A few months ago I saw a post on Russian Seasons on vatrushki, which are tvorog filled pastries. Her sweet version is reminiscent of a Russian (actually, Ukranian) version of danishes. Vatrushki for me, though, should be savory. So inspired by Alina (btw, how weird is it that the only other Russian food blogger I know is named Alina… and I’m Elina. crazy!) I decided to try my own hand at vatrushki with a touch of salt and dill instead of sugar. That’s how you can eat pastries for dinner and call it good. You’re welcome! haha
Recipe modified from Please to the Table cookbook
- 1 package instant yeast
- 3/4 warm water
- 2T canola oil
- 2.5 cups flour
- 1/2 salt
1. Dissolve yeast in water
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix
3. Work the dough for about 10 minutes, folding it in and pressing out with the bottom of your palm. Kind of like pizza dough. You can of course use a Kitchen Aid mixer with a hook attachment but sometimes I find this process therapeutic.
It will be nice and smooth when you’re done. Can you tell?!
4. Place in a large bowl sprayed with oil, cover and let rest in a warm place for about 1.5 hours.
This is a good time to make your cheese filling.
Ingredients (makes 15-18 vatrushki):
- 1 lb farmers cheese or “white cheese” (this is how they translate tvorog in Russian stores)
- 2 eggs
- 2T sour cream (light is ok)
- 1T flour
- 2T dried dill
- 1 egg for egg wash
Mix all ingredients (but the last egg, which should be saved for the egg wash) until well combined.
When your dough rose, it’s time to make your vatrushki!
[Preheat oven to 350*]
Roll out your dough into 1/2” thickness [tip: working with smaller pieces of dough makes it more manageable.]
Cut 4” circles out – a cup will do just fine
Gather the dough “scraps”, roll it out again and make more circles. Repeat until none is left. Place on cookies sheets (oiled or layered with silpat baking mats – these mats are magic, worth the investment if you don’t have them – nothing ever sticks to them!)
Make indents leaving a little border
Now fill them with your cheese filling (about 3T in each)
Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand in a warm place for about 20 minutes. The dough will rise a little like so:
Beat an egg and brush your vatrushki with the egg wash.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until they get a healthy golden glow.
Enjoy for dinner with a side salad or as an appetizer at a party.
Cheesy, salty. Delicious.