The aroma of a good bread baking leaves you with the world’s sweetest smells as James Bears once wrote, “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts”. Now, Imagine, if you introduce bread to the world of Pie whereby you are baking a Pie with a bread crust. It may sound a bit eccentric, but believe you me, it works. I love my pies and I love making my breads, if you follow my blog, you’ll probably know of my Braided Chicken Bread. When that bakes in my oven, my whole house smells of freshly baking bread, warm, welcoming and yeasty. This bread pie recipe holds the same bread recipe as the Braided Chicken Bread and it is absolutely appetizing. The texture of the bread is amazing and as Paulette says it best in Ratatoullie, “how can you tell how good bread is without tasting it? Not the smell, not the look, but the sound of the crust. Listen! (bread crackles) Oh! symphony of crackle. Only great bread sound this way”. This bread pie is crusty which then yields to softness with a scrumptious filling in the middle. It is impeccably desirable.
I have so many memories wrapped around bread. All I have to do is start kneading and I am immediately an 11 year old, in the kitchen, with my father, making dinner rolls. The most precious of my childhood memories is watching my father bring home books of baking, be it cakes or muffins, or pies or breads. He not only buy me the books, he bought me ingredients and supplies and constantly gave me encouragement by baking by my side. I still remember my very first dinner rolls I made, I burnt a few and he smiled and said, “that’s a variety of a bun, half baked, half Bar-B-Q’ed”. I guess I picked up from there and just never stopped. My love of baking is so much more than only baking, it’s my father’s love, his words of encouragement, his enthusiastic expressions at my over-baked dinner rolls. These were moments that gave me the understanding of Dreams and Pursuit of them even if I falter. His words of love and enthusiasm reverberate in my ears to this day whenever I stand to bake, as it is truly said, “bread-like real love- took time, cultivation, strong loving hands and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruitation only under the most perfect circumstances” (Melissa Hill)
Coming to the recipe, the crust is all bread. The filling is a shredded chicken and mushroom middle topped with a thick white sauce and cheddar cheese. As you fork into it, the bread crust oozes out the luscious filling. The proud crusty and crackling exterior subsides into a soft, luscious and extremely flavoursome filling. The filling has the least amount of spices but it is extremely sapid and ofcourse, you can use your imagination to be as innovative and creative with the bread crust, giving it patterns and designs as you please or if you just don’t want to bother, cover the pie with the dough and just poke holes in it to let the steam escape.
This dish is definitely a pleaser at your dinner tables, casual or formal.
Bread Dough ~
2 cups – Flour
1 tsp – Salt
1 – Egg
2 tsp – Sugar
2 tsp – Yeast
4 tbsp – Oil
500g – Boiled and Shredded Chicken
1 – Green Bell Pepper
1 – carrot Shredded
1 cup – Mushrooms
1 – Spring Onion Stock
1 tsp – Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp – Salt
1/2 tsp – White Pepper
1/2 tsp – Sugar
1 – Onion chopped
3 tbsp – Flour
3 tbsp – Butter
1 cup – Milk
1/2 – Chicken Stock cube
1/2 tsp – Red Chilli Flakes
1 tsp – Soya Sauce
1/4 tsp – Salt
1 tsp – Oregano
1 – Green Chilli chopped
2 Cloves – Garlic
2 tbsp – Ketchup
1 cup – Cheddar cheese
1 – Egg for egg wash
1. Prepare the Dough ~
- In a bowl combine all the ingredients listed under the Bread Dough and knead. When the dough springs back if pressed down with a finger, your dough is well kneaded.
- Leave to rise until double in size.
2. Prepare the Filling ~
- In a fry pan, heat 1 tbsp of butter with 1 tsp of oil and add the cumin seeds. sizzle for a minute.
- Add the chopped Green Bell Pepper, shredded carrot, Shredded chicken and Mushrooms.
- Add salt, pepper and sugar and cook the vegetables until they become soft.
- Add the green onions and cook for a further of 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and leave to cool completely.
3. Prepare the White Sauce ~
- In a sauce pan, heat 3 tbsp of butter with 1 tsp of oil.
- Add the chopped onions and green chillies and saute the onions until soft and translucent.
- Add 3 tbsp of flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add milk to the saucepan and whisk to prevent making lumps in the sauce.
- Add Chicken Stock cube, salt, Red Chilli flakes, soya sauce, oregano, ketchup and minced garlic.
- Cook until the sauce cooks to a thick consistency.
- Add half of the cheddar cheese to the sauce.
4. Assembling the Bread ~
- Pre-heat the oven at 180*C
- Punch the air out of the bread and roll it out on a floured surface.
- Divide the dough into two parts.
- Roll one part of the bread according to the 9inch pie dish or a Pyrex dish (if you don’t have a Pie pan)
- Grease your dish or pan and roll the dough into it and stretch into place.
- Take a fork and prick the whole bottom layer of dough and place the cooled vegetables on top.
- Spread the White Sauce on top and level it out.
- Spread the remaining half of the cheddar cheese on top.
- Roll out the second part of the dough and cover the top of the pie.
- Pinch the sides all around to make it stick to the bottom dough layer.
- Take a knife and make cuts in the dough to let the steam escape.
- Egg wash the Bread Pie and bake it for 18-20 minutes.
Happy Foodieating ~