Sunday, December 17, 2017

Savory Kalacs

Since it is getting so close to Christmas, wrapping gifts, decorating and planning is underway. Hopefully you have many helpful hands during all this activity, but everyone needs to take a snack break. With all the holiday cookie and dessert baking, something savory is a tasty change of pace.

The sunburst of twisted dough (pictured above) may take a few hours to make due to the rising time, but the end result is well worth it. Sandwiched in between the 2 layers of dough is the bold flavor of Gorgonzola cheese. To compliment the flavor of the cheese is a mixture of onions, pancetta and mustard. Not ordinary-but well as unique. Not only will this satisfy your taste buds, but the great presentation makes it a feast for the eyes.

This recipe hails from a blogger in New Zealand, so measurements are in grams and milliliters. Baking temperature is in Celsius. Conversion charts to cups and ounces are available through the internet.

No matter what occasion- happy hour, football watching party or just a friendly get together, this appetizer is the one thing that should be on your table. So set the sugar aside and pull out the cheese- let's get baking! My tweaks on this process can be found in the tips and notes at the end. They are helpful hints to for you to have baking success with this recipe.

Savory Kalacs
adapted from atdownunder blogger 

4 tbs of olive oil
a few pinches of salt
1 tsp of sour cream
200 ml of milk (room temp)
300 g flour
15g of yeast

1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola (or your cheese of choice)
1 tsp mustard
2 heaping tbs of sour cream
2 green onions/scallions, sliced thin
25g pancetta, diced
salt and pepper to taste
nutmeg to taste (optional)

1 egg yolk, whisked or lightly beaten
1 tsp sunflower seeds

Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. Set aside. Also, dust a flat surface with flour.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and sprinkle the top with yeast. Form a well in the center. Using another bowl, whisk together the milk and the sour cream. Pour the liquid into the sifted ingredients. Fold mixture together until a dough is formed. Transfer to prepared surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Shape dough into a mound and cover lightly. Let rise for 20-25 minutes.

Once first rising time is complete, punch down dough and form a well in the center. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the center and knead for about 30 seconds. Make another well and fill with the remaining amount of oil. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Form into a round disc and cover lightly. Let rise for another 30 minutes.

As it rises, create the filling by mixing all listed ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Punch down dough and divide into 2 equal pieces. Take the parchment paper from the baking sheet and roll out one piece of the dough into a circle, about 25 cm in diameter. Using a small spatula, spread the filling over the surface the dough, leaving a 1/2 centimeter border on the edge.

Lightly dust a flat surface and roll out the second piece of dough, measuring the same size as the previous one. Place this second piece, making sure to center it, over the dough with the filling on top.

Invert a drinking glass over the center of the disc, slightly indenting the dough. Score the dough into four equal pieces (like cutting a pie) using the back of a knife. Score the four pieces into two equal segments and then score each of the two segments into three equal portions. After scoring, cut through dough with the back of a knife, following the score lines.

Take each portion of dough (there should be 24) by the outer tip and twist three times. Remove the glass and brush the surface with the egg yolk. Top the center circle of dough (as marked off with the drinking glass) with sunflower seeds.

Place in oven and bake until it has a golden hue. This should take about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and invert onto large platter. Remove parchment paper and invert bread again, this time onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

Tips and Notes:
1. Filling ingredients were combined in a blender, to make it into spreading consistency.

2. I increased the ingredient amount by half to make sure there was enough to cover the dough

3. Take care to not stretch the dough when twisting, so it will remain the same diameter and hold together.

4. After cutting with the back of the knife, re-cut with a sharp knife. The back of the knife process is to make sure the dough does not stretch when cutting.

                                      **LAST YEAR:Chocolate Custard Tart**