The Great British Bake Off is one my favorite shows, inspiring new bakes, new flavors, and new techniques! Join me on my journey to bake through all the Season 8 Challenges.
Total Cooking Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
The Great British Bake Off is a classic show for bakers and those looking for a friendly competition. All the bakes on the show look delicious and I often want to try baking them myself! I finally got off the couch and into the kitchen to recreate some of the recipes from Bake Off! I chose to start with season eight of Bake Off as it is my favorite season and the one with some of my favorite challenges!
The Showstopping challenge of week 6 has arrived, and it is a family sized hand-raised pie! This little pie started out so small and over years and years it grew. Just kidding. A hand raised pie is one that is wrapped around the outside of a cake tin. It is able to stand due to the structure of the pastry with no outside help!
I decided to base my recipe this week off Kate’s Bombay Potato Curry Pie. I can’t help it, when I go savory, I tend to go Indian. Indian cuisine provides so many great options for vegetarian flavors! This potato curry pie is also topped with a delicious spicy and sweet mango salsa! The post below focuses mainly on the pastry, it is pastry week after all. For the other recipes in this pie check out:
Check out the Season 8 Great British Bake Off Page to see other bakes from the series or the Make section for more recipes!
The turmeric really makes this pastry special and gives a Indian flair to the pastry itself. It also creates a great yellow color. There are two types of flour involved to help give the pastry a rigid structure. I was surprised that there a vegetable shortening needed for this recipe, but it does have the fat that pastries typically have.
The Dry Ingredients
The first step of making the dough is putting together the dry ingredients. This had me mix the flours, turmeric, and black pepper. I didn’t really have a specific amount of black pepper to add in, so I just threw in what seemed like a good level.
Then, it’s time to rub in the butter. The dough will come into a breadcrumb like consistency at this point. I really couldn’t tell where the butter was after it got rubbed in. I then made a well in the center of the mixture to get ready for the wet ingredients.
The Wet Ingredients
The next step is to get the wet ingredients. This is where I melted the vegetable shortening with salt and water. Once everything is melted down, I brought the mixture to a boil and then added it into the well of the dry ingredients
I was a little nervous about this step because mixing together boiling hot liquid into flour felt like risky business. I am so used to using my hands when mixing pastry dough together but that is not something you can do here. For this recipe, I used a wooden spoon and let the dough cool before I could use my hands to play with the dough.
Shaping the Dough
While the dough is cooling to a touchable temperature, I wrapped a cake tin in cling wrap. I have cake tins without bottoms, so I used these and stretched the cling wrap as tightly as possible. With the base removed, I poke a few holes in the base and the put the base back on. The holes will help release the pan from the pastry later. Without them, you effectively have a vacuum that you must get the pastry out of.
Once the dough has cooled down enough to be touched, I kneaded the dough to make sure everything comes together. The dough becomes firm and tacky and easy to manipulate. I took about a quarter of the dough and put it to the side. I’ll come back to this dough later.
The remaining dough is going to be used for the base of the pie. I rolled out the dough into a thin circle. I think it was about 1 cm thick. But it might have been even thinner (I didn’t grab out a measuring stick or anything). Then I draped the dough over the prepared tin. Shaping it and smoothing it as best as I could. All excess was removed.
Then it’s time to chill the dough. I chilled it for about an hour to let the dough properly take on the rigid shape of the pan. And scrapes from the excess of the base can be used as decorations! The remaining quarter of the dough is going to be used for the lid, so I rolled that out as well, and then set it aside while waiting for the dough to chill.
Fill, Bake, and Finish
After the pastry is done, it’s time to remove the dough from its mold. Holy heck this step was nerve wrecking. I wanted to go both faster and slower all at the same time. Luckily, it came out and was still standing tall after the cake tin was removed. With the base ready, I spooned the curry into the pastry. I wanted to be gently because I wanted to give the pastry the best possible chance.
To secure the lid, I brushed a bit of beaten egg around the rim and crimped the lid to base. I also used the egg to secure any other dough decorations. Before putting the pie into oven, I made a few holes in the top of the lid to allow the steam out. Then it’s time to bake!
Since this pie is so large, it took about an hour to bake. This is the perfect time to make some mango salsa! I was a little disheartened to see that the pie walls were not able to stay standing strong during the back.
There was a slight collapse due to the moisture content that was left in from the curry. But the shape was still usable and there was no soggy pastry!! With the pie done, I decorated the top of the pie with the sweet and spicy mango salsa!
Well, this recipe didn’t turn out exactly like I expected it too. There was some ups and downs. I think the biggest cause of the pastry collapse was the amount of moisture in the curry.
I think I should have either added less tomato, took more time to simmer off the excess liquids, or drained the curry before putting into the pastry. Another idea I had was putting a layer of rice at the bottom of the pie to help absorb the extra liquid.
Am I ready for bake-off? Even though this pie did not turn out exactly like I expected, I still think that it looks great and tasted very yummy. Bake-Off deals a lot with making the best out of a bad situation. And I think I was able to do that!
Why create Steam holes?
When creating a pie like this, it’s important to have some holes for any steam to escape. And if you don’t, it will find a way out and it might not be where you want it to be. When cooking, there is always moisture inside of food. As the heat permeates the food, the water evaporates, and steam will build.
As steam builds up, so does the pressure inside of the pie. The pie (or vessel) can only handle so much pressure before it “fails”, or the steam finds a way out. That’s why if you direct a place for the steam to come out, the pressure doesn’t build up inside the pie and cause issues.
Curry Hand Raised Pie
- ½ Cup Bread Flour
- 3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 ½ Tbsp Ground Turmeric
- 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter chilled and diced
- ½ Cup Vegetable Shortening
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 1 Egg beaten, to glaze
- Put both flours, the turmeric, and a few grinds of black pepper into a large, heatproof bowl.
- Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
- Melt the vegetable shortening with salt and 2/3 cup water in a medium pan over a low heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and then tip into the well of the flour mixture.
- Using a wooden spoon, mix everything together.
- When the dough is cool enough to handle, tip out the dough and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and pliable.
- Cut off one quarter of the dough (for the lid), wrap in cling film and set aside.
- Roll out the remaining dough into a disc about 1 cm thick. Set the disc on top of a cling-film covered cake tin base
- Mold the pastry around the base and be sure to work out and pleats Chill for 1 hour or until firm.
- Roll out the reserved pastry into a disc slightly larger than the top of the tin. Cover and set aside. Re-roll any trimming to use as decorations as desired.
- Heat the oven to 400°F
- Remove the cake tin from the dough with the pie case set upright. Spoon the potato curry (or desired filling) not the pastry case. Make sure the sides are slightly higher than the filling.
- Brush the rim of the base and the rim of the tope with beaten egg.
- Pinch the edges of the lid and base together to seal. Crim the edges with a fork.
- Brush the beaten egg all over and attach any pastry shapes and glaze the shapes as well. Cut a couple of steam holes in the top of the pie.
- Bake the pie for about 55 to 60 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Top with mango salsa as desired!