29 March 2019

FLAKY FETA BISCUITS

It is not a secret that I love cheese, and I love the tanginess Feta gives to pastry. Feta is rich,  sharp, and it is a perfect addition to any pastry, sweet or savoury, either as a filling, or as a part of the dough itself.
As I have written before, flaky pastry is generally much easier to make than puff pastry, and there are shortcuts that can be taken when in a rush. Using very cold ingredients and handling the dough only as much as needed are some of them. By kneading the dough only until it comes together, you will ensure the biscuits are light and flaky.
When it comes to cutting them out, my preferred method is to quickly press the blade of the knife through the dough, and lift it off the surface. This way, the edges of the biscuits are neat and will show off all the layers these mini beauties have.
Don't fear the honey in the recipe, it will not make the pastry sweet, it just balances the Feta, and pairs wonderfully with the Feta and spices. If you are a fan of sweeter spiced biscuits, which go perfectly with yoghurt dips, feel free to add another tablespoon of honey to the dough.


Ingredients
300 grams soft bread flour
½ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
5 grams fresh yeast
1 tablespoon acacia honey
60 ml warm water
200 grams unsalted butter, cold
200 grams Feta cheese


Preparation
Take the cold butter and dice it, then place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes or so. Crumble the fresh yeast into a medium bowl, drizzle in the honey, pour in the water, gently whisk with a small whisk or a fork. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes in a warm spot, so the yeast can activate. Place the Feta cheese into a separate medium bowl, mash it well with a fork, and reserve. Sift the flour twice, tip it into a large bowl, add in the spices, and whisk well. Add the cold butter, and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender, or rub it in using your fingers until completely incorporated.
Once the yeast mixture is bubbling and thriving, add it to the butter and flour, along with the Feta cheese. Mix it well, either with a wooden spoon or your hands, until a soft, pliable dough comes together. No need to knead it extensively, it will come together fairly quickly. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough into a 5 millimetre thick rectangle, then cut it into small rectangular biscuits. Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment, arrange the biscuits, cover them with a kitchen towel, and let them sit for about 15 minutes in a warm spot. Bake in a preheated oven, at 200°C (400°F), for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Serve immediately. Yields 40 biscuits.

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