Pogácsa — Hungarian Cheese Bites

Thanks to Delicious Days, we now have a new and wonderfully crispy cheesy appetizer!

The great thing about this recipe is that you receive a maximum of crisp flakiness with a minimum of tedious puff pastry techniques. They almost triple in height while in the oven, and seem to breathe!

These are perfect for those people who pay close attention to how they eat something. Of course, you can eat them all at once, which is only half the fun. Better yet,  nibble away one thin layer after another layer of the flaky pastry, starting from the bottom up to the top, to finally be rewarded with the cheesy, crusty top layer.

Ingredients (~ 36 nibbles):

175 g chèvre

125 g cold butter

125 g bread flour (type 550)

3/4 tsp fine sea salt

1 egg (M or L), lightly beaten

20 g freshly grated cheese (mix of Gruyere and Grana Padano or other sharp, dry cheese)

Directions:

Start the night before: Line a large metal sieve with either a clean cheesecloth or a paper towel and fill with the Chèvre. Leave covered to drain in a cold spot, preferably in the fridge.

On the next day: Cut cold butter into cubes and put into a bowl together with 125 g of the drained Chèvre, flour and sea salt. Quickly knead together by hand or with a handheld mixer (use the dough hooks), just make sure not to overwork the dough, small visible spots of Chèvre and butter are fine.

Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with some flour and carefully roll it out to a rectangle, about 1 cm (0,4 inch) thick, then fold the dough like a letter into thirds (when making puff pastry this procedure is called “one turn”). Rotate and repeat the step, then wrap the dough into plastic foil and freeze for 20 to 30 minutes. Throughout the whole process it is important to work quickly, but in case the dough gets too warm and too hard to work with, just wrap it into foil and freeze for a couple of minutes. If you are having trouble keeping the edges of your dough straight, use a large ruler: push it against the sides from time to time, this helps to keep a nice rectangular shape.

Remove the dough from your freezer and repeat step no.3. Put into the freezer for another 20 to 30 minutes. In case you are completely new to making puff pastry and turning the dough, this video is a great starting point (although the dough isn’t folded into thirds).

 Preheat the oven to 200°C (~390°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the freezer again, dust surface and rolling pin one last time and roll into a neat square (~ 18 x 18 cm/ ~ 7 x 7 inch), trimming the edges with a sharp knife if necessary. Then cut into small squares ( 3 x 3 cm/ 1,2 x 1,2 inch) using the large ruler (for measuring and pressing down the dough, while cutting) and knife or pizza cutter.
Place them on the lined baking sheet not too close to each other, then brush with the beaten egg. Top with a mix of freshly grated Gruyere and Grana Padano, then bake on middle level for about 15 minutes or until puffed and nicely golden brown (don’t get nervous, if the butter looks like it is leaking during the first minutes, that’s normal).
Place on a cooling rack – or eat right away… Best eaten the day they were made.

 

 

 


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