Many years back, while at the university, I took a quite challenging summer assessment: to document a Russian folklore language. That was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had: traveling to a little remote Russian villages, deep into the Russian North and talking to an incredible people, tasting their simple yet most delicious food, while making endless notes of their dialects. During this folklore expedition for a very first time I tried Vatrushka - a traditional Russian pastry filled with cheese.
History states that the word "vatrushka" is of ancient origin. According to one version, the word is borrowed from the Roman languages, as in Romanian «vatra» means "bread, baked on the fire." In the western dialects "Vatra" means "fire".
True to the tradition most women in the villages I visited were baking their vatrushka in firewood ovens indeed. The aroma of freshly baked goodness perfumed the entire neighborhood, and there was no need to ask for directions: just follow the smell!
For the dough:
- 400 g flour
- 1 egg (optional)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 50 g butter
- 0,5 tsp salt
- 8 g dry yeast (1 packet)
For the filling:
- 300 g cottage or farmer's cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 40 g butter
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon milk
1. Prepare a soft yeast dough (follow this steps) and let it rise for about 2 hours until dough doubles in it's size.
2. After two hours give the dough another good knead and let it rise for another hour or two.
3. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Combine all ingredients together, mix well. If the filling is too wet, add a tablespoon of flour to thicken it.
Preheat the oven to 200C (390F).
4. Divide the dough into pieces size of an egg, let it rest for a couple of minutes.
5. Stretch the dough with your hands (or roll it) into a small cakes about 1 cm (half an inch) thick.
6. Dip a bottom of the glass in flour and press the middle of the cakes to make a deepening for the filling (see photo below).
7. Lay all the cakes on a backing sheet, lined with parchment paper.
8. Brush each cake with an egg wash (1 egg mixed with a teaspoon milk).
9. Fill each cake with the filling to the edges of deepening.
10. Bake 30 minutes, rotating baking sheet 180 degrees half way through the baking.
I let it rest for 5-10 minutes and serve with some tea and a warm smile.
|Divide the dough into pieces size of an egg|
|If the filling is too wet, add a tablespoon of flour to thicken it.|
|Make an impression in the middle of each cake with a glass|
|Ready to go in the oven|
|30 minutes later...|
|A basket filled with Vatrushkas make a perfect gift...|
While on the expedition I was focused more on the language. Now I wish I wrote down more recipes. Guess what? I think I have another road trip in mind. Well, not exactly by road though... I guess it's hard to cross Atlantic Ocean by car.
Anyway, a traveling bug in me is never sleeping. And a dozen of vatrushkas can keep me going for some time! :)
Marina, the look soo good!! You remember all children stories about "Mashen'ka i medved'", she had vatrushkas in her basket-))ReplyDelete
Did she? Good! Now we can link this to a story... :) Thanks for leaving your comment, I think of you often. We definitely have to meet one day. :)Delete
These are very interesting. They look very yummy. I must bookmark this recipe. They look perfectly made :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks Alida! If you make it, let me know how was it... :)Delete
My goodness these are fabulous. I think my hubby would love this. I envy your travels.ReplyDelete
Kim, I was just thinking of you! How cool is this?! :) Thanks for coming and leaving a comment. I hope everything is well with you. Big hug, my friend!Delete
These look soooo divine!ReplyDelete
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Thanks! Come have some tea with me... :)Delete
I've had these before and they're so delicious. Yummy!ReplyDelete
They are yummy indeed. I gave some to my friend for his birthday, and he loved it. I adding it to my "gift ideas" list. Thanks for visiting my blog. :)Delete
My ancestry is russian and polish and i have memories of my grandma making things like this! Glad you're settled in and are baking!ReplyDelete
Really? Wow, Averie, now we have even more in common: I have some polish blood in me as well. Nothing russian though, only my russian husband... :) Thanks for stopping by!Delete
Marina, I love how you also used a cup to make your inprint on the dough. Simple tools in the kitchen are always the best. I do not know if you made enough with the teenagers in your house and all of your friends, so I will give this recipe a try but I will triple the recipe for safe measure. Take Care, BAMReplyDelete
Thank you BAM. My new kitchen is one third of the size of the kitchen I had before. We downsizes a lot, hence I have to be creative to do more with less. :) Lol, I did make enough to last one day!Delete
Mmmmm...these look so yummy, Marina! They look like a pastry you'd find in a bakery...well done!ReplyDelete
Thank you Lizzy. Let me know which bakery, and then I'll stop baking... :)Delete
These pastries look stunning, I have never seen anything remotely similar! Love it :DReplyDelete
Choc Chip Uru
That's why I love blogging: it gives me a chance to "travel" the world with other bloggers and discover many new dishes. :) Thanks Uru for your kind comment!Delete
So nice! Great looking pastry, and I'll bet the taste is wonderful, too. Sounds like a fun summer, documenting a language. Although for me, learning all the new recipes would have been the most fun! Nice post - thank you.ReplyDelete
Hi John, now I would do the recipe expedition, but then all I didn't cook much... I guess I just have to go back one day and collect just recipes... :)Delete
That Russian class treated you to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. How lucky for you, Marina, that you were able to take advantage of the opportunity. And, now, lucky for us, for you've shared this delicious recipe. I bet they're irresistible when still warm from the oven.ReplyDelete
Hi John, thanks for visiting my blog today. I am glad to see you here. :) That was quite an experience indeed. I wish I collected more recipes though. Those pastries are good both warm and cold. I did have one warm from the oven with my tea, which I made less sweet. :)Delete
What an amazing experience that would have been! How long were you there for? These pastries look scrumptious! :DReplyDelete
Hi Lorraine, glad to see you here! :) I was in that expedition for about two months, all summer vacations. And I am glad I did. I wish I collected more recipes though. I need to asks my parents if they still have my papers from that time (my mom doesn't through away our work, she keeps it in old suite cases!) :)Delete
Getting into the heart of a culture and learning about a language sounds like an absolute dream come true--I'm currently taking some philological history classes through my department, and I can only imagine how much fun it would be if we had a chance to do what you've been able to do here. Thank you so much for sharing this insightful story and recipe!ReplyDelete
Hello Wallflour Girl, welcome to my blog! Make yourself comfortable and do come back... :) I am sure you would enjoy it a lot despite some inconvenience: we stayed in the people's homes with no running water and with outhouse. But I don't remember anyone complaining about it though. :)Delete
I have never seen pastries like this before, they look and sound fabulous. I love reading about new ideas.ReplyDelete
have a lovely Saturday.
Hi Mandy, I am like you about new ideas, and also I am for preserving a traditional recipes. I feel like a shampoo and conditioner in one bottle! :)Delete
They look delicious, Marina. It's so good to have you back.ReplyDelete
Thank you Sheila! I missed every one of my blogging friends. What an amazing community we have! :)Delete
How fascinating it must have been to study this part of Russia. I love the look of these pastries and I've never heard of them before. Like you say, perfect for a picnic xxReplyDelete
It is quite interesting and fascinating indeed. I'd like to go back one day and study more of the culinary history of the region. Thanks for stopping by! :)Delete
I love this post, Marina! What an extraordinary project - I'm so envious. I've never been to Russia but would love to one day. The closest I've gone is to Ukraine to visit friends I'd met online. The food they prepared was out of this world. I want to make these pastries!ReplyDelete
I want to go to Russia too, so it makes two of us! :) Oh Ukraine! Their food is out of this world indeed... Some people are born with a silver spoon (meaning they can really cook!) :) Thanks for coming, Maureen. I missed all my blogging friends, and glad to be back...Delete
Ok. breathe Kim, breathe!!!! I love baking. I love baking bread! And this recipe, I will definitly try in a couple of days because it really looks good! Thanks for the sharing!ReplyDelete
Hi Kim, Thanks for the lovely comment! Let me know if you like it when you make it...:)Delete
it must have been an amazing experience this trip to Russian villages...!this recipe looks delicious!i'll give a try!ReplyDelete
It was some time ago though, but yes it was very interesting. Thanks for visiting my blog Gertrude! :)Delete
Marina, welcome back. I hope you managed to move all you stuff and settle well in a new place and I hope everything goes well for you. I missed your recipes and your lovely stories. And here comes both. Vatrushkas sounds and look delicious. What a great adventure you had to get data for your assessment. Wonderful. And I must confess that finally after months of procrastination I baked those cheese muffins that I liked so much. And guess what - they turned out to be super delicious (as expected) - they will appear tomorrow on my blog. :-D So once again thanks so much for sharing that recipe. Anyway once again, I'm glad that you're back in blogosphere for good :-DReplyDelete
Marina, I missed these awesome and creative delicious pastries! They are incredible and droolworthy delicious. I'm bookmarking it to want to try! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions. Photos are beautiful, as well!ReplyDelete