Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions in the hot oil until soft. Break the ground beef into the skillet and cook until brown.
Place the milk in a shallow dish. Soak the bread in the milk. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread. Set the milk aside. Add the bread to the beef mixture. Stir in the raisins, apricot jam, chutney, curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven 1 hour.
While the bobotie bakes, whisk together the reserved milk, egg, and a pinch of salt. Pour over top of the dish. Lay the bay leaf onto the top of the milk mixture.
Return the bobotie to the oven until the top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.