This homemade Chicken Bread is stuffed with a delicious, creamy chicken filling. Despite looking complicated, it's super easy to make the bread, and it's perfect for tea-time, parties, and Iftar time during Ramadan.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
This recipe is inspired by the stuffed bread sold in bakeries back home in Pakistan. You would be served this snack at every tea party or family gathering. It was impressive to look at, with its braided crust stuffed with a creamy, lightly spiced chicken filling.
I think this recipe is worth trying because it's unique, it's delicious, and most of all it's actually very easy to make.
- Make Ahead: This recipe makes two big stuffed chicken breads, or several mini ones. Once you've baked the bread, you can wrap it up in cling film and freeze it for later use.
- Versatile: You can change up the fillings as you like, and I've listed a few filling ideas below.
Ingredients You'll Need
There are two parts to this recipe, the dough, and the chicken filling. Let's start with the dough!
The Dough Ingredients
- Flour: As for all standard bread doughs, we use all purpose flour here.
- Yeast: You can use both active dry yeast or instant yeast. Click here to read more about the differences in both kinds of yeast: The Difference Between Active Dry Yeast and Instant Yeast.
- Milk: Milk helps the bread remain soft when baking, so don't skip it.
- Oil: Oil also helps to keep the dough soft, so it's an essential ingredient here.
- Sugar: Sugar helps activate the yeast faster, and also adds a slight sweetness to the bread.
- Warm Water: To activate the yeast, we need to use warm water. The ideal temperature of water for activating the yeast is 38C/100F. Any hotter will kill the yeast.
Proof the Yeast
I always prefer to proof the yeast separately as it ensures that I have not killed it and I won't have to throw away the whole dough. It's an easy extra step, but super simple and I always use it for my dough recipes including this Tandoori Chicken Pizza.
- Add the yeast and sugar to lukewarm water and combine until dissolved. Ideal water temperature for yeast is 38C/100F. Any higher, and it will kill the yeast.
- Cover for 5 minutes.
- The yeast is ready when it's creamy and frothy looking.
How to Make the Dough
- Mix the rest of the ingredients: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the other ingredients: flour, salt, oil, egg, and milk.
- Add the yeast: Now pour in the yeast mixture, and mix until thouroughly combined. Now knead the dough for 8-10 minutes by hand or using a stand mixer. The dough is read when it's smooth and soft, and upon pressing with a finger it gently springs back.
- Rise: Form into a ball and place the dough in a greased bowl, and cover. Let it rise for about 40 minutes to 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.
The Creamy Chicken Filling Ingredients
- Chicken: You can use roitsserie chicken or make your own by boiling it with salt and pepper. Shred it, and set aside.
- Onion: any type of onion is okay to use for this filling.
- Salt & Pepper
- Fresh coriander: finely chopped, or substitute with parsley.
- Green chillies: I deseed the chilli first and then chop it finely, to keep the spice level mild.
- Flour: to thicken the filling
- Milk: for the creamiest results, use full-fat milk.
- Sesame seeds: for topping the bread, and adding a little bit of crunch. This is optional, and can be skipped.
How to Make the Chicken Filling
- In a medium sized pot, melt the butter and saute the chopped onion until translucent.
- Add the flour, and cook for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Now add the milk, and cook for a few minutes until it has thickened.
- Add the shredded chicken, coriander, and green chillies. Mix well until fully combined.
- Set aside to cool completely, while you roll out and prepare the dough.
Assembling the Chicken Bread
- Preheat oven to 200 c, and prepare a baking tray.
- Divide the dough into two equal sizes.
- Roll out each dough ball into a rectangular shape.
- Equally divide the chicken filling, and place it in the middle of the each rectangle.
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, make diagonal slits along both sides of the rectangle.
- Fold over the dough in a criss-cross fashion, making sure you seal both the ends tightly.
- Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle over sesame seeds.
- Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the dough is golden brown and cooked through.
Minced Meat: You can use this keema as a filling for this stuffed bread. It's spicy and full of flavor, and perfect as a filling.
BBQ Chicken: You can also mix the shredded chicken with BBQ sauce (like I do in this recipe for Dorito Nachos) and use this as a filling for the bread. Top with some pickled jalapenos and cheese, and bake!
Nutella: You can also use Nutella as a filling, and top it with crushed walnuts, for a sweet version of this bread.
Turkey & Cheese: Stuff the bread with your favorite cheese and turkey slices for a deli version.
Malai Boti Filling: For a different take, you can also use this Malai Chicken Tikka Boti, and shred it before using it as filling.
Proof the yeast separately: Even though I've been baking for years, I still proof the yeast separately to make sure I haven't killed it. It's an extra step but takes only a few minutes, so worth it in my opinion.
Use leftover or rotisserie chicken: to cut the process in half, and make the bread faster!
Cool the filling: Make sure the chicken filling is cooled when adding it to the dough. Hot chicken filling will make it harder to handle the dough.
Use a pizza cutter: To make cutting the slits easier, use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
Yes, after baking, let the bread cool completely. Then wrap tightly in cling film, and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, thaw completely overnight in the fridge, and bake in the oven at 170 C for a few minutes until it's warmed through.
If your dough didn't rise, it means the yeast wasn't activated properly. You will need to make the dough again.
If you don't want to brush the bread with egg wash before baking, you can also brush on a little bit of milk.
More Delicious Snacks/Appetizers
Braided Chicken Bread
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Baking Tray
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast or Instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon granulated or castor sugar I used granulated
- 1/2 cup warm water for kneading the dough
Creamy Chicken Filling Ingredients
- 2 cups boiled and shredded chicken
- 2 small red onions finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 4 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander
- 3 chopped green chilies de-seeded if you prefer the filling to be mild
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups milk
Topping the Bread
- Sesame seeds for the topping optional
- Egg wash
- Preheat oven to 200 C and prepare two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminium foil.
Make the Dough
- Start by proofing the yeast. In a medium sized bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar and mix well. Cover and let rest for a 5 minutes until the yeast mixture is creamy and frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl combine 4 cups of flour, 2 tablespoon milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 tablespoon oil, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, and the yeast mixture.
- Knead the dough using your hands or a stand mixer for about 10 minutes until it is soft and springs back at the touch of a finger.
- Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover the dough and let it rise for about 40 minutes to 1 hour in a warm place nearby the oven.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the chicken filling.
Make the Creamy Chicken Filling
- In a medium sized saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 chopped red onions.
- Cook the onions till they are just translucent, we don't want any color on them.
- Add 2 tablespoons of flour and let it cook for about 1 minute while stirring continuously.
- Pour in 1 1/2 cups of milk and stir slowly until it becomes thick. The sauce is ready when you run a finger down the back of the mixing spoon and it remains.
- Add the shredded chicken, coriander, green chilies, black pepper and salt. Mix well and let it cool.
Assembling the Bread
- After the dough has risen, divide it into 2 equal sized balls.
- Roll one dough ball into a rectangular shape.
- Put your cooled chicken filling in the middle of the rectangle and cut diagonal slits on the longer sides of the rectangle.
- Fold over the slits in a criscross fashion, neatly folding at the end. (Refer to to the pictures below to see the method).
- Repeat this for the second dough ball.
- Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Place the breads on a greased baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Enjoy with chili garlic ketchup or green chutney.
- All-purpose flour: measured correctly.
- Dry Active Yeast: I prefer this yeast, but it is perfectly fine to use instant yeast as well. I always prefer to proof my yeast separately to ensure that it's activated properly.
- Oil: Use any neutral-flavored vegetable oil of your liking.
- Water: Use lukewarm water or it should be at 38C / 100 F. Any higher, and it will kill the yeast.
- Shredded chicken: I boil 450 grams of chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Once it's cooked through, I let it cool and shred with two forks. You can also use leftover shredded chicken, or even roitsserie chicken.
- Onion: Use any onion you have on hand, I used red onion.
- Green chillies: Add as many or skip altogether to your liking.
- Coriander/cilantro: Adds a delicious fresh flavor to the chicken filling. Can replace with parsley but the flavor won't be the same.
- Butter: I use salted but you can use unsalted as well.
- Milk: For a creamy chicken filling, it's best to use whole milk. However, you can also use low-fat milk as well.
- Egg wash: I combine 1 egg with 2 tablespoons of water and whisk well to make the egg wash. You can also simply brush with some milk as well.
- Sesame seeds: Can be substituted with black sesame seeds or skipped altogether.
- After baking, let the bread cool completely. Then wrap tightly in cling film, and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, thaw completely overnight in the fridge, and bake in the oven at 170 C for a few minutes until it's warmed through.
- Minced Meat: You can use this keema as a filling for this stuffed bread. It's spicy and full of flavor, and perfect as a filling.
- BBQ Chicken: You can also mix the shredded chicken with BBQ sauce (like I do in this recipe for Dorito Nachos) and use this as a filling for the bread. Top with some pickled jalapenos and cheese, and bake!
- Nutella: You can also use nutella as a filling, and top it with crushed walnuts, for a sweet version of this bread.
- Turkey & Cheese: Stuff the bread with your favorite cheese and turkey slices for a deli version.
- Malai Boti Filling: For a different take, you can also use this Malai Chicken Tikka Boti, and shred it before using it as filling.