placated some, but not many. “Change is hard, you’ll grow to love this one!” I implored… to deaf ears. Yes change is hard but in this case it was clear that people wanted, NEEDED, the original turkey sandwich. We gave it a good 6 months and finally switched back.
For those of you who come to Flour, learn how to make your favorite turkey sandwich at home. For those of you who have not been to Flour now you can see what the hubbub was about!
Smoked Turkey with Sharp Cheddar and Cranberry Chutney
Makes 4 sandwiches
2 1/4 cups/225 g fresh or frozen whole cranberries
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp packed light or dark brown sugar
1 orange, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
1 tbsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1⁄8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 slices Flour Focaccia (see recipe below), or other good-quality white or wheat bread
4 cups/85 g loosely packed mesclun greens or other mild lettuce
8 oz/225 g sharp Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
1 lb/455 g smoked turkey, thinly sliced
1. To make the chutney: In a small saucepan, cook cranberries over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they begin to get very soft and start to lose their shape. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, orange, ginger, salt, and pepper and stir well. Continue to cook over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Transfer the chutney to a heatproof container and set aside to cool. The chutney can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
2. Lay the bread slices out on a clean, dry counter and spread each slice evenly with the chutney, using about 3 tbsp for each slice. Top four slices of the bread with the greens, dividing them evenly, then top the greens with the cheese slices followed by the turkey slices. Close each sandwich with a second focaccia slice, chutney-side down, then cut in half and serve.
This is the recipe for our legendary sandwich bread. When I opened Flour, I had originally planned on buying bread from a wholesale bread bakery and using a different bread for each sandwich: ciabatta for this, sourdough for that, pain de mie for those, and so on. I planned on making one sandwich bread myself—a house-made focaccia—that we would use for only one of our sandwiches. Our opening chef, Chris, loved this focaccia so much he asked if we could make enough of it each day for all of the sandwiches. That wasn’t in my game plan at all, but one of the first things you learn when opening a business is how to change your plans fast. We made dozens of loaves that first opening day, and we’ve never looked back. I honestly think it’s a key to the popularity of our sandwiches. It’s certainly easier to buy a loaf of bread to make the sandwiches in this book, but I promise you that if you make this bread you’ll be rewarded with the best sandwiches you’ve ever had. We use this versatile dough for our pockets, our egg sandwiches, and our pizzas, as well.
Makes about 2 1/4 lb/1 kg dough, enough for 1 large sandwich loaf (for 4 or 5 sandwiches), 10 pockets, or 2 large pizzas
1 tsp active dry yeast, or 0.2 oz/5 g fresh cake yeast
3 cups/420 g all-purpose flour
1 cup/150 g bread flour
5 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup/120 ml olive oil
Small handful of cornmeal for sprinkling on the baking sheet
Special equipment: stand mixer with dough hook attachment, rimmed baking sheet
1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine 1 1⁄2 cups/360 ml tepid water and the yeast and let sit for 20 to 30 seconds to allow the yeast to dissolve and activate. Dump the all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, and salt into the water. Carefully turn the mixer on to low speed and mix for about 10 seconds. (To prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl, turn the mixer on and off several times until the flour is mixed into the liquid, and then keep it on low speed.) When the dough is still shaggy looking, drizzle in the olive oil, aiming it along the side of the bowl to keep it from splashing and making a mess.
2. With the mixer still on low speed, knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it is smooth and supple. The dough should be somewhat sticky but still smooth and have an elastic, stretchy texture. (If it is much stiffer than this, mix 1 to 2 tbsp water; if it is much looser than this, mix in 2 to 3 tbsp all-purpose flour.)
3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap or a damp lint-free cloth, and place in a draft-free, warm (78° to 82°F/25° to 27°C is ideal) area for 2 to 3 hours. An area near the stove or in the oven with only the oven light on is good. The dough should rise until it is about double in bulk. (This is called proofing the dough.)
4. Once the dough has risen, flour your hands and the work surface and turn the dough out onto the work surface. Press the dough into an 8-in/20-cm square and fold the top edge of the square down to the center of the dough. Fold the bottom of the square up to the center of the dough and press the seam firmly with your fingers. Now fold the right side of the square into the center and the left side into the center, and again press the seam firmly. Turn the dough over, seam-side down, and shape the dough with a tucking motion so that it is about 6 in/15 cm square. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet, generously flour the top of the dough, and then cover the dough loosely but completely with a damp lint-free cloth or a piece of plastic wrap. Place in a warm area (78° to 82°F/25° to 27°C) for another hour or so, or until the dough rises a bit and gets puffy and pillowy. (This is proofing, again.) If making hot pockets, egg sandwiches, or turkey burgers: Split the dough in half and reserve half of the dough for another use. Proceed with the desired recipe as directed. These recipes can be easily doubled, in which case use the entire batch of dough and proceed as directed. If making pizza: Proceed with the pizza recipe as directed.
5. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C, and place a rack in the center of the oven. Sprinkle the baking sheet with the cornmeal and set aside.
6. When the dough is ready, remove the cloth or plastic wrap. Using all ten fingers, press and poke and elongate the dough three or four times along its length so that you press and stretch it into an almost-square log that is about 10 in/25cm long, 8 in/20 cm wide, and about 2 in/5 cm tall. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until completely golden brown on the top and bottom. Lift the loaf and make sure the underside is browned before pulling it out of the oven, or you will end up with a soggy loaf. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes, or until cool enough to handle, then cut into slices 3⁄4 in/2 cm thick for sandwiches. The focaccia loaf will keep in a closed paper bag at room temperature for up to 3 days, or tightly wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. If using day-old bread kept at room temperature, I suggest toasting it in a toaster to refresh it. If using bread that has been previously frozen, thaw it at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours and then refresh it in a 300°F/150°C oven for about 5 minutes.
Purchase Flour, too: Indispensible Recipes for the Café’s Most Loved Sweets & Savories.
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