Finally, I finished up in the kitchen for today. It seems I spent most of the day in there. Baking bread, doing the dishes, preparing July's Daring Baker's Challenge, making dinner... But now I can relax and jot down today's recipes. The bread I used for the sandwich is a focaccia-style (not-so-flat) bread but prepared with a simple Artisan bread dough. The recipe is from my recently acquired UK version "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day". I bought that rather than the US version because the recipes are given with metric & weight measures (yay!) I have been using the master recipe from that book for some weeks now, and I just love it. I also tried the master recipe from the second book "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day". Great taste!
For tonight's dinner, I decided to use the whole bread to make a big sandwich and then cut into pieces like a cake. HubbyGrouch liked dinner so much, he ate half (!) of the whole thing. I ate a little bit less and thus have some leftovers for tomorrow's lunch (yum, yum).
A little tip for preparing the chicken and eggplant: I grilled them in my sandwich grill. It's much quicker than using a skillet because you cook both sides at the same time.
250 ml lukewarm water
1/2 tbsp granulated yeast
1/2 tbsp coarse grain salt
300 g unbleached white all-purpose flour
dried crushed rosemary
4-6 tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
1-2 tsp dried oregano
1 eggplant, sliced 1/3 inch thick
5 chicken tenders, pounded to 1/8 inch thick
2 tbsp pesto
4-5 tbsp mayonnaise
1 7.5-oz jar roasted red bell pepper
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 big tomato, sliced
For the bread, add salt and yeast to water in a large enough bowl or container. Mix in the flour using a wooden spoon, stand mixer with a dough hook, a dough whisk (I usually use a fork). Cover bowl or container with a lid/plastic wrap (not airtight) and let dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate dough for at least 3 hours before use. Place an empty broiler tray on any rack where it doesn't interfere with the bread. Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil (or line with parchment paper or a silicone mat). Dust the surface of the chilled dough with flour, remove from container and dust with more flour. Quickly stretch the surface of the dough around the bottom on all four sides, shaping it into a ball. Flatten ball into 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick round with your hands or a rolling pin without using a lot of flour. (My bread was a bit too thick and a little difficult to eat.) Place round on the prepared baking sheet.Sprinkle round with rosemary and coarse salt, drizzle with olive oil. Let rise, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Place the tray on a rack in the middle of the oven. Pour 250 ml hot tap water onto the broiler tray. Bake the bread for about 25 minutes until the crust is medium brown. Remove from oven and set on a cooling rack.
For the sandwich, whisk together olive oil, garlic, and oregano. Whisk together pesto and mayonnaise. Brush eggplant slices and chicken on both sides with the garlic-oil. Preheat sandwich grill and grill chicken and eggplant in batches until chicken is just done (about 1 minute) and eggplant is soft (about 2-3 minutes). Cut bread in half horizontally. Spread pesto-mayonnaise onto both halves. To assemble the sandwich, place the bell pepper on the bottom half of the bread. Then top with eggplant slices, chicken, tomato, and mozzarella. Put top half of bread on top of mozzarella. To serve, cut sandwich in about 6 pieces. Enjoy!