The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cheese Pockets

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Cheese Pockets

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

 

Comments

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

nice looking stuff

i am glad you made them because now if you make the bun formula you will realy see what a small change in a formula will do when you handle and bake the other dough

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'll do something with the bun formula next time I make something with a sweet dough.

BTW, this time I used all Giusto's Baker's Choice flour. And I was patient with the mixing. It took around 30 minutes for full development running the KA mixer at Speed 3, and sometimes Speed 4. As you had said, it seems like it will never come together. Then it does.

David

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

if your watching the mixer it's kind of magicial one second it's a sloppy mess and in the blink of an eye (after that 30 minutes) it all comes off the bowl and grabs the paddle.

xaipete's picture
xaipete

That's a lot of time. Thanks for letting us know that. --Pamela

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

And here I am with my coffee and that picture....sigh...those look SO good. Can I use ricotta cheese that has been drained in cheesecloth in place of hoop ? We can't get anything like that here. They sure look yummy  David ! c

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Caroline.

If you do a search on "cheese pockets" on TFL, you will find some discussion of the cheese options, as I recall.

The short answer is, "Yes. You could use ricotta, but it would be different." The most easily accessible close substitute might be no-fat cottage cheese pushed through a strainer.

David

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Yum.  Those look like *exactly* what I'd like to be eating for breakfast right now.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

My there are a lot of sweet tooth's around lately!  This recipe will certainly be enjoyed.  Thank you for taking the time to write it all out.  Pretty and tasty enough looking to go behind the glass in the pastry shop!

Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you make them, let us see some pictures and hear how you like them.

David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Ah gee, I'm looking at this before breakfast!!! They look really nice. I think I'd try it with T55. I haven't done any sweet bread baking in ages.

Jane