Saturday 16 January 2016

Chicken and Onion Luncheon Bread

This one came out a bit rustic, however does exactly what I  wanted! I'm heading off for a bike race in London today...we ride there and back, meaning that I'll be in the saddle for 5-6 hours today, and the temperature is supposed to top out at 3'C...definitely a day for wholesome food.

I made up a basic bread dough (though I think it's a bit too wet for shaping, hence the slightly shapeless results), and then after the first prove mixed in some cooked chicken and onion, mixed with some thyme, and a chunk of stilton. I formed this into 7 balls, and then arranged them on a baking tray in a flower formation...this would allow me to tear off a section once it was fully baked.

As I said, the dough is pretty soft, and while the bread itself is lovely, it doesn't hold it's shape fantastically well. I may reduce the water next time, and see if I can get a more defined structure to the loaf.

Chicken and Onion Luncheon Bread

Dough Recipe

  • 600g plain, strong flour
  • 15g salt
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 400ml warm water
  • 40ml olive oil
  • Milk (to wash)
  • poppy seeds (to decorate)

1) Place everything in a large stand mixer bowl, and using a dough hook mix, and then knead the dough for ~10 minutes, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

2) I like to manually knead the dough for a couple of minutes, just to make sure that I'm happy with the consistency.

3) Oil a large bowl (with some olive oil), and place the dough in, rolling it to make sure it's coated in oil. Put clingfilm over the bowl, and place it in a warm room for an hour to prove (I also make sure the bowl is warm before you start, otherwise you're just slowing everything down)

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 medium onion
  • 50g stilton
  • ½tsp thyme
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • sprinkle of plain flour

1) Chop the chicken into ~1cm cubes and fry in the olive oil

2) Chop the onion reasonably finely, and add into the frying pan once the chicken is cooked through.

3) Cook until the onion begins to brown

4) Add in the thyme, and remove from the heat. Sprinkle and stri in the flour (this absorbs any excess fat, and helps coat the chicken and onion)

5) Once cool, crumble up the stilton and mix in,

Back to the bread...

4) Once the dough has doubled in size, place on a  work surface, knock back

5) Using your hands, shape it into a rectangle roughly 45cm long, and 25-30cm wide

6) Spread  the cold filling evenly over the rectangle

7) Roll the dough up from a long end, so you end up with a dough sausage about 40-45cm long

8) Seal all the edges, so the filling is inside

Chop the dough sausage into 7 evenly sized sections

9) Roll each section into a ball, and place on a baking tray in a flower formation (one in the middle, then 6 in a circle around it), so the balls are touching.\If you oil your hands slightly while you shape, the dough balls should also have an oil coating...this will help when you tear a section off)

10) Cover (I used a tupperware box), and prove in a warm room for another hour

11) Pre-heat the oven to 230'C

12) Once the bread has proved (again doubled in size) give the loaf a milk wash, and sprinkle on some poppy seeds

13) Place in the oven, and also pour half a jug of water into a tray in the bottom of the oven (this produces steam, allowing the loaf to expand, and a good crust to form)

14) After 10 minutes reduce the temperature to 200'C, and continue to bake for another 15-18 minutes

15) Remove from the oven, and place on a wire cooling rack. You can check the load is done by tapping the bottom, which should produce a hollow sound.

16) Tear off a chunk while it's still warm, and enjoy!