It looks like spring has arrived here in our part of the world. Temperatures have risen, the days keep getting longer and cherry trees are in full bloom. It’s done; there’ll be no going back to winter now.
Maybe it’s from being stuck under dark grey clouds for months, but this time of year makes me wanderlust.
My feet itch, not for any specific place, but the distant someplace beckons.
We walked under the warm sun this weekend, found a cosy patio and over coffee and scones, planned our next trip.
Whenever I feel restless and the urge to travel becomes unbearable, I read, I guess, as a way to travel through my imagination.
I’ve been reading some exciting books lately; these stories are forming the next places I want to visit.
My mind also wanders to what I’d take on these trips, more books for company for sure, but what I go into detail planning are the meals I’d like to bring at the start of these travels.
There’s something comforting about bringing food from home on a journey.
I love homemade hand pies on long trips, especially on plane rides – hand pies make portable satisfying snacks when travelling.
They keep and travel well, and are relatively easy to make; you can fill them with whatever you want. I love to use pesto, leftover veggies and quick sauces as filling for mine.
Hand pies are universal; with the savoury kind garnering several names, empanadas, pasties, patty, calzone, we call them meat pie where I come from.
Now, these pesto, lentil and basil hand pies are just a bunch of leftovers we’ve managed to cobble together brilliantly.
I chose to use bread dough here but flaky pastry dough, like the one used in these apple hand pies would work pretty well too.
You don’t have to make the chopped herbs and lentil salad, it’s in there because it needed to be used up.
I’d love to make a simple filling of crushed lentils with chopped red onions drizzled with olive oil for next time, but use whatever filling you like. I hope this recipe acts as a general guide to creating many tasty hand pie combinations!
They freeze well too, this batch has extras in the freezer, I’ll be baking and bringing them along on that next trip I’ve been dreaming of…
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (plus more for bowl)
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling on pie
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour (I used white whole-wheat flour)
- Grease a large bowl with oil and set aside
- Pour warm water in another large bowl and sprinkle with yeast.
- Let it stand for about 5 minutes or until foamy
- Add oil, sugar, garlic powder, cumin and salt
- Add flours, and stir with a wooden spoon to form a sticky dough
- Transfer bowl into other large greased bowl, drizzle oil over top and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let dough sit in a warm spot until it’s doubled in size, about an hour
- Turn dough out on a clean flour-dusted surface, and knead until smooth
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking tray with parchment paper
- Using a rolling pin, roll dough out thin (you want it thin because the yeasted dough will rise while baking)
- Use a 4 or 6-inch round cookie cutter (or food mold or round bowl) to cut out circles from the dough
- Add a tablespoon filling, a teaspoon of pesto and two or three basil leaves onto the center of half of the cut-outs
- Brush edges with water and then cover with the other halves of the cut-outs.
- Press to seal and make ridges around the edge using a fork dipped in flour
- Pierce top of pies twice with a fork, brush with coconut oil and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, transfer on to the baking tray
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until pies are golden brown
- Enjoy while still warm or at room temperature