Danish Pastries with Farmer’s Cheese (Vatrushki)
Sweet bun with farmer's cheese filling.
For 12 pastries:
1 cup milk
3 cups flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 small package yeast (4 oz)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 lb farmer’s cheese
Pinch vanilla if desired
Heat the milk till about 90F and pour into a bowl.
Add 5 tablespoons of the sugar.
Pour in the yeast. Moisten the yeast a little without stirring.
Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
After the yeast starts rising you will notice a foam cap on the surface. At this point add one teaspoon of the salt.
Add the flour. Make sure you measure the milk and the flour with the same kind of a cup. And of course make sure that your flour-measuring cup is dry.
Start mixing the dough.
During mixing add 1/3 cup of the oil to the dough.
Continue mixing until the dough absorbs all the flour and the oil. You don’t need to knead till it’s perfectly smooth. It will take about 20 minutes for the gluten in the dough to expand.
So, in 20 minutes transfer the dough onto the working surface and you’ll see how quick and easy it will be to knead till smooth.
Return the dough into the bowl, cover with the plastic wrap or a kitchen towel (to prevent the top from drying) and leave at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
After that return the dough to the working surface and knead once more.
Cover with the plastic wrap again and set aside for another 30-40 minutes for the final rising.
At this point the dough should triple compared to its original size.
Divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
Roll each part into a ball and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Cover the baking sheet with the plastic wrap and set aside for 25-30 minutes to rise once more.
Place the farmer’s cheese into a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, a pinch of vanilla and one egg.
Mix well with a fork.
Preheat the oven to 425F.
After the dough balls rise on the baking sheet you need to make the spaces for the filling in each pastry.
Using a cup with a diameter slightly smaller than the pastries press each pastry in the center almost to the bottom.
Place a full tablespoon of the farmer’s cheese filling into each pastry.
Smooth out the surface of the filling.
Beat and egg and mix it with 2-3 tablespoons of the water.
Dip a pastry brush into the egg mixture and brush the pastries all over.
Make sure you’re brushing the dough and not the filling.
Place the baking sheet with the pastries into the oven right away.
Bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes.
Remove the pastries from the baking sheet and serve.