Braided Sandwich Loaf

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Oh, your family is going to love you when you pull this puppy out of the oven. It’s great for kids and adults a like, and really is fairly easy to put together. You can do it! Do not be afraid of a tiny little speck called “YEAST”. The speck can be your friend. You can be master over the speck with just a little instruction and practice. The dough I use for this sandwich loaf is my French Bread recipe. So, if you have tried that one out already you are half way there my friend. If you haven’t tried it, gird up your loins and get crackin folks!  
Braided Sandwich Loaf
Time: about 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 2 large sandwich loaves
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!
1 T shortening
2 T sugar
1 T salt
1 C boiling water
1 C cold water
1/3 C lukewarm water
1 T yeast
5-6 C flour
1 egg
16 slices deli ham or turkey
8 slices Swiss or provolone cheese
      ***any of the following***
Poppy Seeds
Sesame Seeds
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Dried Onions
1. To make the dough dissolve 1 T yeast in 1/3 C lukewarm water.
2. In the bottom of your mixer smash the sugar, salt and shortening together with a fork until well combined.
3. Pour the boiling water over the sugar mixture.
4. Pour the cold water over the sugar mixture.
5. Pour the yeast/water mixture over the sugar mixture.
6. Add the flour 1 C at a time while mixing. You know you have enough flour when the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
7. Once you have enough flour mix on high for 7-8 minutes.
8. Let the dough rest for about 2 minutes in the bowl.
9. Divide the dough into two equal parts and let them rest on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray for about 5 minutes.
10. Spray some cooking spray onto your counter. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut 11-12 one inch wide strips along both long sides of the rectangle. Be sure to leave about 5 inches down the center uncut. You want to leave room for your deli treasures. Place about 8 slices of meat and 4 slices of cheese down the center of the dough. 
11. Over lap the dough strips in the center over the top of your fillings.
12. Beat the egg with a fork until frothy. Brush the egg all over the loaf. Sprinkle desired seasonings on top.
13. Place the sandwich loaf on a large cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
14. Repeat these steps with the other piece of dough.
15. Let the dough rise in a warm oven (I turn mine to 170 degrees) for about 20 minutes.
16. Turn your oven up to 400 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes. (Leave the dough inside while the temperature rises)
17. When the loaves are golden brown on top turn the oven down to 350, switch the pan on the bottom rack to the top and vice versa. 
Bake for another 5 minutes.
18. Let the loaves rest for about 5 minutes, then cut and enjoy!

  1. Jane says:

    That looks awesome! I LOVE fresh bread!

  2. Wow! That is one amazing looking meal. What a great idea adding sandwich filling and serving it warm. Great idea and fun blog…

  3. Gayle says:

    Simply beautiful! Do you use the paddle or dough hook attachment when you make your bread (or breadsticks, etc.) in your Kitchenaid? Thanks for the hard work on this blog. It is awesome!

  4. Gayle,
    Thanks for your kind comment!
    I always use the dough hook when making bread in my Kitchen Aid.
    Have a great day and good luck with your bread! I hope it turns out great.

  5. Angel says:

    I'm new to this site, and wanted to drop in to say hi and let you know how much I enjoy your blog. Looking forward to visiting often and trying some of your recipes.

  6. Maggi says:

    Love love love this recipe! I hope to try it out soon!

    Visiting from SITS, have a great day! 😀

  7. Tori says:

    I made this last night for dinner. It was so easy. I used turkey (bought it accidentally) and in one loaf I put mozzarella instead of swiss cheese. I also put rosemary and grated parmesean cheese on the top of the loaf with turkey and swiss cheese. They were both yummy. Thank you for the recipe.

  8. Memória says:

    What a lovely bread!! It's like making a danish braid. YUM! I'll have to make this pronto.

  9. Diana says:

    Can you substitute whole wheat flour in your bread recipe?

  10. Diana,
    Thanks for your question.
    This recipe DOES NOT work well with whole wheat flour. I have tried using 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white as well. The result is not good. This dough recipe doesn't have much sugar or oil in it as most whole wheat bread recipes do…I think that must be why it doesn't turn out very well. Plus wheat flour is a lot heavier than white, which makes it pretty dense and not good. I do have a wonderful whole wheat bread recipe posted in my archives. I have never tried making it into a sandwich loaf, however I do wonder how it would work.
    If you try it, let me know how it goes.
    Have a great night!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Yummy! Made this today and took one to the beach with the children & I and left the other one at home for hubby for lunch. He called me raving about how wonderful it was and asked me to make it again. The kids ate the whole other loaf and asked for more. I used ham with shredded cheddar cheese and sprinkled the top with dried minced onion, garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Yummy! One question. I kneaded
    the bread by hand and ended up using 7 cups of flour. I also live in the southeast. Did i need the extra flour because I kneaded by hand or because I live in a more humid climate? Just curious :) Elizabeth

  12. Emily says:

    Thank you for all the enlightening photos! I wanted to see how to braid the dough and your pictures were perfect.

  13. My god that looks awesome- I'm making it tomorrow!

  14. Corazon says:

    Today is my second time making this recipe. Last time I followed your recipe completely, but this time I deviated a tad with the stuffing. One of them had turkey and provalone, but the other had cinnimon and apples. I haven't tried it yet, but I am very excited, and it is very pretty looking!

  15. Corazon,
    Apples and Cinnamon! Yum….let me know how it turns out!

  16. Jessica :) says:

    My sister-in-law just told me about your site and I am sooo excited to try some of these recipes! Your pictures make all your food look fantastic. I want to just start baking and cooking!! I'm especially excited to try this out since I love sandwiches but haven't been able to eat sandwich meat since getting pregnant {I have to heat it to steaming – who takes the time to do that??} and the bread looks amazing.
    I do have one question: have you ever made this and frozen it? My husband and I are moving soon and I've been trying to find recipes I can make up and freeze so we can have a few quick, easy dinners. This appears that it might work, but I just wondered if you had tried it.
    Thanks so much!

  17. Jessica,
    The sandwich loaves do indeed freeze well. Good luck!

  18. Shanan says:

    Oh this is so fun! I grew up on something very similar, but we called it “pizza loaf” (nothing like pizza though… so don't ask why). I just posted it on my blog a couple months ago. From the outside, it looks very similar. But I think I'm going to stuff it w/your filling next time. Super fun take on it!!
    Fun site – I'll have to add you to my regular surfing. 😉

  19. Barbi says:

    Jamie, do you cook the loaves then freeze or freeze before cooking?


  20. Barbi says:

    Made this last night. Had the dough rest in the bowl for 20 minutes not 2 minutes (oops! Thought for sure that was a typo) and everyone loved it. Sent the recipe home with my sister in law. We will make this again. Thanks!

  21. Momto3boys says:

    I made this last night with a few changes to fit my family….I have never made my own bread, so I was scared, but the bread was so easy to make it turned out perfect. I did the ham and cheese, but also added turkey & bacon. Then I put pepperoni, sausage, & cheese in the other one. I served ranch dip & marinara sauce on the side. My family was amazed. I posed pictures on faceook of mine with a link to your recipe. Everyone wanted to come to my house for dinner. Yor recipes are amazing. Tonight I am trying the fluffy dinner rolls.

  22. Momto3boys,
    Hooray! I'm so glad it went well for you. Thanks for letting me know.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I made this tonight and it was awesome!!! thanks for the recipe!

  24. I made this today for my family to eat on Christmas Eve while opening presents (I'm freezing it & will reheat it.) I was nervous about how it would turn out as I've never cooked with yeast before but your directions were super easy to follow & it came out beautiful & delicious (I had to cut one in half to fit it in my freezer so we sampled a little.) I kneaded by hand for 18 minutes as I unfortunately don't have a Kitchenaid, but that worked out too! I used natural herbed turkey meat & rice cheese – we're a dairy-free house. Thanks for the great recipe!

  25. Avril says:

    What a great looking bread! – along with the fact that it is filled with yumminess of cheese and ham….d'lish! I can't wait to make this Jaime! Excited and grateful! – as I am for ALL your recipes. :-)

  26. Joddi says:

    Where is the print link on this one? Help! Looks so yummy, can't wait to make it!

  27. Joddi,
    I added the link for you. Some of these older recipes don't have the print button yet. Thanks for giving me a heads up. Hope it turns out well!

  28. Nice thanks for share, this fill bread is a nice idea, specially for morning at job when you have to wake up very early.

  29. Nina T. says:

    I am sooooooo drooling!!! I am having a few people over tomorrow and I am going to make this….looks soooooo good! Thanks for posting this!

  30. Nina T. says:

    Had to come back to tell you that I made this yesterday for my daughters tea party…but it was for the adults lol….soooooo yummy!!! I used turkey & colby jack cheese and on the outside of one I used sesame seeds & dried minced onion….so fabulous!!! My sister told me that I need to make them for Mothers Day! Thanks again!!!!

  31. Nina,
    Thanks so much for letting me know! I'm so glad your family loved it. Have a great night.

  32. sshallenbu says:

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! I have tried a bunch out on my family and haven't had a bad one yet! This one is on next week's menu for sure.

  33. Teri says:


    I'm going to try freezing the other loaf before baking (since it's just me and the hubby at home!) and was wondering if there was a quicker way to thaw and rise the loaf other than to let it sit on the counter for a few hours? Thanks for posting this!


    1. Jitendra says:

      i still go every weekend and i am 28 but i am sngile still im kinda hoping i might meet somone even though i know i won’t .you just stop going when your sick of it Was this answer helpful?

  34. Hi Teri,
    If you put it on the oven at 170 degrees it will thaw quite a bit faster. Good luck! Hope you enjoyed it!

  35. rebecca says:

    Did you use all-purpose flour or bread flour?

    1. Jamie says:

      All-purpose flour will work out great.

      1. Niko says:

        i think around 25 you stop going to bars, and night clubs becuase you are maturing alot more and for free time it is like hang out with your friends Was this answer helpful?

  36. Leah Picanco says:

    Hello there! I was just wondering if it is best to freeze the loaves before or after baking. I am making these for someone who will need to think as little as possible about dinner, so I figured already baked would be best, but I didn’t want the bread to be soggy–any advice? Thanks in advance!

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Leah,
      Bake the loaves first, then let them cool completely before they are frozen. When you (or the person you are making them for!) is ready to use them, let the loaves thaw on the counter and then pop them in the oven at 350 for about 10 minute to reheat. Good luck!

  37. Alyssa says:

    Hi Jamie!
    Would sliced tomatoes inside be tasty do you think? Or would they be yucky baked?

  38. Pam says:

    Hi Jamie ,
    I have made this braid a few times and everyone loves it ! One question – i am making 6 of these tomorrow for a party and don’t want to scramble last minute but would like to serve it hot . Could I assemble the braid and put it in the fridge for a few hours unbaked, then allow to come to room temperature and bake or would you recommend I bake it earlier in the dat and reheat?
    Thank you for all the fabulous recipes , I love your blog.

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Pam,
      This is a great question. I would recommend baking them earlier in the day, allowing them to cool and then storing in the fridge. Then about 15 minutes before you are ready to serve I would pop them back into a 350 degree oven so they heat through and the cheese melts nicely (should only take about 10 minutes). I have had a little trouble storing this dough in the fridge, uncooked. It really rises quickly and could get to big too fast. Best of luck to you! Sounds like a yummy recipe to serve to guests.

      1. Your’s is the intelligent approach to this issue.

  39. Adrienne says:

    Do you use regular yeast or rapid-rise?

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