Log Out | Member Center

62°F

86°/63°

Savory pastries: A delicious introduction to yeast baking

  • Modesto Bee
  • Published Wednesday, August 22, 2012, at 5:50 a.m.

DOUGH

This recipe is adapted from “Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking With Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient,” from the editors of Grit Magazine (Andrew McMeel, $24.99).

Dough with filling makes enough to feed 8 to 10.

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water, divided use

1/4 cup lard, softened, plus more for greasing pans

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs

4 cups all-purpose flour, divided use

In a small bowl, soak the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water. In a large bowl, cream the lard with the sugar, salt and eggs. Add the yeast to the remaining 1 cup of warm water and then to the large bowl. Mix in 2 cups of flour. Add the remaining flour gradually and stir until the dough comes together. Ideally, you want to use 3 1/2 cups of flour for the dough and the remaining 1/2 cup for rolling. Place dough in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Refrigerate dough overnight.

Divide dough into 12 3-ounce balls and roll out flat to 1/4-inch thickness. Place 1/2 cup of filling in the center of each; pull the corners of the dough over the filling and pinch tightly to seal. Place seam side down 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or clean towel to rise.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — Aug. 22, 2012

SPICY GROUND BEEF FILLING

This recipe is adapted from “Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking With Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient,” from the editors of Grit Magazine (Andrew McMeel, $24.99).

Makes enough for a dozen oversized buns.

1 teaspoon lard

1 pound ground beef

2 cups chopped onion

3 cups cabbage, finely chopped in a food processor

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 recipe dough

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Heat the lard in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned, stirring constantly. Add the onion, cabbage and salt and spices. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool. Pull dough from refrigerator.

Divide dough into 12 3-ounce balls and roll out flat to 1/4-inch thickness. Place 1/2 cup of meat mixture in the center of each; pull the corners of the dough over the filling and pinch tightly to seal. Place seam side down 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic or towel to rise.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush tops of pastries with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — Aug. 22, 2012

BACON AND EGGS

Makes 2 pastries.

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic minced

12 eggs

1 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled, or ham

1 recipe dough

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic and saute until tender, about five minutes. Whisk eggs together in a bowl and add to skillet, stirring frequently until just set. Turn off heat. Add cheese and cream cheese, stirring occasionally and allowing the residual heat in the pan to melt both. Add bacon or ham, stirring to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper.

Pull dough out of refrigerator when filling is nearly done. Divide dough in half and roll into a rectangle 1/4-inch thick on parchment paper. Place dough horizontally. Place filling on bottom half of dough, leaving enough space along the edges to crimp. Be generous with the filling, eliminating excess dough so that the pastry isn’t mostly bread. Brush filling edge of dough with egg wash and fold dough over and crimp edges with a fork. Cover dough with a soft cloth and allow to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once the dough is ready, brush with egg wash and cut slits in top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on top.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — Aug. 22, 2012

EDAMAME AND SPINACH FILLING

Pull the dough out of the refrigerator once the filling is nearly cooked.

This recipe is adapted from “The Hamptons: Food, Family, and History,” by Ricky Lauren (Wiley, $40).

Makes enough for 2 pastries.

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

8 ounces edamame, shelled

8 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

4 tomatoes, chopped

2 large eggs, beaten

4 ounces whole milk mozzarella, shredded

1 recipe dough

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the edamame, spinach and tomatoes and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Add the eggs and cheese and stir well.

Punch down the dough and give it a quick knead. Place parchment paper on counter.

Divide the dough in half and place half on parchment paper and roll into an 11-by-17 rectangle that’s about 1/4-inch thick. With the rectangle placed horizontally, score the dough into thirds. The filling will go in the middle third. Mark the outside edges in 1-inch intervals (or deeper) and cut the dough in strips up to the scored filling lines. Pull the parchment with the prepared dough onto a baking sheet. Place filling in center of dough.

Alternately fold the dough strips over the filling and to the other edge, crisscrossing each strip as you go along. Cover dough with a soft, clean cloth and let rise until dough doubles in size, about an hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush pastry with beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or kalonji, if desired, and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden on top.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — Aug. 22, 2012

You don’t have to be a baking expert to enjoy making yeast-raised breads and pastries. A foolproof dough with plenty of room for creativity and a few basics are all that’s needed to get started.

If you’ve shied away from yeast baking, this is the perfect dough for getting started. It’s easy to make and use. Combine it with savory fillings for spectacular results that even the corner bakery can’t match.

Don’t be tempted to use refrigerated bread dough or crescent rolls. One’s too tough and chewy for the filling, and the other is too soft.

The fat and eggs in this recipe create a dough that’s tender yet sturdy enough to handle the filling. They’re also in a proportion that makes the dough manageable. A dough heavy in eggs and fat, while tender and flavorful, becomes unmanageable with extended handling. The sugar in this recipe adds a hint of sweetness that’s a perfect foil for the savory fillings.

“Having success with yeast-raised breads and pastries is all about controlling the temperature,” according to Vinnie DeAngelo, owner of Bella Luna in Merced, Calif., which specializes in Italian breads and pastries, plus sandwiches and soups.

“Activate dry yeast in water at about 85-90 degrees. Let sit about three to five minutes. … This will ensure that your yeast is working. For beginners, it’s a must.” The yeast will activate and take on a creamy sauce-like consistency.

Cream the wet ingredients and stir in the fermented yeast and then the flour until the dough just comes together. Let the warmth of summer do the rest. As the yeast ferments, it feeds off sugar and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. During baking, these gases are released and baked goods rise.

A long knead is a misconception, as is dough being time-consuming.

Those “best for bread” gluten-heavy flours, combined with refrigerating the dough overnight, allow the flavors to develop without the need for endless kneading. And a chilled dough is easier to roll out and shape.

If you find that the dough is ready and you’re not, punch it down and put it back in the refrigerator. The dough will hold in the refrigerator for a day or two or even three.

This recipe will accommodate a sweet filling, though it tastes best paired with a savory partner. Roll out the dough and spread heavily with apricot jam or marmalade, or mix 2 tablespoons jam with 1 cup ricotta, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons flour. Roll up and bake as directed on the dough.

Subscribe to our newsletters

The Wichita Eagle welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views. Please see our commenting policy for more information.

Have a news tip? You can send it to wenews@wichitaeagle.com.

Search for a job

in

Top jobs