The idea behind this dish was an unusual one. I was able to recreate the taste and texture of my favourite childhood pies, baked by my great-aunt in gluten free version. They were so nice, that I thought long and hard to make it grain, pseudo-grain and yeast free. I could not bake cabbage pie, because cabbage is not on the list of acceptable ingredients in this blog, but I could use the second option for the filling – small pieces of fresh fish on the bed of lightly fried onions. However, I like to use leek with onion, the mixture gives more distinct flavour and gives special tenderness to the whole filling.
The choice of dough option was a simple one, I went for the recipe of my easy grain and nut free bread, made with pumpkin seeds. Another option is to use the same bread recipe, only with sunflower kernels, instead of pumpkin seeds. This bread with its soft and airy texture, completely replicates the feel of the soft yeast bread. Seeds used in the recipe, make this soft texture to last for 2-3 days without hardening, as often happens with gluten free yeast breads.
I wanted to make medium size pie and smaller buns, because they can be more practical to make, and easier to bake, in individual aluminium foil mini pies tins.
for one 14-15cm pie and 2 individual buns (10cm foil tins)
- 150g apple pieces
- 2 large eggs (104-108g without shells)
- 100g pumpkin seeds, ground and sifted
- 50g flax seeds, ground and sifted
- 20g chia seeds, ground and sifted
- 5g (1 tea spoon) baking soda
- 6g (1 tea spoon) salt
- 1 tea spoon cumin powder
- 1 tea spoon garlic and chilli paste (can be substituted for other spices or omitted altogether)
- oil to grease the tin
- 1 leek
- 2 onions
- 150g fresh salmon fillet
- 2 table spoons olive oil
- pinch of fennel seeds
- 1 /2 tea spoon garlic and chilli paste
- salt and black pepper for seasoning
- cut leek longitudinally in 2 pieces, slice them in semi circles
- cut onions in halves and slice them in semi circles
- heat olive oil in a pan
- add fennel seeds
- lightly fry leek and onion until translucent, season them in the process
- cut the skin of the fillet
- dice salmon fillet in 1 cm cubes
- add salt, pepper and garlic and chilli paste, mix the seasoning in
- peel and core an apple
- dice apple in 1-2 cm pieces
- process them for 20-30 sec in food processor
- add eggs and garlic and chilli paste, process the mixture on high for 6-7min until pale in colour and nearly triple in volume
- grind and sift pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and chia seeds
- add salt, baking soda and cumin
- mix all dry ingredients together
- transfer the egg and apple mixture to a wide bowl
- add dry ingredients
- mix until fully combined
- let it rest for 5 min
- oil baking dish (better to line the bottom with baking paper, oil the paper as well)
- fill the bowl with water, keep it near, wet your palms to work with the dough (the dough is soft, but keeps together, and is quite easy to work with)
- take 1/3 (approximately) of the dough, shape it in a flat disk, place the dough on the bottom of the baking dish, and spread it with your wet fingers
- add the layer of leek and onion
- place diced salmon on top
- add another layer of leek and onion
- take smaller piece of the dough, shape it flat and place it on top of the filling
- shape the dough to cover the filling and make sure that there are no gaps on pie perimeter (wet tiny silicone spatula is very handy to make the pie tidy)
- brush the surface with an egg wash
- repeat the same process to make individual salmon and leek buns using aluminium foil tins
- bake in preheated to 170C fan forced oven for 40min (buns) and 55-60min (pie)
- baking in individual foil tins gives better results when they are placed on a baking tray
- let buns rest in foil tins for 5-10min
- let the pie rest for 10-15min if baked in glass baking dish (I did not line the dish with baking paper and had to wait for longer to get the pie out of the dish)
I was very satisfied with the result. Buns and pie were fully baked, the dough had risen well and had the same airy texture as in bread. The bottoms were not soggy even with this moist filling.
I want to make a comparison with the gluten free version of this pie, made with the yeast dough from the mixture of different gluten free flours.
It is hard to believe, that as nice as gluten free pie was, grain and yeast free version was even better. As a mouthful, both textures felt the same when freshly baked, but grain free version kept the same soft texture much better. Grain free version has also better nutritional value, as it has lots of healthy fats, no starches, and is rich in fibre, that is always a concern in gluten free baking.
It is obvious that any savoury fillings can be used to make this soft grain and yeast fee buns. They have a very sound structure and can be used as takeaway lunch or a picnic treat.
I have baked 6 large buns with salmon and leek filling from 1.5 portion of the dough I made from pumpkin seeds, apple puree to replace apples and flaxseed flour to replace ground flax seeds.