VATRUSHKA

imageVatrushka!!!  When I heard of this beauty the first time, my head filled with visions of a beautiful tanned belle walking down the street, shapely legs, hips swaying, smoky eyes, a smile to weaken the knees, wearing lacy lingerie under her jacket …..and then suddenly she whips out a dangerous looking gun the size of her palm and puts 2 holes through the head of the man on the pavement opposite. Well, well I am getting carried away , heading in the direction of 007.

Vatrushka (the one you can eat!) is a Russian open pie with a bread base and a filling of cream cheese with fruits like raspberry or blueberries embedded in the centre. I googled to looking for the best “sounding” recipe and settled on the bread from  allrecipe.com . I must mention here, that after all these years pottering around in the kitchen, when I read a recipe, I get this gut feeling if it will work for me or not. Its akin to reading music, you know what it will sound (in this case, taste) like and maybe feel too,  and usually I am bang on!  So out of the 6-7 that I went through here was one that challenged me enough in terms of time management and patience, so I took it on. But the filling proved to be an issue and I decided to go my own way since I had no berries in the fridge and I wanted to try a savoury version as well. I used homemade cream cheese which is simple to make and tastes great and is far easier on your pocket. Since I was experimenting with the filling, I must admit I added a bit too much egg to the cream cheese which turned it into scrambled egg on toast ( a comment made by Mr 40 something!). Cheeky but true J (LOL!!). So in this recipe I have reduced the egg.

The dough needs 3 risings which may keep you on your feet through half a day (4-5 hours approx), its not an “easy-to- follow on a sunny day recipe” but turns out beautiful. The buns are the true tanned beauties which hold the mysterious filling inside…..i can assure you that this maiden will add a few calories, but won’t kill. 🙂

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The dough needs 3 risings which may keep you on your feet through half a day (4-5 hours approx), its not an “easy-to- follow on a sunny day recipe” but turns out beautiful. The buns are the true tanned beauties which hold the mysterious filling inside…..I can assure you that this maiden will add a few calories, but won’t kill. J

RECIPE

VATRUSHKA

1st Stage

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm milk (no more than 100 degrees F/38 degrees C)

1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons castor sugar or superfine sugar

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

2nd Stage

1/4 cup warm milk (no more than 100 degrees F/38 degrees C)

3 1/2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons castor sugar or superfine sugar

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling:

For 8 buns-Savoury Version

250 grms cream cheese

2 tblspoons egg (lightly beaten)

5 tblspoons cheddar (or any cheese of your choice)

½ tspn. Pepper

1 tsp finely chopped rosemary and thyme (fresh if Possible)

Pinch of salt

Mix the ingredients to a smooth consistency for  the filling.

Sweet version-For 8 Buns-

250 grms. Cream Cheese

2 tblspoons heaped nuttela

2 tspns castor sugar

2 tblspns lightly beaten egg

Mix the above ingredients for filling.

Directions

Stage 1

  • Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup of warm milk in a small bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon flour and 1 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, about 10 minutes.
  • Combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1/4 cup warm milk in a large bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix well to form a sticky dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and cover the plastic-wrapped bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for until doubled, 2 hours or more.

Stage 2

  • Beat butter, egg yolk, and 2 tablespoons caster sugar with an electric mixer until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the butter mixture to the dough; pour in 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky and feels smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and top it with the towel. Let the dough rise again for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Return the dough to a floured work surface. Press down lightly with your hands to deflate it, and use a knife to cut the dough into 8-10 pieces.
  • Shape each piece into a ball and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Place two glasses on the baking sheet to hold up the towel, and arrange the towel over the rolls to prevent them from drying out. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the towel and glasses. Dip the bottom of a 2-inch glass or jar in flour and press down in the center of each bun to form a hollow or a craator. Fill the buns with the filling. Brush the beaten egg white on the edges of the buns.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the buns are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
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