With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
In a bowl, combine the bread and milk. Let soak for 10 minutes. Set aside.
In non-stick skillet, brown the onions in the butter. Add the meat and sauté until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the garlic and spices and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the bread and the remaining ingredients. Adjust the seasoning. Transfer and press evenly into a 28 x 20-cm (11 X 8-inch) baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the milk and eggs with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour that egg mixture over the cooked meat, right out of the oven, and garnish with the bay leaves. Continue baking for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Serve with yellow rice (see recipe).
Bobotie is the Sheperd’s pie of the South Africans. It is a combination of ground meat, breadcrumbs, milk, and curry powder covered with an egg and milk mixture.