Baking with Chillies

Baking with Chillies. Pizza

Be it bread, pastries or cakes, the Chilli is the one ingredient you can add to your baking that will make your creation different.  There is something about the combination of Chillies and chocolate or cheese ( and many other things )  with everyday baking ingredients that just works.

This section will explore a wide variety of these combinations, including sweet, savoury, piquant and sour.  Hope you enjoy.

Recipes for baking with Chillies

Chilli and cheese bread
Spicy empanadas

Who bakes with Chillies?

Baking with Chillies. Empanadas

Some history

The history of baking goes way back. Evidence of the first know baking oven from 6500 years ago was found in Croatia in 2014. The Ancient Greeks were baking bread in 600 BC.  By 300 BC, baking had progressed so much that it became a highly sought-after occupation. Bakers who could come up with innovative ideas, they were very much in demand. The elite paid handsomely for their products. This is a trend that has continued around the world to this day.

It's a pity that they didn't know about Chillies in those parts of the world then. It would take until after Christopher Columbus' trip to the West Indies in 1492 that Chillies would start becoming known outside the Americas. It would have taken over eighteen hundred years before Chillies finally landed up in Greece.

So indeed they weren't baking with Chilies then, but just imagine how well an innovative baker would have done had he known about them!

All that has changed, of course. It has taken hundreds of years, but Chillies are now all over the place. They are used extensively in cooking and baking to such an extent that it now would almost be impossible to imagine them not being there at all.

So, where are Chillies used in baking today?

Historically, the first country that should be mentioned is India. They were one of the first countries that the Portuguese  introduced to Chillies.   Before long, they were using Chillies to replace the other aromatic spices they had been using in their baking. Examples of Indian baking with Chillies include Naans with Chillies,  Samosas, Pudla and pastries like Keema pastry.

Other countries that use Chillies in their baking include Italy ( Pizza and Calzones with spicy toppings and fillings), Jamaica ( Beef patties), Nigeria ( Nigerian meat pies), United Kingdom (cheese and Chilli bread), Argentina ( Empanadas), Mexico (Spicy  cornbread), the USA ( Jalapeno baked bread)  and,  Turkey ( Sucuk Pide with Sucuk sausage and Lahmacun)  Chillies are also used to make desserts like Chocolate Chilli cheesecake from the USA,  Mexican brownies and ginger and Chilli baked pudding from the United kingdom.

Over and above these more traditional ways of using Chillies in baking, many more ways are quickly evolving. Now it is not strange at all to hear of Chillies in meat pies  ( Australia), Pork pies and Cornish pasties  (the United Kingdom), Potbrood ( South Africa ), Gochujang Bread (Korea ) and spicy quiches ( France) and Khatchapuri with Chilli flakes and oil.

Final thoughts

There are a lot more traditional and not-so-traditional ways of baking. It's a developing scene. Why not invent your own baking recipe with Chillies ?. It is incredible what you can do with a bit of pastry or dough, and a whole bunch of imagination.


Image credit

Marco Verch /CC by 2.0 / via Flikr