Feta & Herb Pull-ApartsMar 1st, 2011 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Appetizer, Baking, Bread, Cheese, Dough, Featured, Flour, Greek, Herbs, Olive Oil
This week in the Orthodox calendar is what us Greeks call Cheesefare Week, the last week before the Great Lent begins next week. Traditionally, no meat is eaten but everyone can go bonkers with dairy and cheese. I thought this recipe to be ideal for Cheesefare as it features two of Greece’s most well-know cheeses: Feta and Kasseri. Feta you are aware of: made of goat or sheep’s milk (or a combo of the two) and this briny, tart, creamy and rich cheese is enjoyed throughout Greece and if you follow this blog, you’ve seen it used in more than just a Greek salad.
The other cheese is Kasseri, a sheep’s milk cheese, medium in body, not too salty and often served as a table cheese at the Greek table. I also really enjoy cheese with a couple of toasts in the morning for breakfast. This recipe of Feta & Herb Pull-Aparts is more apt for lunch or dinner and ideal as an appetizer or offering for a buffet setting.
I saw this recipe on Kulsum’s blog, Journey Kitchen last summer and I instantly fell in love with this savory take on the more well-know sweet Pull-Aparts. Kulsum shares her love of Feta in this post and here I am, repaying her with homage to her recipe and to Greek cheeses. I noticed her dough recipe was similar to my pizza dough recipe – so I went with that.
My filling mixture also differs but I may even have offered up a whole new filling mixture tomorrow, or at another time of year. The recipe concept is pragmatic – choose the filling you like and offer them up the next time you’re hosting a dinner. The best part of these Pull-Aparts is that you actually get cheese in these. Sadly, my recollection of any other cheese bread has left me underwhelmed ( save for grilled cheese sandwich). Bottom line – these are tops!
Feta & Herb Pull-Aparts (Τυρόψωμο)
For the dough
2 tsp. active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1 1/2 cups of tepid water
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. of sea salt
2-3 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
Feta & herb filling
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
2/3 cup of crumbled Feta cheese (Greek, of course)
2/3 cup of grated Kasseri cheese (or other sheep’s milk cheese)
1/4 tsp. of Boukovo (chilli flakes)
1/4 tsp. of cracked black pepper
1 tsp. dried Greek oregano
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsely
1/4 finely chopped scallions
1/2 tsp. of dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. dried Greek oregano
1/8 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. sesame seeds
pinch of chilli flakes
some fresh cracked pepper
Pre-heated 350F oven
- In a large bowl, add the yeast, 1/2 cup tepid water, sugar and gently swirl to mix. Wait 10 minutes for the yeast to activate. Now add the olive oil, sea salt, remaining cup of tepid water and begin adding the flour one cup at a time – all the while mixing the dough with your hands. Keep on adding flour in increments all the while working it into the mixture until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky (tacky).
- At this point (important), knead the dough (inside the bowl) or on a counter-top for 10 minutes. Rub some oil on the ball of dough (so it doesn’t form a crust), place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free spot (I simply place the dough in my oven). Allow the dough to double in size (takes approx. an hour).
- Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it down and tuck the outer edges inwards and remove your dough ball and place on your work surface. Spread some regular flour on your work surface and press your fingers down on the dough to spread it out. Now divide the dough into 16-18 portions and roll each into a ball shape in your hand. Cover dough-balls and allow to rest.
- In the meantime, add your herbs, garlic, scallions in a food processor and pulse until amalgamated. Now add the crumbled Feta and grated Kasseri and pulse again until well mixed.
- Uncover your dough balls and place one on your work surface and press down with the palm of your hand to flatten it into a disc. Now place a scant tsp. of filling in the middle and bundle up the dough, ensuring the filling is secured and place in a oiled pan (approx. 14 inch in diameter. Now repeat with the remaining balls of dough and place in the baking pan.
- Brush the tops of the Pull-Aparts with water and quickly mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly on top. Allow to rise in a warm spot in your kitchen for 20-30 minutes. Pre-heat your oven.
- Place in your pre-heated oven (middle rack) for 30 minutes or until golden on top. Carefully remove from the oven and run a knife around the perimeter of the bread to loosen it from the pan. Gently overturn then flip back upright onto your serving plate. Serve immediately as a part of your appetizers or with dinner.
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
© 2007-2011 Peter Minakis
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© 2011, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.