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cheese pockets

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dmsnyder

Pecan Roll

Cheese Pocket 

Both these pastries were made with the Babka Dough from Inside the Jewish Bakery by Stanley Ginsburg and Norman Berg.

My wife and I have fond memories of the Pecan Rolls from the long-closed Fantasia Bakery in San Francisco. Theirs were made with danish pastry and were coated with a sticky bun type glaze. The ones I made today were simpler and less sweet. After mixing and fermenting the dough, I divided it, wrapped it in plasti-crap and refrigerated it overnight. The next day, I rolled out a 16 oz portion, coated it with KAF Cinnamon Smear, sprinkled on toasted pecan pieces, rolled up the dough and divided it into 12 portions. These were placed in a buttered muffin tin, egg washed and proofed. Before baking, I put pecan halves on the tops and egg washed again. The rolls were not glazed after baking.

Pecan Rolls, proofing in a Brod & Taylor Proofing Box

Ready to bake

Baked and Cooling

Pecan Roll Crumb

When I was much younger, my favorite pastry from Karsh's Bakery was their Cheese Pockets. The ones I made today used the same dough as the Pecan Rolls and the Cheese Filling from ITJB. The dough was rolled out and divided into 4 inch squares. About 2 tablespoons of the cheese filling was put in the middle of each square, and the corners were folded in, overlapping to completely cover the filling. The seams were pinched closed. The pieces were egg washed before proofing and, again, after being sprinkled with slivered almonds before baking. A streusel topping would have been more traditional.

Thesse are not the same as Karsh's. The pastry is much more flavorful, and the cheese filling is smoother and richer. In my wife's words, a more "elegant" version. She liked the pastry more and the filling less. For me, it's still "a work in progress." Meanwhile, I will certainly enjoy eating this iteration.

Cheese Pockets

A Sampler

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

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dmsnyder

It was 1 year ago that I last made cheese pockets. I've been good, even if the scale disagrees. So, prompted by Norm's posting his Crumb Buns, I made my annual indulgence. 



These are made with a sweet, coffee cake dough and filled with a mixture that is mostly hoop cheese, which is a non-fat cheese somewhat similar to ricotta. (Recipe follows.) For some background on these pastries, please surf to my previous blog entry:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6215/cheese-pockets


I won't repeat all the history, but I will mention of few differences in this bake which resulted from my prior experience and helpful tips from Norm (nbicomputers). But, first, the recipe:


Cheese Pockets



Coffee Cake Dough (Formula thanks to Norm)
Sugar                                     4 oz (1/2 cup)
Sea Salt                                  1/4 oz (1 1/2 tsp, or table salt 1 tsp)
Milk Powder (skim)                   1 oz (3 T)
Butter or Shortening                  4 oz (8 T or 1/2 cup)
Egg yolk                                  1 oz (1 large egg's yolk)
Large eggs                              3 oz (2 eggs)
Yeast (fresh)                            1 1/4 oz (or 3 3/4 tsp instant yeast = 0.4 oz)
Water                                      8 oz (1 cup)
Vanilla                                     1/4 oz (2/3 tsp)
Cardamom                               1/16 oz (1/2 tsp)
Cake Flour                               4 oz (7/8 cup)
Bread Flour                              13 oz (2 3/4 cups)


Other flavors can be added such as lemon or orange rind grated


Note: Using other size eggs or other flours will result in substantial changes in the dough consistency require adjustments in flour or water amounts.


Cheese Filling 
Hoop cheese or Farmer's cheese 12 oz
Sour Cream                              1/4 cup
Sugar                                       2 T
Flour                                        2 T
Egg                                          1 large
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated


Mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate until needed, up to 24 hours.


Egg Wash
Beat 1 egg with 1 T water


Streusel Topping 
Sugar (all white, or part brown) 2 oz (4 T)
Butter                                    2 oz (4 T)
All purpose flour                     4 oz
Cinnamon                              1/2 tsp. 


1. Cream the sugar and butter. 
2. Add the flour and mix with your fingers, rubbing the ingredients to a coarse crumb. (This can also be done entirely in a food processor.)


Mixing and Fermenting the Dough
1. Mix the sugar, butter or shortening, salt and milk powder to a paste.
2. Add the eggsbeaten with the vanilla and cardamom and stir.
3. If using powdered yeast, mix it with part of the water. If using cake yeast, crumble it in with the flour.
4. Add the water (the part without the yeast, if using powdered yeast, otherwise all of it),  cardamom and vanilla.
5. Add the flour. (If using powdered yeast, add the yeast-water now. If using cake yeast, crumble it on top of the flour now.)
6. Mix well into a smooth, soft dough. (20+ minutes in a KitchenAid at Speed 3 using the paddle.) The dough should form a ball on the paddle and clean the sides of the bowl.
7. Cover the dough and let it rise to double size. (2 1/2-3 hours at 60F.)
8. Punch down the dough, and allow it to rest 10-20 minutes.


Making up the Pastries
1. Divide the dough into 2.25 oz pieces and roll each into a ball. (My dough made 18 pieces weighing 2.35 oz each.)
2. Place dough pieces on a sheet pan or your bench. (I used a lightly floured marble slab.)
3. Stretch or roll out each piece into a square, 4 inches on a side. 
4. Take each dough piece and press the middle with a round,  hard object such as the bottom of a small measuring cup to form a depression in the center.
5. Place about 1 T of cheese filling in the center of each piece.
6. Take each corner of the square pieces and fold 3/4 of the way to the center, pinching the adjacent edges of the folded dough together to seal the seams. (See Note)
7. Cover and allow to rise to 3/4 double. (30-40 minutes at 70F.) Do not underproof! 
8.  Brush the top dough of each pastry with egg wash. Do not get egg wash on the exposed cheese filling.
9. Sprinkle streusel over each pastry.


Baking
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Bake pasties on parchment lined  sheet pan until golden brown. (25-35 minutes)
3. When pastries are cooled a little, sift confectioner's sugar over each, if desired.
           


Note: The pastries can be refrigerated overnight or frozen at this point. If refrigerated, allow them to rise at room temperature to 3/4 double, and proceed as above. If frozen, thaw at room temperature, allow to rise to 3/4 double, and proceed as above.


One thing I learned last time was that under-proofing these pastries results in exuberant oven spring, with the pastries bursting open. So, I really proofed these puppies. Maybe a little bit more than was necessary. But maybe not.



Another thing I changed was to pick up on a suggestion for speeding up proofing by putting the made-up pastries in a humidified, warm oven. I found that my KitchenAid conventional/convection oven has a proofing setting! It is actually a "dehydrating" setting, but I set it for 100F and put a pan of just-boiled water in to create a humid environment. This probably cut my proofing time in half, compared to my 70F kitchen.


As you can see, the pastries had just a bit of oven spring, which is good in this case, and they did not burst, which is also good.


Previously, I had topped the pastries with streusel. This time, I just egg washed them and sprinkled on a few sliced almonds. I skipped the painting with syrup to make them shiny. So, I could tell my wife these are the "low-cal version."


I had only one for dessert. Pretty good stuff. It will be even better with coffee for breakfast.




David


 

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dmsnyder

Cheese pockets 1

Cheese pockets 1

Cheese Pockets cooling

Cheese Pockets cooling

When I was growing up, there was a Jewish bakery in town. It was quite excellent, and it really set my standard for Jewish breads and pastries. My favorite pastry was what they called "cheese pockets." I have found these in Jewish bakeries in L.A., and, in searching for recipes on the web, I found one on an Israeli food blog. http://momsrecipesandmore.blogspot.com/2007/06/bookmark-using-any-bookmark-manager_28.html.  There, it is identified as Hungarian in origin. In Hungarian, they are called "Turos Taska." It turns out there is a similar Czech pastry, but all the links I could find were in Czech, which I don't read. I made the recipe I'd found a few months ago. I liked the filling, but the pastry just wasn't right.

 So, I described my memory of cheese pockets and asked our resident "Baker for over 25 years-----Ret," Norm (nbicomputers) if he had a formula that might resemble what I remembered. He generously responded in http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6159/coffee-cake-yeast.

Today, I undertook to make cheese pockets. I used Norm's formula for the dough and his procedure. I made a few substitutions because of the ingredients I had on hand with less than satisfactory results. To my good fortune, Norm was there for me, offering fixes and very gently explaining where I had gone wrong and exactly why. I highly recommend reading that topic to anyone who is still learning to bake better, which is, hopefully, everybody on this site! You can find a running account of my struggles and errors and how Norm bailed me out at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6195/hi-norm-please-look.

Here is the formula and procedures:

 Cheese Pockets

Coffee Cake Dough (Formula thanks to Norm)
Sugar                                     4 oz (1/2 cup)
Sea Salt                                  1/4 oz (1 1/2 tsp, or table salt 1 tsp)
Milk Powder (skim)                   1 oz (3 T)
Butter or Shortening                  4 oz (8 T or 1/2 cup)
Egg yolk                                  1 oz (1 large egg's yolk)
Large eggs                              3 oz (2 eggs)
Yeast (fresh)                            1 1/4 oz (or 3 3/4 tsp instant yeast = 0.4 oz)
Water                                      8 oz (1 cup)
Vanilla                                     1/4 oz (2/3 tsp)
Cardamom                               1/16 oz (1/2 tsp)
Cake Flour                               4 oz (7/8 cup)
Bread Flour                              13 oz (2 3/4 cups)

Other flavors can be added such as lemon or orange rind grated

Note: Using other size eggs or other flours will result in substantial changes in the dough consistency require adjustments in flour or water amounts.

Cheese Filling
Hoop cheese or Farmer's cheese 12 oz
Sour Cream                              1/4 cup
Sugar                                       2 T
Flour                                        2 T
Egg                                          1 large
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

Mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate until needed, up to 24 hours.

Egg Wash
Beat 1 egg with 1 T water

Streusel Topping
Sugar (all white, or part brown) 2 oz (4 T)
Butter                                    2 oz (4 T)
All purpose flour                     4 oz
Cinnamon                              1/2 tsp. 

1. Cream the sugar and butter.
2. Add the flour and mix with your fingers, rubbing the ingredients to a coarse crumb. (This can also be done entirely in a food processor.)

Mixing and Fermenting the Dough
1. Mix the sugar, butter or shortening, salt and milk powder to a paste.
2. Add the eggsbeaten with the vanilla and cardamom and stir.
3. If using powdered yeast, mix it with part of the water. If using cake yeast, crumble it in with the flour.
4. Add the water (the part without the yeast, if using powdered yeast, otherwise all of it),  cardamom and vanilla.
5. Add the flour. (If using powdered yeast, add the yeast-water now. If using cake yeast, crumble it on top of the flour now.)
6. Mix well into a smooth, soft dough. (10 minutes in a KitchenAid using the paddle.) The dough should form a ball on the paddle and clean the sides of the bowl.
7. Cover the dough and let it rise to double size. (2 1/2-3 hours at 60F.)
8. Punch down the dough, and allow it to rest 10-20 minutes.

Making up the Pastries
1. Divide the dough into 2.25 oz pieces and roll each into a ball. (My dough made 18 pieces weighing 2.35 oz each.)
2. Place dough pieces on a sheet pan or your bench. (I used a lightly floured marble slab.)
3. Stretch or roll out each piece into a square, 4 inches on a side.
4. Take each dough piece and press the middle with a round,  hard object such as the bottom of a small measuring cup to form a depression in the center.
5. Place about 1 T of cheese filling in the center of each piece.
6. Take each corner of the square pieces and fold 3/4 of the way to the center, pinching the adjacent edges of the folded dough together to seal the seams. (See Note)
7. Cover and allow to rise to 3/4 double. (30-40 minutes at 70F.) Do not overproof!
8.  Brush the top dough of each pastry with egg wash. Do not get egg wash on the exposed cheese filling.
9. Sprinkle streusel over each pastry.

Baking
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Bake pasties on parchment lined  sheet pan until golden brown. (25-35 minutes)
3. When pastries are cooled a little, sift confectioner's sugar over each, if desired.
           

Note: The pastries can be refrigerated overnight or frozen at this point. If refrigerated, allow them to rise at room temperature to 3/4 double, and proceed as above. If frozen, thaw at room temperature, allow to rise to 3/4 double, and proceed as above.

 David

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Norm! Please look at this ...

February 29, 2008 - 9:52pm -- dmsnyder

Hi, Norm.

I've taken your coffee cake dough formula and scaled it down, added your streusel topping formula and a cheese filling recipe I've used before. I am planning to make Cheese Pockets tomorrow to test the formula and make adjustments to my taste and so the dough, filling and streusel quantities more or less match up (which they probably don't now).

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