This is a delicious breakfast pastry to go with your morning coffee. Available in all patisseries and pastry stalls wherever you are in Hungary. The filling is traditionally made of the creamy cow's curd cheese that is used in so many Hungarian desserts. This is not available in the UK so I used a mixture of ricotta and strained natural cottage cheese instead, which worked really nicely.
This recipe makes about 25 parcels. It freezes well or keeps in the fridge for a few days. Warm it up in the oven before serving and sprinkle with icing sugar.
For the pastry:
600 g plain flour
320 ml milk
1 egg, beaten
pinch of salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
80 g melted butter
2,5 g fresh yeast or 1 packet (7g) dried yeast
Dissolve the yeast in luke warm milk and leave it for 10-15 minutes until it melts and starts to activate. If using dried yeast, you can add this straight to the flour. Sift the flour, salt, sugar in a mixing bowl, mix well. Add the egg, milk and yeasty milk to the flour mix and knead it for a good 10 minutes with a dough hook or by hand until you get a sticky dough. Add the melted butter and knead it for another 5 minutes or until the butter is well mixed in and the pastry has a nice, smooth, elastic texture. Cover it with a wet tea towel or clingfilm and leave it in a warm place for about an hour until it has doubled in size.
In the meantime make the filling.
For the filling:
200g ricotta cheese
200g natural cottage cheese (strain through a sieve if too watery)
4 tbsp semolina
3 tbsp caster sugar
few drops of vanilla essence
grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp sultanas
1 egg, separated
Mix the ricotta, cottage cheese, semolina, sugar, vanilla essence, lemon zest and sultanas and the egg yolk in a bowl. Beat the egg white until firm peaks form then gently fold into the ricotta mix. If it feels too runny, add a bit more semolina. It should have a creamy but not runny texture.
Tip the dough on to a floured work surface and punch once or twice to knock it back. Roll it out with a rolling pin to about 3mm thick and cut into 10cmx10cm squares. Put a tablespoon of ricotta mix on the centre of each one, pinch all 4 corners together and give it a twist to close the parcel. Carefully place them on some parchment paper on a large baking tray, cover with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place to rest and prove again (20-30 minutes). While you are waiting for the parcels to prove, preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 6. Once they have risen, lightly glaze each parcel with a little beaten egg and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Allow to cool on a wire rack then dust with some icing sugar.