Ever since I learned how to perfectly bake pastries, am always curious what else is out there that I need to know. I always get asked these two questions quite a lot. “Which culinary school did I attend? and “what drove me to learn this art?” Well, sweetheart, I didn’t go to any culinary school neither am I planning to do that anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong, if you need to go for classes, by all means, do that, but with an open mind and be driven by curiosity. I feel like my story of how I got to this level is similar to that of “Julius Yego“. Yes, you heard right. I literary learned and still learn everything I know now from YouTube and Pinterest. There is a lot of information on the internet and billions of recipes that I need to get a hold of still out there. I actually do my research every second I get, or if an idea runs through my head, even Olivia Pope” can’t stop me in making that recipe come to life. At one point in my life, I wasn’t as hungry for the foodie knowledge as I am now. I was super comfortably wrapped in my own bubble, the thought of getting out of my comfort zone dimmed the lights in my tunnel. Just by looking through the post archives for 2015/16 and compare them to 2017/18, it’s a total makeover. However, I had to start from somewhere, because that is what life is all about.

By now Y’all should have realized my love for pastry baking and everything nice is out of passion, authenticity, magic -because life is magical -well at least in my head and heart it is, biology and curiosity. You and I might not have the same needs and wants, but am sure y’all can definitely make room for something new or something borrowed. Hoping this is making sense.

……………..

Bringing you back to the actual post. This post is quite similar to the previous post. The ingredients are almost the same, braiding is involved with a new slight twist. I hope you are ready. Shall we begin?

Making “Caramelized Onion Chicken stuffed braided bread“.

Prep time: 30 mins  Proofing: 2 hours  Bake time: 30 mins

Total time: 3 hours

Yields: 1 braided bread

MAIN INGREDIENTS:

For the dough:

  • 3 -3/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 -1/2 cups of warm milk {Similar temp to baby milk}
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 -1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil / OR / Melted unsalted butter
  • 2 -1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 1 egg yolk

For the stuffing:

  • 6 strips of crispy chicken fillet – “KFC leftover”. -Chopped up
  • 2 medium onions – thinly sliced

Seasonings:

  • Salt
  • Garlic butter
  • Extra vegetable cooking oil

Toppings:

  • Rolled oats
  • Egg white wash

Important tools used:

  • a baking tray
  • parchment paper
  • a damp clean kitchen towel
  • measuring cups/spoons
  • whisk
  • mixing bowls
  • An oven
  • a frying pan
  • wooden spoon
  • Pastry brush
  • Sharp knife

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: Caramelizing the Onions

In a frying pan over medium heat, add some garlic butter + 1 teaspoon of vegetable cooking oil -I normally use sunflower oil”, give it 10 seconds to heat up. Add in the sliced onions toss them around to coat with the oil. Give it 5 to 10 mins for caramelization to take place. -“Browning of onions”.

Step 2: Activate the yeast mix – Wet ingredients”

In a measuring cup, add in the warm milk + sugar + active dry yeast. Give it a mix, leave it in a warm area for activation. When ready, the yeast mixture will be foamy and smell boozy. Add in the egg yolk + vegetable oil = mix them all together till well combined.

Step 3: Prepping the dough – Dry Ingredients”

In a large mixing bowl, mix the salt and flour together. Make a small well in the flour mixture, and add in all the wet ingredients. Using either your clean hands or a rubber spatula, mix everything together to form a sort of crumbly dough. Lightly flour your clean countertop surface, place your dough mixture. Start folding and kneading your dough for at least 5 to 8 mins in order to form an elastic but smooth circular-shaped dough.

Step 4: First Proofing = 1 hour 20 mins

In the same mixing bowl, generously add some cooking oil on the sides and bottom. Place the circularly formed dough in the bowl, toss it around to be well coated with the oil. Take a damp but clean kitchen towel, and cover the bowl with it. Place the bowl in a warm spot to double in size for 1 hour 20 mins.

Step 5: Add the stuffing

Punch out the air in the dough. Generously flour your clean countertop. Transfer the dough on to the surface. Lightly flour the top side. NB: DON’T KNEAD IT. Gently using your palm, try to shape the dough into a rectangle, then lightly roll it out using a rolling pin. The length and Width should slightly match the baking tray you are using. Place your stuffing right in the middle of the rolled out dough. Using a slanted method and a sharp knife, from the edge of the stuffing, cut the dough outwards as shown in the picture below. Make the cuts on both sides of the stuffing.

Step 6: Zopf -“braid” the bread

Just as you learned in my previous post, the same procedure applies here. These pictures below will guide you. Make sure to firmly secure the ends.

Step 7: Second Proofing: = 30 mins

Preheat the oven to 190 °C

Gently transfer the braided bread to an aligned baking tray with parchment paper. Cover it with a damp but clean kitchen towel for the 2nd proofing = 30 mins.

Step 8: Coating & Baking time. = 30 mins

Once the Zopf bread has doubled in size, Lightly brush the egg white wash with a pastry brush – both on the sides and the top lightly, sprinkle some rolled oats on top. Bake in the preheated oven on the lowest rack in your oven for 30 mins, or until its golden brown.

Step 9: Cooling: 30 mins to 1 hour.

If you don’t allow the bread to cool down completely, the parchment paper will get stuck on the bread. You definitely do not want that. Hold your horses and allow it to cool for at least 1 hour.

Step 10: Slice and serve.

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Acres & Acres of Love.

TD.

Tastie Dine - Author

Hi, am Ms Biwott and this is my foodie bubble and journal of endless re-creation of food, drinks and more dessert. Be part of the gang by subscribing!

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