Tuesday, April 1, 2008
My son has been a big fan of the cheese danish for a year or so. We have tried every version of cheese danish available in our local grocery stores. Most are not very good. Some are really bad. I got the "bright" idea to try making cheese danish from scratch to appease my son since most of the recipes I have posted recently are not his favorites. I tried a recipe that I got from an Austrian website. Did you know that cheese danish were Austrian? I thought they were from Denmark but apparently not. The recipe came out really great. I made them on Sunday and today (Tuesday) all but 2 are gone. I was unsure about how many danish the recipe would make. I rolled out only 9 danish but I had an excessive amount of filling. The next time I make the recipe, I'll roll out at least 12 of the danish. I hope you'll try this recipe and let me know how yours came out.
Topfenkolatsche (Cheese Danish)
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk ("blood warm", to be exact!)
1 3/4 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons ground or chopped almonds
2 tablespoon butter, soft
8 oz. cream cheese ('Topfen')
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon golden raisins
Proof yeast in warm milk. Sift flour and salt together into large bowl. Add sugar and stir in yeast mixture. Beat in egg and butter and work into a dough using a wooden spoon; dough should be smooth and elastic and not stick to sides of bowl. Cover bowl with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. Turn dough out onto floured surface, punch down, knead until smooth and elastic. Roll out into rectangle about 1/2" thick. Cut into 3" squares. Arrange squares on greased baking sheets about 1" apart.
Combine butter, cheese, egg yolks, sugar, zest and beat (or process in machine) until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture. Stir in raisins. Put 1 tablespoon filling into the center of each dough square and fold corners in toward center, pressing lightly to hold the filling in. Let rise in warm place for about 45 min. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush buns with egg white and sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 30 min. or until well browned.
I did pretty well at overcoming my fear of yeast with this recipe. The dough rose as it was supposed to! That is a great accomplishment for me. I did some reading about "proofing" yeast to find out what the recipe means by "blood warm milk". I found out that when you proof yeast you should be able to put your finger into the water or milk without it burning. I put the milk in the microwave for a few seconds and tested it to make sure it wasn't too hot.
I would also recommend using unsalted butter. I read an article written by a chef several years ago that said not to use salted butter when baking since you really don't know how much salt the butter contains. I think that is a good idea especially since so many people have high blood pressure and are on salt-restricted diets.
I left out the almonds, the raisins and the lemon zest because my family isn't partial to them. You can use them or not, it is your choice. Happy baking!
The Creative Cook