Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cheese and Spinach Buns

Grandma Rachel was the personification of grandma-ness. She always made sure everyone was well fed, she always had sweet treats for us when we came to visit, and in later years she was very fond of telling me how wonderful and fun it is to be a young mother, ahem ahem (nehhhh, she wasn't hinting at anything... not at all... ).

These buns will always remind me of her. She always had a batch in her freezer ready to eat after a visit to the microwave. The original recipe didn't call for whole wheat flour or spinach, but I tweaked it up a bit, you're welcome.

Always play with your food !

This recipe is more of a "I have all this extra cheese in the fridge, I don't know what to do with it and it would be a shame to let it go to waste" kind of recipe, hence you can use pretty much any type of cheese you like, as long as you keep to a few general rules.
By white / cottage cheese, I mean a very soft cheese, with relatively neutral flavor and about 5% fat.
By semi-hard yellow cheese, I mean a semi-hard cheese with about 30% fat like Gouda or Cheddar (in Israel we also have Skandinavit, which goes well here).
Lastly, I used a rather salty feta, so there was no need for much added salt. If you're in doubt, just taste the dough before you let it rest.

Grandma Rachel's improved Cheese and Spinach Buns

makes about 35 buns

250g white cheese* or cottage cheese
200g  semi-hard yellow* cheese, grated
140g feta cheese, crumbled into small pieces
100g spinach, chopped into small squares
1 egg (L)
200g unsalted butter
200g all-purpose flour
150g whole wheat flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt*

*see explanation above

egg wash + garnish:
1 egg + about a tsp of water
sesame seeds
whole puppy seeds

Melt the butter and let it cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl mix all of the cheese together with the egg. Mix in the cooled butter.
In a different bowl mix both flours, baking powder and salt to a uniform mixture. Add this to the wet mixture and work everything to a fairly soft and sticky dough. Let it rest in the fridge for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment and make medium sized balls out of the dough. Make sure to leave a few centimeters worth of space between them, as they will spread out a bit. Beat an egg with about a teaspoon of water to make an egg wash and brush the little buns with it, garnishing with sesame and puppy seeds.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Keep in an airtight container or freeze them (they keep well for pretty much forever in the freezer and just 30 seconds in the microwave bring them right back to life).

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