Well, you guys and gals — in less than two weeks my little family and I are moving into our home on wheels. Cue ALL. THE. FEELS.
To be honest, most of the feelings right now resemble a little bit of panic, anxiety, stress and grumpiness all mixed together because there are literally eleventy billion things left to do. Downsizing everything, moving out of a house, moving into an RV, getting an RV ready for full-time living and doing it all while raising two kids and working? Yeah, it’s a lot. But I am confident that once we hit the road come next weekend, we will be as ready as we’ll ever be for this adventure of a lifetime.
If you’re interested in following along, we have an Instagram page! It’s called @outofboundaries and we’ll be posting stuff about RV life, sure, but mostly about alternative living and what this experience is teaching us about our family, our values, our faith, etc.
But I digress! Because while today is about packing and purging and cleaning and all those SUPER FUN things, it’s more importantly about this turkey bacon bravo sandwich recipe that I’ve been wanting to share with you for a while (sorry, I’ve been a little busy!). If you’re anything like me, you have a serious, deep love for Panera’s Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich. If you and I are on the same wavelength here, then rejoice! Because I just made a homemade version (with from-scratch bread and everything!) that will blow your mind and tastebuds.
Initially, I’d planned to break these recipes into two posts — one for the tomato basil bread and one for the sandwich. But then I thought that would be selfish of me, to tease you with only half the recipe for the greatest sandwich of all time. So here ya go, friends — two recipes in one post! Hooray!
The first recipe is for the bread, which you must make in order for this turkey bacon bravo sandwich to taste anything like the restaurant version (only better, IMHO). The tomato basil bread is richly flavored with tomato, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese and a brown sugar-tomato glaze for the crust that is very necessary for maximum replication. It’s my favorite part of Panera’s bread and this homemade variation nails it. We snacked on slices of this bread alone before I made the sandwiches and it was so, so good.
The second recipe is for the sandwiches, which is really just the classic turkey bacon bravo ingredients (turkey, bacon, smoked Gouda, sliced tomato and lettuce) plus an extremely tasty sandwich dressing into which you’ll want to dip your face. I wouldn’t judge.
Make the bread, spread on the sauce, pile on high the toppings, take a bite, go to Sandwich Heaven. It’s not science — it’s just the formula to living life right.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to dive headfirst into a mountain of boxes and hopefully come out having packed everything and will reward myself with a turkey bacon bravo sandwich. Or two. I’ll catch up with you next time on the road (eek!).
- 2¼ teaspoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water (about 110-115 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 2½ to 2¾ cups bread flour
- ¼ cup minced fresh basil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 can (10 oz) condensed tomato soup
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
- 1 vine-ripened tomato, thinly sliced
- 4 to 8 romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half
- 8 slices cooked bacon
- 8 slices deli turkey
- 4 slices smoked Gouda cheese
- In a small bowl, whisk yeast, water and 1 teaspoon sugar until yeast is dissolved. Let stand 5 minutes until yeast is foamy.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 cups flour. Make a well in center; add yeast mixture, remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, basil, Parmesan cheese, tomato soup, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, olive oil and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon or dough hook until just combined. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough forms.
- On a well-floured surface or in bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook on medium speed, knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 minutes in stand mixer), adding more flour as needed so dough is no longer sticky. Shape dough into a ball; place in a large, lightly greased bowl. Turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 1 hour until doubled.
- Punch dough risen dough; knead briefly, then shape into a ball and flatten slightly into a round shape. Place on a lightly greased rimmed cookie sheet. Cover with a thin towel and let rise 45 minutes to 1 hour until doubled.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp serrated knife, slice an X into top of loaf. Brush with cold water. Bake 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir remaining 2 tablespoons tomato paste, brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of water until mixture is thick but brushable. Brush coating all over top of loaf. Return to oven to 5 to 10 minutes until baked through and coating is mostly dried. Cool loaf on a cooling rack 20 to 30 minutes before slicing.
- While loaf cools, make the sandwich dressing: In a small bowl, stir all ingredients until combined. Prepare sandwich toppings.
- Slice loaf into ½-inch thick slices. Assemble sandwiches with sandwich dressing, then tomato, lettuce, bacon, turkey and Gouda cheese.