With the help of two Southeast Asian chefs, a distant memory in Malaysia comes to life. The freshly baked bread and fragrant curry come together beautifully, and is best shared with a large group.
- Heat oils in a large pot on medium-high heat, then one by one, add shallot, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, turmeric, and galangal. Stir constantly until fragrant, then add curry powder, curry leaves and chile paste and cook until brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add chicken and coat chicken evenly with spices. Stir and scrape bottom of pot to prevent burning, and cook until oil has separated, about 10 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, salt, sugar, and white pepper, and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Reserve for the bread, or enjoy on its own served with rice.
- Put water, egg, 1 egg yolk, yeast, oil, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk for a few seconds until combined. Place the dough hook on. Add the flours and salt, and mix on medium speed until dough comes together, about 4 minutes. Let dough rest in the bowl 5 minutes. If dough seems sticky, add a little flour (1 tablespoon at a time) and mix for 5 minutes. Pour dough out onto floured surface and shape into a ball. Place the ball in a clean, greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and towel. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Place the dough on a well-floured surface and press and stretch into a 10-by-8-inch rectangle. Add roughly 1 pint curry mixture in the middle. Beat the remaining egg yolk with 1 Tablespoon water to create an egg wash; brush it along the sides of the dough, then fold one side over the curry and pinch it together. Take the ends and do the same. Flip the loaf so the seams are on the bottom and place it in a greased 8-by-4-inch loaf pan. Lightly grease the top of the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and towel, and let rise in a warm place until the dough is slightly above the pan’s rim, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for 45 minutes, until the top is brown, rotating 180 degrees halfway through. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before removing from the pan, then cool on wire rack.
Matt Gross writes about food, travel, parenting, and culture for lots of places. The former NYT Frugal Traveler and former editor of BonAppetit.com, he is the author of the travel memoir “The Turk Who Loved Apples” and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.