Thanksgiving is a day filled with family, friends, and great food.  From turkey and stuffing, to sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce, the holiday table is loaded with flavorful dishes.  And, there’s always containers and containers of leftovers after the big day.  A tasty way to combine all those flavors into a single dish is by making a bread dough and braiding it around all the leftovers layered inside. This recipe is easy to create but make an impressive presentation.  You can also use this recipe in the future with any leftovers for a savory dish or with sautéed fruit for a sweet desert.


1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
1/3 cu Warm Water, about 110 degrees
1 cu Whole Milk, warm
1 tbl Granulated Sugar
4 cu All Purpose Flour
1 lg Egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Olive Oil, plus additional oil to coat dough while proofing
1 lg Egg, beaten
1-2 tsp Poppyseeds, or toasted sesame seeds


Any combination of leftovers.  My favorite combination is turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole.  You can also add slices of provolone if you’d like a little melted cheese in your braided bread.


Mix yeast with the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the flour. Add 1/3 cup warm water (about 110˚F). Stir to combine. Add olive oil and let rest for 10 minutes. Separately, mix remaining flour and salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, egg and milk and combine into a dough. If dough is dry and not coming together, add water, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until it’s fully combined.  Knead dough for 10 minutes on a lightly floured board.

Pour an additional 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large bowl for proofing. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat all surfaces. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise for 1 hour until doubled in bulk. Punch down, divide in half and then use one half in this recipe.  (You can make a second stuffed braided loaf with the remaining dough, or shape it into a simple loaf.  If you’d like to make a simple loaf, place it in a bread pan, brush it with 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds on top.  Let it rest for 30 minutes, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when you thump it).

For Braided Dough, Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to roughly a 12” square.  Cut 1” strips 3 1/2” long down opposing sides of the dough.  Lay three slices of provolone down the center of the dough (optional).  Next, pile whatever leftovers you like down the center. Starting at one end, pull the strips up and over the filling, alternating form one side to the other so that strips looked weaved.  Tuck the ends of the final strips under the loaf.  Transfer the loaf to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking pad.  Brush the entire surface of the loaf with the beaten egg and sprinkle poppy seeds on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface is golden brown.  Remove from oven and let loaf rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving.