Sunday, May 20, 2007

my kind of holiday

with the holiday of shavuoth — or feast of (the) weeks — literally around the corner, it is time to eat all kinds of foods which are dairy-based. the custom of eating foods made with milk, cheese and the like at this time stems from the israelites not yet having received the laws of ritual slaughter for animals detailed in the Torah.

typical foods for shavuoth are cheese blintzes, crepes which are filled with a cheese mixture and then fried, and cheesecakes of all sorts. one thing that i love eating on this holiday is a specialty of montreal and something which consistently draws blanks when mentioned to people from other places. it is a cheese filled pastry we call "cheese bagels" and most likely an eastern european jewish invention. having lived in different cities in canada, it is something which i've only ever encountered in this city.

cheese bagels are no doubt called that because of their shape however i have only ever seen them in the shape of a horseshoe. they are typically bought from bakeries and not made at home. well, this recipe will change that.

the dough for making this item is usually always [as far as i've ever encountered] a puff type pastry. this can be easily bought from a bakery or a grocery store. the one i am using here is a quick type puff pastry which requires no laminating (the complicated method of incorporating butter and folding the dough). it is simply a few spins in the food processor and voila, it's ready. admittedly, it does not rise as much as a classic puff pastry and the texture is different. it is, however, quite acceptable. if you are not good at pastry, you may be better off just using a store bought type puff pastry for this.

to make these, you also need to use dry cottage cheese, preferably with a high fat content or it will taste somewhat grainy. dry cottage cheese is used for baking mostly and has a much tighter and smaller grain than curd cottage cheese which would not work here.

though the recipe does not say to do it, i find the texture more appealing after processing it a few minutes in the food processor to break up the grain and give a smoother filling. i recommend doing this.

i have to say these are good. very good. the only thing is that they are a bit fussy in terms of the dough, easy as it is to make. you need to have a well floured surface to avoid sticking and the dough may crack a bit while baking. that, though, is fine. it does not affect their overall goodness. the other thing is that the dough needs to be rolled out not too long after it is refrigerated. waiting longer will firm it up too much making it harder to roll properly.

don't let all this discourage you from trying your hand at making them. they really are fairly easy to make. served warm with sour cream and sliced strawberries, these make a perfect shavuot breakfast or anytime treat :)

montreal style cheese bagels

cheese filled pastries

makes 8 cheese beiglach; recipe adapted from a marcy goldman one


the dough:

1/2 c cold butter - cut into chunks; use unsalted butter

2 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar

1/2 c sour cream
1 egg

the filling:

1 pound (454 gr) dry cottage cheese [baking cheese]
6 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp. flour
1 egg

egg for eggwash
sugar for coating


the dough:

add the dry ingredients together for the dough in a food processor. blend them.

add the butter in chunks and process in pulses until it is mealy.

mix the sour cream and egg together and add it to the flour mixture and pulse it several times until it comes together. do not overwork it.

remove and place in a bowl. stick this in the fridge and make the filling.

the filling:

place all the ingredients together in a big bowl and mix or place them directly in the food processor. process everything until smooth, if desired.

place the processed or mixed filling in a bowl and put this in the fridge, too.

let the dough and filling rest for 20 minutes. meanwhile heat the oven to 350F.

making the cheese bagels:

preheat the oven to 350F.

cut the dough into two equal pieces.

on a very well floured board, with extra flour by your side, roll out the dough into a rectangle which is about 3/8 to 1/4 inch thick. do not roll too thinly.

divide the filling into 4 equal portions.

place only one of the cheese filling portions along the length, from end to end, of the rolled dough near the edge of the dough closest to you.

roll it over so that it just meets the dough.

cut along the length about 1/4 inch higher than where the two edges meet so there is a tiny overlap. this is were you need to be careful; if it is too short it won't close properly and if it is too overlapped you will be short of dough for the next ones.

carefully turn the roll so the seam is on the bottom but ensure it's closed before doing so. cut the filled roll into 2 equal halves.

carefully transfer each one of the two to a parchment lined baking sheet and gently form a horseshoe shape. the filling will stay inside so don't worry about having each end open.

brush the cheese bagels with eggwash (one egg which you whisked and strained in a small bowl) and then liberally sprinkle sugar over each pastry.

bake the cheese bagels about 35 to 40 minutes or until nice and golden brown. bake 4 at a time and repeat with remaining ones.

serve warm with sourcream and fruit.

these freeze very well. just reheat in the oven @ 350 F or eat at room temperature.



Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

OMG. I have never seen these before, and they look so good! I just wish I had time to make them for our b'fast potluck after our all-night Tikkun; they'd be perfect.

The TriniGourmet said...

Never seen bagels like these... mmmm... must try :D My shavuot menu gonna be hella different to yours :D it's going up on monday or tuesday :D

burekaboy — said...

emily - weird, i posted an answer to you but it never showed.


yup, these are prob a regional thing; surprised you don't know about them. i like these things a little too much which is why i don't buy/make them often. errr, i mean like the way i used to.

give them a try when you get the chance. sour cream is a must, though. don't skimp! LOL. and ONLY the full fat kind, none of that wimpy LF, or worse, zero fat stuff. abomination.

have fun with the breakfast and drink lotsa coffee :))

sarina - well, they're not really bagels, per se. rather i imagine just a name given to them because they were originally joined and round, making them look like bagels. i've only ever seen them in the shape i make here. these are completely different in taste from a bread bagel and well worth making, IMO.

can't wait to see what you post :)) will check later to see.

Princess Jibi said...

this looks sooo gooood. i never knew the had those cheese sellin.. i have to look for it next time...

chanit said...

נראה מצויין, אבל מעדיפה לקבל אחד מוכן, נשאר משהו בשבילי ? תודה רבה
מחר ערב שבועות פה

Beenzzz said...

Oh my, those look wonderful!

Nafeesah said...

Wow seems like forever since I posted on your blog BB!
It was only just the other day that I had printed out a similar 'imitation' puff pastry recipe from another website, but being as I didn't have a clue at the time as to what filling to use it with, It's just sitting there in my drawer lol.

I willlllll be trying these, will let you know how they came out :)

burekaboy — said...

PJ - a lot of montrealers moved to toronto so i'm sure you could find them there. just so you know, it's not like a bread bagel. this is more of a pastry with sweetened cheese inside. it's really good. hope you try them if you can find them there!

חנית - תודה רבה - בשבילך תמיד יש משהו

חג שמח

hey beenzzz - thank you :)) thankfully, i froze most of them before i could eat them all!

TopChamp said...

never heard of dry cottage cheese. I thought cottage cheese was just something you ate on a diet if you were REALLY hungry and there were no carrot sticks left in the world.

This has to be a good way off diet food!

Roberto said...

Great. I like this recipe.

burekaboy — said...

TC - what's diet food? ;P

btw, i think you call this by another name like baker's cheese.

roberto - hi there. glad you like!!

Pamela said...

Those blintzes look FAB-U-LOUS. I should have made some.

Chag Sameach!

burekaboy — said...

hi pam - happy holiday to you, too :)

LOL, did u mean bagels?? thanks for the compliment. didn't get around to making cheese blintzes this year -- probably a good thing, calorically speaking!

i've always wanted to make cheese bagels and was happy when i found out how a few years back. especially since i can eat my own weight in these! ;P

Pamela said...

Woops. I did mean bagels. ;)

burekaboy — said...

pamela - "i meant that's what you knew", LOL. musta been late when u commented!!

Nafeesah said...

Okay so I haven't made these yet, I couldn't find cottage cheese can you imagine! I guess being on an island really does have its' shortcomings.

But yesterday my mom found some and brought it home but it wasn't dry, really moist instead, i was wondering if there's somehow i could work around it? I was thinking maybe just strain it or something...or would it be too wet after adding in the egg and all?

Thanks :)

burekaboy — said...

nafeesah - nope, no worries: you can still make them :)) just strain the cheese really well and try to press the liquid out. perhaps put the cheese in a cotton dish towel and turn/twist the mass over the sink to drain it more. i would process the cheese mixture too, just don't over do it (follow recipe). regular cottage cheese tends to have larger curds. then, use 1 egg yolk instead of the whole egg. if you need to, add an extra tbsp of flour but it should be okay. i can't vouch for bahamian cottage cheese though!!

nafeesah, don't forget to make sure your board is well floured when you roll the dough or it may stick; it's a soft dough but easy to work with. it it tears a bit don't worry too much. just proceed slowly and you should be able to get it. only caveat is about making sure you don't run short where the seam is. i'm sure you'll do fine :)) good luck if you make them.

Nafeesah said...

Finally! I can post here.
So yes, I made these, and before I go into detail, I just have to say that they were of course absolutely yummilicious, and that of course, like all the other recipes i tried, I will be making this again, and I do fear BB that your blog will be the main one to blame if I put on weight LOL

So first of all since the cheese was very damp I placed it in a cheesecloth and placed my stone mortar ( you know pestle and mortar ) over it and let it sit over night.

Morning come It looked quite dry and crumbly so I overlooked what you said about adding just yolk and added the whole egg.


That filling turned watery so fast that I couldn't beleive my eyes haha. So I added a tablespoon more flour but it was still very wet, I didn't want to add anymore though, I just left it as it was.

The dough was very easy, it did stick a bit but that's normal, then because of the watery filling I had to flip them over real fast and pinch the edges closed so it wouldn't leak (it still did) but other wise that's all the problems encountered :)

The sugar sprinkled on the top made a nice crunch too (^_^) another great recipe, thanks BB!

burekaboy — said...

nafeesah - ack!! sorry to hear about the mini disaster with the cheese part. that's why i said add ONLY the egg yolk!! :D i feared that would happen with the whole egg -- the white added too much liquid. i hope at least some of the cheese remained inside the pastry part once it finished baking. that's the problem with regular cottage cheese. perhaps ask around if there is a dry version or a similar baking type one.

at the very least, they tasted good :)) and are worth another shot at it in the future. thanks for the update, nafeesah.