Hannah of Rise and Shine [that's me!] was our October 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to bake our own double crusted savory pot pies. Using any from-scratch crust and filling we choose, we were allowed to get completely creative with our recipe, showing off the savory flavors and fillings from our own home or region.
I had the awesome opportunity to host the Daring Bakers Challenge this month! A lot of work goes into this, on the part of everyone...the coordinator of the whole club, Lis, the writer of all conversions, Audax, (luckily I didn't have to do all that on my own!), and the members themselves. Lots of awesome pies came out of this savory challenge and I can't wait to dig into them throughout the chilly winter months!
So...for this challenge I offered up two pot pie recipes though the members were allowed and encouraged to do whatever they wanted. The only rules were that there had to be a top and bottom crust and some kind of saucy or gravy based filling. I encouraged the bakers to showcase the flavors and tricks of their region, and they sure did! Here's a link to the PDF of the original baking challenge, if you like...and here are my two pies!
The Daring Bakers’ October, 2013 Challenge: Savory Pot Pies
Classic Chicken Pot Pie:
Servings: about 8 (one 9 1/2 inch (24 cm) pie)
Flaky Pie Crust:
3 1/2 cups ( 840 ml)(17 ¼ oz)(490 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz) (13 gm) brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons (9 gm) salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) (4 oz) (115 gm) cold shortening (I always use butter flavored), cut into pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) (6 oz) (170 gm) cold unsalted butter
1 cup (240 ml) ice water
Chicken Pot Pie Filling:
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) salt
4 tablespoons (60 ml) (2 oz) (55 gm) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (80 ml) (1 ½ oz) (45 gm) flour
2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
1/2 cup (120 ml) half and half (half milk and half cream)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) white wine, light beer or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups (750 ml) (15 oz) (425 gm) cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup (240 ml) (4½ oz) (125 gm) frozen peas, not thawed
1. Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Drop in shortening and quickly grate butter directly into the bowl using a cheese grater.
2. Using your fingers, a fork or a pastry cutter, work butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it's broken down into course, chunky crumbs. Stop mixing when the largest crumb is about the size of a pea.
3. Using a fork, quickly stir in very cold ice water. Turn the rough dough and crumbs onto a floured surface.
4. Knead just until dough starts to hold together in a rough mass, up to 10 times. Do not over mix! You will be able to see chunks of butter in the dough and this is a good thing.
5. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before use. The dough will keep in the fridge for a full day, or you may freeze the dough for up to 3 months (and bring back to a thawed chill before rolling).
6. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
7. Heat oil in a wide bottomed skillet or sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add onions, celery and salt and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
8. Meanwhile, make a thick paste by mixing the butter and flour in a small bowl with a fork.
9. Heat 2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock in the empty skillet over medium-high heat. Drop the butter/flour paste into the stock and whisk vigorously until it come to a simmer. Boil briefly until thick like honey. Whisk in the half and half. Turn off heat, stir in wine, thyme and black pepper.
10. Stir together the cooked vegetables, chicken, peas and sauce.
11. Roll out one half of the chilled dough about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick using a floured rolling pin on a well-floured surface. Once your round of dough is about ten inches (25 cm) across, dust the top with flour, pick the round up from the counter and dust under the dough again before rolling out completely to about 15 inches (38 cm) across. Hold your pie plate up to the round of dough to ensure it is large enough to fit your pie plate.
12. To set the dough into your pie plate, fold the round of dough in half, then in half again to create a large triangle of dough. Point the tip of the triangle of dough into the center of the pie plate and unfold. Be careful not to stretch the dough while you ensure that you have the dough tucked into all corners.
13. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell.
14. Roll out the top crust and cover the filling. Trim excess dough and seal the edge crust by folding the top dough layer under the bottom and pinching the dough together with your fingers or pressing with the tines of a fork.
15. Bake in the lower third of your oven until the pastry is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. To ensure the bottom is browned, you may choose to prop an electric oven open using the handle of a wooden spoon for the last ten minutes of the baking time. If at any point you fear the top crust is over-browning, cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time. Serve immediately while warm.
Mediterranean Pizza Pot Pie:
Servings: about 8 (one 10 inch (25 cm)pie)
Tender Pizza Pot Pie Crust:
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (¾ oz) (21 gm) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) warm water
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) (7 ½ oz) (210 gm) bread flour, plus more for dusting
Creamy Garlic Gravy:
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1-2/3 oz) (45 ml) butter
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1 oz) (26 gm) flour
1 cup (240 ml) milk (I use 2 percent)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup (120 ml) (1½ oz) (45 gm) shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 cups (500 ml) (280gm) (10 oz) cooked chicken, chopped
1 small onion, sliced into thin wedges
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup (120 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) shredded provolone cheese
1/2 cup (120 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup (120 ml) (½ oz) (15 gm) tightly packed fresh spinach leaves, slivered
4 medium-large artichoke hearts, diced
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh oregano leaves
Pinch of salt, black pepper, dried oregano (for topping)
1. Mix together yeast, sugar and warm water in a medium bowl. Let it rest several minutes until foamy.
2. Add salt, oil and up to 1 1/2 cups of bread flour, one half cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon until the dough picks up most of the flour and pulls together in a wad around the spoon. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
3. Sprinkle the dough with flour and knead for several minutes or until the dough is smooth and not sticking badly to clean hands as you knead (add sprinkles of flour as you knead until the stickiness subsides).
4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator overnight or prepare dough in the morning and leave it in the fridge until dinner. An hour before you start prepping the pizza, punch down the dough in the bowl. Leave it in the bowl to rest at room temperature for an hour.
5. Melt your butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle flour over the butter and whisk together. Cook for a short minute as it bubbles, then pour in the milk. Whisk and bring it to boil, then stir in salt, pepper and garlic. Whisk until it’s as thick as honey, which should take about a minute. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese. Set aside while you prepare the components for your filling.
6. Preheat the oven to hot 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.
7. Lightly grease a 10-inch (25-cm) cast iron skillet or similar sized baking dish. Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface with flour sprinkled on the top of the dough, so it spreads six inches beyond the edges of your pan on all sides. You will need plenty of flour under the dough and on the top surface to keep it from sticking to itself and the counter. Lay the dough into your pan, without pulling it, so it fits into the pan with the extra dough hanging over the edges. Repair any holes that may have appeared.
8. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic sauce and filling, reserving the salt, pepper and dried oregano for the top of the crust. Pile all of the filling into your pan.
9. Wrap the dough up over the top of the filling. Seal tightly in the middle by pinching the dough together. Using kitchen scissors, snip away any large sections of excess dough. Sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper and dried oregano onto the top of the dough.
10. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the lower third of your oven, until the crust is golden brown. Serve immediately while warm.
Thank you to everyone for your support this month, and enjoy your day!