I am fighting my compulsion to check WHO stats and refresh my favourite newspaper’s website every 15 minutes – I am sure you can relate. As the situation is far from being contained (apart from China and South Korea, it seems) checking the stats is definitely not a smart move, Ania. Stop it right now! There is nothing you can do so you might as well move into acceptance… That’s the chat I have with myself several times a day. I commit to it and then just a tiny little peak, and here we go, I am sucked into the bad news vortex AGAIN.
I try really hard to focus on other things, but the pull to know what is going on outside of our four walls (which we are especially grateful to have right now) is just so strong. As getting engrossed in things helps, I’ve keep myself relatively distracted by batch cooking and baking. Although with Duncan working from home there is no one but us to eat the fruits of my labour and that is really quite dangerous, but sod it, we need something to lift our spirits.
Today’s recipe is a trip down memory lane as I’ve been thinking about my childhood a lot lately. In the spirit of that, I have veganised my childhood staple known as ‘drozdzowka z serem’, which roughly translates as yeast roll with a cheese filling. These fluffy doughnut shaped buns are deep-filled with a sweet cheese filling made from a Polish ricotta-style cheese.
They make a great on-the-go breakfast or a mid-morning snack. The dough is super easy to make without animal products so no big issues there and as for the filling, I made a cashew ricotta style cheese filling that is sweet, tangy and fragrant with lemon. If you cannot have nuts (or have trouble finding them right now – funnily enough they were one of the very few things my local supermarket still has on its decimated shelves), I am pretty sure that plain firm tofu will work just as well. Enjoy and keep yourselves safe!
Place all the liquids at the bottom of your blender. If using sugar instead of maple syrup dissolve it in 80 ml / 1/3 cup plant milk first. If using maple syrup, you may need to add an extra 1-2 tbsp plant milk to loosen the cream.
Blend in drained and rinsed cashews until the mixture is silky smooth. As opposed to other cashew creams I made on here, this mixture needs to be fairly loose as this allows for some of the moisture to evaporate during baking and prevents the filling from drying out too much.
Mix the flour, salt, instant yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Pour in most of the plant milk (hold back a tablespoon). If using maple syrup instead of sugar, adjust the amount of plant milk accordingly. Bring all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
When the mixture has mostly stuck together, turn the mixture out on to a work surface. If the mixture feels dry, add another 5-10 ml of plant milk.
Knead the mixture by holding one end of the dough in one hand and stretching it out with the other hand. Reform the dough, turn it 90 degrees and start again. Repeat this for about 5 minutes, then work the coconut oil into the dough. To begin with the dough will be slippery and will look like it’s been ruined. Keep working it and eventually all the fat will get absorbed by the dough and it will become elastic and smooth (it takes about 10 minutes) .
Put the dough in a large clean bowl, coat it in a thin layer of oil and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside, in a warm (but not too warm) place for 1-1½ hours, until the dough doubles in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch all the air out of it and divide it into 6 or 7 identical portions.
Roll each portion into a ball, place them in a lightly oiled baking tray and cover with a kitchen towel. Set aside for about 30-45 minutes, until the balls rise again slightly.
Heat up the oven to 180° C / 355° F.
Flatten each ball with your hand then press a lightly oiled glass bottom into each ball to create a deep indent for the filling. Fill with the sweet ‘cheese’ mixture you’ve made earlier.
Brush the dough (not the filling) with a mixture of plant milk and maple syrup. Bake for about 20 minutes.