Our sister-in-law Diana comes from Romania, her grandma makes this amazing cheese. It’s similar to ricotta, and she makes all kinds of other great stuff too. Such as these Romanian pastries. Very delicious with lemon and that delicious refreshing cheese called “brânza de vaca”, cheese made from cow’s milk. So we decided to re-create the pastries, you can also fold it anyway you like but we decided to sort of fold it like a flower.
- 275 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 eggs + 1 egg for coating
- 50 grams sugar + extra for coating
- 1/2 sachet dry yeast or 12 grams fresh yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 25 ml neutral oil or 30 grams melted butter
- 125 ml milk
- 1/2 lemon (zest)
- 250 grams brânza de vaca (Romanian cheese) or use ricotta instead
- 1 egg
- 100 grams sugar
- 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
- 1/2 lemon (zest)
- pinch of salt
Kitchen equipment needed
- clean kitchen towel
- small knife
- silicone kitchen brush
Preparation — 10 minutes + waiting time
The dough is very easy, all you have to do is COMBINE the flour, 1 1/2 eggs, sugar, dry yeast, milk, oil and lemon zest. When it’s combined, also add the salt. That’s because the yeast will work better if it’s not in direct contact with the salt. If you use fresh yeast, you have to dissolve it into a bit of milk that’s heated up to about lukewarm before you add it to the mixture. You’ll notice the dough is a bit sticky, but that’s okay. COVER with a damp kitchen towel and let it rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile COMBINE all the ingredients for the filling.
Baking the branzoaice — 30 minutes
PRE-HEAT the oven to 180 degrees celsius or 350 degrees fahrenheit.
DIVIDE the dough into about 12 equal pieces. DUST your work surface and rolling-pin with flour and roll out the little dough balls into rounds. Use a small knife to cut the edges inwards, like we did on the pictures above. SCOOP a spoonful of filling into the middle of the dough and fold it inwards. You can also roll out the dough and cut out squares and fold them as an envelope, it’s however you like them best.
Use a silicone kitchen brush to coat the pastries with a beaten egg. The leftover beaten egg can be used again after baking them, so don’t throw it out. BAKE the pastries for about 15 minutes, or until they’re beautiful golden brown depending on your oven and thickness of the dough.
Let them cool off slightly for about 15 to 20 minutes and then add a little bit of sugar to the beaten egg and coat the pastries again for a beautiful shiny result. Enjoy!