Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Chicken & Cheese Stuffed Bread


Ramadan Kareem! to all the Muslims around the globe and Cook Unleashed's followers along with those who aren't Muslims and do not observe this month. Islam is the religion of peace and harmony and Ramadan (the Muslim month of fasting) came upon us as a message of patience, tolerance and universal brotherhood so greetings of this scared month to all :) May Allah accept our Ibadah (prayers), forgive our sins and transgressions and bestow His special blessings upon all of us. May Allah show and keep us all on the right path. Ameen Sum Ameen. Kindly remember everyone in your du'as (prayers) esp. all the Muslims who are suffering in different parts of the world. Jazak'Allah Khair! (May Allah reward you)

It was the 4th day of fasting here in this region while I was jotting down these line and my oh my, apart of all the excruciatingly hot days, its going well, Alhumdulilah (thanks to Allah) and The Greatest of all has been so kind to send down the shower and the day is milder and cooler today, All praises to Him. The thirst does bother you in the day but its nothing that unbearable besides, the purpose of this month is not only to train your body physically but to spiritually as well and that's the real essence of this month. After going without any food or liquid intake, for the sake of Allah, for as long as 21 hours in some places, the breaking of the fast time would arrive at sunset and we break our fast by eating and drinking from the amazing blessing Allah has bestowed upon us in the form of food! We are advised to share not only with our neighbors but esp. with the ones who cannot afford to have on their own thus, the message this month of peace gives is of harmony and sharing and caring. So those of you who didn't know what this month is about, I tried to explain it a little :)

Since Iftaar (breaking of the fast meal) is a kind of a celebration time for the Muslims therefore delicious and rich food mostly prepared in every household. The most common Iftaar snacks prepared in the South Asian countries specially Pakistan is fried and spicy hence, continuing that tradition, I have so far prepared the similar dishes like Pakoray, Aloo Pakoray, Dahi Bharay Chaat, Kalay Chanay kee Chaat and few others but we try to stay away from the fried food therefore, I baked my Mom's favorite Chicken & Cheese Stuffed Bread as well. The recipe of the scrumptious dishes I have mentioned above are already on my blog and today, I'll be sharing the stuffed bread :)

Italian Stromboli inspired bread

The type of stuffed bread I make  is basically inspired by the Italian Stromboli in which meat and cheese is stuffed in a turnover and then baked. My very first attempt at making it was quite similar to the Stromboli that I made in the Ramadan of 2013 and since then, it has become a regular part of our Iftaar menu, This bread is a complete meal in itself yet so light that you can have it at even Sahoor time (pre-dawn meal before fasting) My recipe is quite simple plus, I use whole-wheat flour to make it therefore its light on the stomach as well. I always make extra loaves so that we share them with our neighbors as well along with the other people of Allah :) I'm sure after trying out this recipe you'd like to do the same but I would love to know that what do you like to make for Iftaar and love sharing with your family, friends and the other fellow Muslims and believers :)

Shall we begin some baking for Iftaar with the religious fervor Unleashed today? Here we go! :D  



Chicken Stuffed Bread

Ingredients:

Whole-Wheat Flour: 2 1/2 + 1/2 cups (you can use all-purpose flour instead)
Yeast: 1/2 tbsp. (use according to the package instructions)
Salt: 1 tsp.
Sugar: 1 tsp.
Olive Oil: 2 Tbsp + 1 tbsp. 
Water: for kneading
Sesame Seeds: 1 tsp.
Nigella Seeds: 1 tsp.

For the stuffing:

Chicken: 1 cup (boiled and shredded)
Onion: 1 small sized (finely chopped)
Bell Pepper/Capsicum: 1 medium sized (finely chopped)
Cheese Slices: 2 (you can use shredded Mozzarella instead) 
Tomato Ketchup: 1/2 cup
Chicken Stock: 1/4 cup (reserved from boiling the chicken. Can use milk or plain water instead)
Salt: 1/2 tsp.
Black Pepper Powder: 1/2 tsp.
Oregano: 1/4 tsp.
Dried Basil: 1/4 tsp.
Rosemary: 1/4 tsp.
Butter: 1 tbsp.

Method:

  1. follow the instructions on the package to activate the yeast if you are not using the instant yeast but the dry active one (I used dry active)
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (reserve the extra 1/2 cup of flour for dusting) 
  3. Keep mixing with the help of an electric mixer and slowly add the liquids. Mix till it turns in to a dough. 
  4. Remove the paddle and replace it with the hook attachment and knead the dough until it becomes elastic. 
  5. If using hands then make a well in the middle of the mixed dry ingredients for the dough and slowly add the liquids in it. Mix with the help of a wooden spoon until a smooth dough is formed. Knead well with the help of your hands on a floured surface for a few mins. Add extra dry flour to prevent sticking.
  6. Form the prepared dough into a ball and place it in to a greased bowl (use the remaining 1 tbsp. of oil) Cover with a damp tea-towel and place the bowl at some warm place to let it rise (can take up to 2 hours depending on the region/temperature)
  7. For the filling, heat 1 tbsp. of butter in a cooking pan and add one chopped onion till little soft and translucent.
  8. Now add the chopped bell pepper. Sauté for a few seconds and add a tbsp. of flour to it. Mix well.
  9. Add 1 cup of the boiled and shredded chicken with 1/4 cup of its stock (or milk/water) and cook for a minute or two.
  10. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano, dried basil, rosemary and give a good mix.
  11. At this stage, the stuffing should be a bit sticky but not wet.
  12. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a while
  13. Take out the prepared dough, which have been fairly risen by now, on a floured surface, after punching out the air from it.
  14. Roll it out in an oval shape to approx 12 inches long, 10 inches width and 1/2 inch in thickness.
  15. Spread the ketchup in the middle of the rolled out dough by leaving approx 1 inch on the top and bottom and 3 inches of the dough plain on each side. (shown in the photo below)
  16. Put the topping over the ketchup and the cheese slices cut into half on top of the it.
  17. Now cut slanted strips of 1/2 inch thickness of the left out plain dough starting from the edges of the topping till the end of the dough (shown in the photo below)
  18. Fold the top end of the dough over the topping and start overlapping the cut strips so that all the topping is covered but you can still see it through the folded strips.
  19. Tuck in the bottom of the left out plain dough before the final overlapping.
  20. Transfer the bread on to a greased baking tray and cover it with the damp tea-towel for 10-15 minutes to proof it again.
  21. After the 2nd and final  proof, brush the prepared bread dough with a beaten egg and sprinkle the sesame seeds and/or nigella seeds on it.
  22. Bake it in a preheated oven at 200 C/390 F/Gas Mark 6 for 20-25 mins or until the top of the bread turns golden and sounds hollow upon tapping.
  23. Serve warm as a whole or cut in to slices. Enjoy.
Makes 1 loaf and serves 6 approx.

Note:

If you wish to make the bread like an Italian Stromboli, after the dough is ready, knead it well and roll it out on a flat surface, preferably into a square shape. Now place the toppings as instructed above. Join both the edges of the rolled dough together and seal it well. Now flip the prepared stuffed dough over and transfer on to the greased baking tray. Make some slanted slits on it with the help of a knife and follow the instructions above to bake it. 





That's all bakers! :) The spice level and the baking time can always be adjusted according to your taste buds and type of ovens. I hope you enjoy making and eating it. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones.
Thank you and please this Ramadan do remember everyone esp. The Ummah-e-Muslimeen (Muslim Nation) in your Du'as/prayers including me :)


Jazak'Allah Khair(May Allah reward you)

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you!









  











     








10 comments:

  1. Oh wow...these look amazing...and so delicious...need to try them :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do and I'm sure, you'd love it!
      Thank you for stopping by and for leaving a comment! :)
      Hope to hear more from you.

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  2. I love the way you plaited this bread, it looks yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jazak'Allah Khair, sister! I'm glad you liked :)

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  3. YUM! That looks good and I bet it would be fun to make.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is fun to make it and turns out very delicious, Christopher! Do give it a try and let me know how you liked it :)
      Thanks very much for stopping by :)

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  4. Oh, my goodness! Madiha, that looks absolutely delicious! And, you made so many! Invite me to dinner. Hahahaha. I wish I could cook more with meats, but John is a vegetarian, so I stick to that only. And, my blog is about vegetarian-friendly food, so I've been cooking only vegetarian items to build up my recipe index. Once I get to 150 posts, I'll make some meat. Hahaha. Again, you write so well; I love reading your posts. I feel like I get to know you better every time I read one of your recipes. Cheers and much love, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're most welcome! :D I'm so glad that you liked the recipe. I very well know now that John is a vegetarian and you love cooking for him :) I love all of your recipes and I'm sure, your meat dishes will be scrumptious too. Look forward to seeing them soon! :)
      Your recognition is much appreciated always and really encourages me to do better next time. I'm happy that food connected us and hopefully, we will continue to read and support each other in future too.
      All the best always, my friend! :)

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  5. Oh my, this looks soo good! delicious recipes!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Much appreciated!
      Hope to hear more from you in future :)

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