Spicy Minced Chicken Buns

I made my first submissions to YeastSpotting last week and it’s got me pretty fired up. Which basically means that on any given day after all my other work is done, I’m hands deep in flour. Which also means that I probably need to invest in a bread-machine. But then I don’t want to lose the thrill of kneading the dough, working it, while it clings to your fingers at first and then lets go… that’s something which will be hard to pass up.

So no bread-machine… well at least for now. At least not until I decide to open a little bakery or follow my heart and head to the hills and open my little café.

I heard raucous shouts this morning while I was fixing my mug of coffee. There’s work going on in the building complex next door, and the migrant labourers the contractor has employed all sleep in the stilt parking space on the ground floor of the building facing mine. They’ve mosquito netted their sleep area, wise in this season, where despite the repellents the critters still manage to sneak in. Anyway, today’s raucousness was the result of a rather exuberant lot of the younger men, boys really, playing football (soccer), with an old pretty beat-up and tattered ball. But that didn’t stifle their enthusiasm. They played with such abandon, shouting out at each other to pass the ball, then deftly manoeuvring it through the obstacle-course of bamboo poles, clumps of rope and pipes.

Goal! one of them yelled, as he shot the ball into what was apparently the goal, and his team converged on him, the opposing goalie looking crestfallen for a second and then joining in the cheering.

What joy. I almost forgot I had other things to do.

Which brings me to some of my favourite things and that includes, stuffed buns or bread-rolls. My favourites, the minced meat ones, the spicier the better.

Spicy Minced Chicken Buns

The dough for these is a very simple one. 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, a teaspoon of sugar, about 12gms fresh yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 to a cup of warm water, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Activate the yeast (with warm water and sugar), then add the flour, salt and olive oil. Knead for 12 – 15 minutes till the dough is soft and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or till slightly more than doubled.

In the meantime get your filling ready. I filled the buns with spicy minced chicken. So for about 400gms chicken, use 2 scallions, 4 large pods of garlic, a 1″ piece of ginger (more if you like), and 2 green chillies – all minced. Sautéing them in 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, with salt to taste, a large pinch of pepper, a teaspoon each of cumin and coriander powder, a 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, paprika and garam masala, and a pinch of clove powder. Do not add any water while cooking the mince. Keep it covered and on a low flame, breaking down the meat and separating it with a fork to prevent it from clumping together. Finish with a squeeze of lime, a sprinkling of garam masala (another 1/2 teaspoon) and two tablespoons chopped fresh coriander. Cook till all the moisture evaporates and set it aside to cool.

Spicy Minced Chicken

Now return to the dough…

Once your dough has risen (1 1/2 to 2 hours), knock it back and knead lightly, then roll it out into a log and cut out 12 pieces. Knead each piece for a bit, then using your fingers stretch out the dough to make a cup for the mince and spoon in 3 teaspoonfuls of the spicy meat.

Pinch the dough together to close and work it for a bit to shape till round. Place on a cornmeal dusted baking tray. Allow to rise for about 30 – 40 minutes.

Preheat your oven at 230 degrees C. Brush the top of the buns with an eggwash, and sprinkle with seeds or herbs of your choice. I used poppy seeds and paprika for one lot and sesame seeds and ground cumin for the other… just coz they looked so pretty.

Poppy seed and Paprika

Sesame and Cumin sprinkled

And baked them for 20 minutes at 200 degrees C.

Two for One...

They were just a bit spicy (the chillies were hot and I didn’t remove the seeds), but the bread around it provided the perfect foil to the spiciness of the mince. And they turned out refreshingly light. I ate three at a go. I really mustn’t.

Off to YeastSpotting they go!

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21 thoughts on “Spicy Minced Chicken Buns

  1. Oh, these look wonderful! Thank you for stopping by my blog and “liking” some of my recipes. :) I really enjoyed reading your “About Me” page, what an exciting life you have!

    Before becoming gluten free I made bread, buns, rolls, etc. by hand all the time. I loved it. Almost meditative and I enjoyed the waiting and the kneading and especially that unbelievable scent of yeast filling the house. Baking with gluten free dough isn’t quite the same experience, however, I’m on a trek to figure it out and make it as close the the “real” thing as possible. I think you would absolutely HATE a bread machine. I had one, it takes all of the fun out of it. I used it a total of 5 times and then it sat in my basement for years until I finally gave it away.

    Lovely blog, look forward to seeing more of your posts! ~ April

    • Thank so much for the Likes and for your comments. Yes, I absolutely love kneading bread by hand, and seriously doubt I would ever get down to using a bread-machine. But then you never know… though I guess I would most definitely have to be dragged to one, kicking and screaming ;-)

  2. Hi Averil!
    This is such a great recipe. At first I just saw the photos and thought “these breads look amazing”, but then I read about the filling and fell in love with these. I’m going to try your recipe very soon, I assure you.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog; I’m glad you like it.
    Have a very nice day :)

    • Hey Thank you Giovanna… what a beautiful name :-)

      Thanks so much for the Like and for commenting on this post. Do let me know how they turn out. Have a wonderful day too…

  3. I can’t believe how perfect these are, much better looking than something you would buy in a shop! Can’t wait to try them out for myself, the Year of Bread continues :)

  4. That filling sounds amazing! And don’t feel bad about not having a bread machine. Those things take all the joy out of making bread. I do use Helga (my Kitchen Aid stand mixer) to make dough, but you have to get your hands in it at some point!

      • There’s no story, really. I had wanted one for forever and the sweetie got it for me for Christmas a couple of years ago. My family has always named their cars (my current is Geraldine, the last one was Clementine) and for some reason I just felt that since she and I were going to be spending a lot of time together, she deserved a name. She seemed like a Helga to me. A big, strong, blonde (Helga is the “meringue” color) workhorse for the kitchen. It suites her.

    • Oh yes! I’ve been having a blast baking bread Stephanie. Looks like I’ll have to start running a mile or two a day to work off the excess carbs ;-). Thanks so much for your comment.

  5. Pingback: The Year of Bread Part Four: Stuffed Chicken Buns « Rock Salt

  6. Pingback: The Versatile Blogger Award « Rock Salt

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