21 February 2020

SOFT RICOTTA BUNS

Soft, flavourful pastries are one of my favourite things for tea, or as a nice breakfast item. Or for any other occasion, really. What I love about these pastries in particular is how supple they are and how the cheese melts into the dough.
Make sure you do not space them too far apart, even if they stick a bit to each other, they are meant to be as pillowy as possible. They are fluffy even the next day, if they make it that long. Serve them hot, right off the baking sheet, or slightly cooled, with some nice 'nduja.


Ingredients
450 grams plain flour
20 grams fresh yeast
200 ml warm water
100 grams plain yoghurt
60 ml vegetable oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
300 grams Ricotta cheese

Preparation
Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and pour in the warm water. Briefly whisk, then leave it in a warm place for about 15 minutes, so the yeast can activate. Add the yoghurt into a large bowl, add in the salt and 30 ml of oil, and whisk well. Pour in the dissolved yeast, briefly mix, and then sift in half of the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until a thick batter forms, then start adding in the rest of the flour, kneading the dough as you do. After about 5 minutes of kneading by hand, the dough should be very soft and supple. If it sticks too much to your hands, add another tablespoon or two of flour, but not more. Place it into a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured surface, press it well to release all the air, and knead it into a rough ball. Weigh the dough and divide it into eight parts by weight, as this will ensure all of them bake evenly. Roll each of the dough parts into a large circle, about a millimetre or two thick, add a portion of the Ricotta cheese, and loosely roll it into a rope shape. Coil the dough into a swirl, and place it on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Repeat this until all of the material is used up. When all of them are rolled up, brush them with half of the vegetable oil and loosely cover them with cling film, then let them rise for about 30 minutes in a warm spot. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for 15-20 minutes. Yields 4 large servings.

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