Have you been to a Panera? Did you love it? Did you vow to go back every chance you could? No? Hmm. Then you must not have had a Sierra Turkey Sandwich, because, surely, all those who have had the Sierra Turkey Sandwich have experienced Panera Love, or at least Sierra Turkey Love.
I first discovered Panera when I was in college. I can't remember the first time I went though. My most vivid memories of it are going after I met Adam. (Adam is my fiancé, the only person I cook for, whom I've previously referred to by dumb names like Mr. Man because he didn't want me to use his real name. But I am now using his real name, so now you know it, and the next time you meet an Adam, just know that it's probably the very same one I'm referring to here, because Adam is such a rare name.) So anyway, Adam likes to assert his individuality by pretending to disdain popular businesses (you'll never get him to admit that he likes Starbucks coffee, but he does), so whenever I wanted to go to Panera, I would have to drag him. However, it only took a single visit there with me and only one bite of my sandwich before he, too, was overpowered by Sierra Turkey Love. Now whenever we go, he will refuse to order his own Sierra
You see, the Sierra Turkey is a simple yet wonderful blend of focaccia, turkey, field greens, and chipotle mayonnaise. I don't know what it is about these ingredients, but when they come together, it's delicious. There's a Panera within walking distance of where I live, but, to indulge my preferred hermit-like state, I had to learn how to make these at home. And the good news is that it's super easy, especially if you have a bread machine.
originally from Bread Machine Focaccia
1 cup lukewarm water
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus coarse salt for garnish
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra leaves for garnish
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Add water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, flour, and yeast to pan of bread machine. Select dough cycle.
When dough is finished, use floured hands to shape dough into a circle on a 12-inch pizza pan. Use your fingertips to dimple the surface of the dough. Brush with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and scatter evenly with rosemary leaves and a pinch or two of coarse salt. Cover with plastic wrap and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Allow to cool on wire rack before cutting and serving.
*Adam was thoughtful enough to point out that this recipe isn’t just like Panera’s, because Panera uses Asiago focaccia for the Sierra Turkey. I tried modifying this same recipe by adding a quarter cup of grated Asiago to the dough and a few extra shavings to the top. I wasn’t happy with the result though. I couldn’t really taste the Asiago, and I thought that the small amount I’d added had dried out the bread. So no Asiago focaccia this time, and I continue my search for a recipe. If you know a good one, do share!
The Chipotle Mayo
originally from Chipotle Mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or, for a smoother result, blend in food processor.
For two sandwiches, cut the focaccia in quarters and set aside two quarters for later. Cut the remaining two quarters in half through the middle so that you have four pieces, and spread the inside of each piece with a couple tablespoons of chipotle mayo. Layer the bottom pieces with greens (baby lettuces are good here, but I use arugula) and top that with about 1/4 lb. of turkey per sandwich. This part is really important, because the turkey can make or break the sandwich. Use the best, juiciest turkey you can get--I use