In the past year, I’ve come a long way. I’ve gone from being a homeless nobody to basically running a tavern. I’ve become a Knight Adept with the Argent Crusade. I haven’t had to steal for food, and in fact, I’ve found myself in the situation more than once with too much food and no way to store it.
That’s why I love this week’s recipe. It combines two of my favorite things – not letting food go to waste, and feeding my fellow Knights. …And the secret third thing being that it’s also a play on words that I’m very proud of. The Silver Hand being an order of paladins that has overlap with the Argents, and of course…
…We’re making hand pies.
This recipe can be a little technically tricky, but honestly, even when it’s messed up and exploded everywhere (happens to me at least once a week) or the egg wash didn’t golden up like I wanted it to (happened this very recipe!) it still turns out just absolutely delicious. And believe me, hungry soldiers are never so picky that they’re going to complain about their free, delicious hand pie that they are having instead of rations isn’t golden enough. Unless they’re being jerks. Which is possible.
Cast of characters time! This one uses a cup of slightly warm water split in half (so 4oz x2), .25 oz of active dry yeast, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, a half teaspoon of salt and three cups (384g) of all purpose flour.
It also needs about one egg for an egg wash at the end, and whatever leftovers you want to stuff this with. More on that later.
Let’s get crackin’! With half of the water, dissolve the yeast for about 5 minutes. Yeast is actually alive, so this wakes it up and gets it ready to start chompin’ away at the sugar from the honey we’re going to add. When it eats, it farts, and that’s what makes bread rise.
Betcha didn’t know that huh? Airy bread is full of yeast farts. The more you know.
While that’s going, mix the olive oil, honey and the rest of the water in a bowl. Feel free to use the bowl you previously used to photograph the flour in because let’s face it, you’re not feeling very good today. Also talk about yourself in the second person.
So you might notice that my honey looks a bit chunky. Colin got ours from an apiary (fancy way to say bee-house-store-thing) that he says only sells it in the Spring and at the time of making this, it is very much winter in Stormwind. When honey gets too cold, it solidifies and crystalizes. Colin said that’s how you know it’s the good stuff and not something that goblins cut with syrup to try and shoot up the price. When it warms up, it goes back to being a golden liquid, so don’t worry. It’s actually really tasty like this, I like the unique texture…
Learnin’ all kinds of stuff today!
Now add in one cup of the flour (128g) and mix it up.
It’ll be kinda gross and hard to work with because I picked the wrong size bowl. I was recovering from an injury and not realy feeling it, but less than glamorous glamor-shots aside, once it’s mixed up and gooey, you’re good to add in the water with the yeast in it. Make sure it’s bloomed, if it hasn’t gotten at least a little foamy, your yeast might be bad.
Mix the new liquid into the goop, then start adding in the last two cups of flour until a proper dough is formed.
Make sure to get a good handprint right in there. Next it’s time to take out your frustrations. Start beating up the dough, just punch it, roll it, stretch it, punch it again — Colin is telling me the proper term is ‘kneading’. (This is why I make these when you’re not around, Colin) Anyhow. Knead it until it’s soft and kinda velvety and springs back when you poke it. Maybe around 5-8 minutes worth of work, but not long enough for your arms to get really tired.
Sprinkle it with flour so it won’t stick to your hands, and then we want to cut it up. I can usually get about eight hand pies from a recipe this size, and they’re all big enough to be a hearty snack for a hard working Stormwind Guard or Argent Crusader.
The easiest way for me to make sure they’re relatively even is to cut the dough in half, then that half in half, then those halves in half until you have eight about the size of goose eggs.
Now that you have them, separate them and start rolling them out!
A few tips for this part: If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use a wine bottle or a scroll case.
Also, use flour on both the board and your rolling device of choice. Then get them nice and thin.
Now you want to think about your fillings. I had made a batch of Razor Hill Pulled Pork and still had some left over. But it wasn’t going to be enough, so I also whipped up some ground beef with Durotar spices. It’s cold, let’s warm up!
Filling is an art form. You want to make a line down the middle, closer to one of the sides. Then you fold it over. I topped these with cheese because everything is better with cheese. I also slightly overfilled this. It was the first one of the batch, but you’ll get the hang of it as you go.
Sometimes your fillings will be a little saucy. Make sure to accomodate for that. Also note the copious amount of flour to keep it from sticking.
Now you want to fold it over into sort of a half-Elune shape. Take the edges of a fork and crimp the sides. The idea is that you want to keep the top and bottom from being able to open back up. It’s sort of the same idea with a pie, I’m told. By Colin. I’m not sure why he’s all up in my business today, maybe he’s hoping he’ll get one.
Oh… Oh Light I hurt Colin’s feelings. He just wanted to spend time with me, oh man I’m a jerk…
Uh… So… Anyhow, at this point it’s not gonna look super great, but don’t worry. Focus on getting the seams crimped and maybe ask the person who has been acting like a surrogate father to come help you and quit acting like a standoffish teenager…
Using the edge of your fork, trim up the sides and conserve the trimmings. Now it’s starting to look like a proper hand-pie.
There will be a few times where you rolled it too thin or maybe were too rough with the folding and it creates some holes. But never fear, that’s why we saved the scraps. Roll out a few or kinda make it flat with your fingers, then patch up the weak spots.
Good as new!
Once all of these are folded, crimped and patched as necessary, get them all onto either a lined baking sheet or a stone or both.
In order to tell the ones with Durotar ground meat, I tried to make a little Blood Knight phoenix. It didn’t work out too well, but it was a fun experiment…
Remember that egg we beat earlier? Brush it onto the tops of these. I diluted it with a bit too much water, so it didn’t come out quite right this time, but it was still crunchy and delicious with a hot meat filling.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 400F/200C and then let them cool before transferring.
This one was a different batch that used shredded chicken, cream cheese and bufallo sauce. You can see that I didn’t pinch the edge well enough for one near the top, but it was still delicious, if messy. This was a non-diluted egg wash and it turned out really golden.
A little pale, but still just so tasty!!! These didn’t last very long at all. The Guards have started to recognize me when I show up before muster with a basket. These save pretty well in a cold box, also. Go nuts with the filling!! For some of the Sunwalkers I’ve made it with peanut butter and jelly inside. Also try straight cream cheese in smaller balls, or a breakfast of (precooked) scrambled eggs, meat and cheese. YUM.
- 1 cup (8 oz) warm water, separated
- .25 oz dry active yeast
- 2 Tbls olive oil
- 2 Tbls honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups (384g) all purpose flour
- Fillings of choice
- One beaten egg for wash (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C
- Add yeast to half of the warm water and let it sit until foamy
- Mix oil, honey, salt and the other half of the water in a large bowl
- Add one cup of the flour and mix
- Add the foamy yeast mixture and mix
- Add the rest of the flour until a dough is formed
- Beat up or ‘knead’ the dough until soft and pliable
- Cut into 8 equal balls
- Roll out, fill with filling and crimp shut with fork
- Trim edges and patch any holes
- Brush with the egg wash and bake on a stone or sheet for 15-20 minutes or until golden
- Allow to cool and enjoy or share with your favorite people
PS: I made a special one for Colin cuz I felt bad. It had jam, chocolate, and marshmallows in it. He loved it and all is well again.