Brioche Buns filled with Sweet Cheese – Romanian Poale-n brau
Poale-n brâu is the Romanian name for these amazingly delicious brioche buns filled with sweet cheese. The name is actually a bit controversial for a pastry’s name – I’m not even sure how to translate it, it’s actually that gesture when you raise your skirt’s lower part over your belly, folding it… that sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, this name comes from the technique that you use to make these sweet cheese brioche buns – you create a square, fill it with some cheese, then fold the edges of the square over one another to lock the cheese filling.
Poale-n brâu are also called brânzoaice, (from brânz?, which means cheese) and it’s a Romanian recipe which originates from Moldova, the north-eastern region of the country. Romanians have a lot of recipes for desserts with sweet cheese filling, including the traditional Easter pasc?, the delicious papana?i doughnuts with sweet cheese mixed in the composition, and tons of other pies and pastries with a cheese and raisins filling.
I’ve only tried to make these poale-n brâu once before posting this recipe, maybe 2 years ago I believe. They were good then, but this time I think that I got much better at kneading the brioche dough. I definitely prefer to knead the dough with my hands instead of using a mixer, so I can feel when it’s perfect for the raising phase.
Make sure you use lots of lemon zest – I used it in the dough and the sweet cheese filling, since it has a wonderful aroma that I just can’t get enough of. I also added the seeds from an entire vanilla bean to the sweet cheese filling, so the kitchen smelled amazing when these little brioches were in the oven. Well… not so little though, they grew so much in the oven that I started to say they looked like piggies.
The folding part might seem a bit tricky in the pictures, but it’s as easy as it gets – just create a square, fold two opposite edges and stick them together, then the other two opposite edges. Many Romanian recipes for this dessert stop here, and the brioche buns will look like little envelopes, but I decided to fold the opposite edges one more time to fully seal the filling. Make sure the edges properly stick together so the cheese filling won’t drip in the oven.
Add lots and lots of raisins and after just 25 minutes of baking, you’ll have some fluffy, amazingly flavored brioche buns with a sweet cheese filling that simply melts in your mouth. This recipe yields 12 sweet cheese brioche buns, and believe me, you won’t be able to eat just one. Poft? bun?! (Bon appetit in Romanian ?)
650 g flour
50 g sugar
25 g fresh yeast
3 egg yolks
350 ml milk
100 g butter, at room temperature
Zest from ½ lemon
A pinch of salt
Sweet cheese filling
500 g full-fat cow cheese (ricotta)
200 g sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
100 g semolina
100 g raisins
A pinch of salt
Plus 1 egg for brushing the buns
- For the brioche dough, in a bowl, start by mixing the yeast with the sugar using a spoon. Add the warm milk (not hot!) and mix.
- Add the egg yolks, one by one, then the butter and the lemon zest.
- Start adding the flour, one spoon at a time, and mix with a spoon or a spatula.
- When all the ingredients are combined, knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough rise for at least order propecia online usa half and hour, or until it’s doubled in volume.
- Meanwhile, make the sweet cheese filling. In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with the egg and sugar, then add all the vanilla bean seeds and the salt. If the cheese mixture is too runny, add one tablespoon of semolina at a time, until you get a creamy consistency. Finally, add the raisins.
- After the dough has doubled in volume, sprinkle some flour on your working space and roll it using a rolling pin.
- Cut the dough into 12 equal squares, using a knife.
- Put a full spoon of the cheese filling in the middle of a square. Fold two opposite corners towards the middle and press well to make sure they stick together. Then, fold the other two opposite corners. Now, it looks like an envelope. Leave it like that or fold the corners of this new shape once more.
- Butter a baking tray and place a thin layer of flour on it, then put the sweet cheese brioche buns in the tray. Don’t overcrowd them, 6 pieces in a large baking tray is more than enough.
- Beat an egg and brush each brioche bun, for a nicer color.
- Bake the sweet cheese brioche buns for about 25 minutes at 180°
- When they’re ready, you can dust them with powdered sugar while they’re still hot. They were perfectly sweet without it, so I left them like that.
- Enjoy! ?
Recipe in Romanian – Re?eta în român?
650 g f?in?
50 g zah?r
25 g drojdie proasp?t?
3 g?lbenu?uri de ou
350 ml lapte
100 g unt, la temperatura camerei
Coaja de la ½ l?mâie
Un vârf de sare
Pentru umplutura de brânz?
500 g brânz? gras? de vaci
200 g zah?r
100 g stafide
Semin?ele de la 1 p?staie de vanilie
100 g gri?
Un vârf de sare
1 ou pentru ungerea brânzoaicelor
Mod de preparare
- Pentru aluat, începe?i prin amestecarea drojdiei cu zah?rul într-un castron, folosind o lingur?. Ad?uga?i laptele cald (nu fierbinte!) ?i amesteca?i.
- Ad?uga?i g?lbenu?urile, unul câte unul, apoi untul ?i coaja de l?mâie.
- Începe?i s? ad?uga?i f?ina, câte o lingur? deodat? ?i amesteca?i cu o lingur? sau o spatul?.
- Când toate ingredientele sunt combinate, fr?mânta?i aluatul timp de 5-10 minute.
- Acoperi?i vasul cu folie alimentar? sau cu un prosop curat ?i l?sa?i aluatul s? creasc? cel pu?in o jum?tate de or?, sau pân? când ?i-a dublat volumul.
- Între timp, preg?ti?i umplutura de brânz? dulce. Într-un castron amesteca?i brânza cu oul ?i zah?rul, apoi ad?uga?i semin?ele de la p?staia de vanilie ?i sarea. Dac? amestecul de brânz? este prea apos, ad?uga?i câte o lingur? de gri?, pân? când ob?ine?i o consisten?? cremoas?. La final, ad?uga?i stafidele.
- Dup? ce aluatul s-a dublat în volum, pres?ra?i f?in? pe suprafa?a de lucru ?i întinde?i-l cu un f?c?le?.
- T?ia?i aluatul în 12 p?trate egale, folosind un cu?it.
- Pune?i o lingur? de umplutur? de brânz? în mijlocul unui p?trat. Îndoi?i dou? col?uri opuse spre mijloc ?i asigura?i-v? c? se lipesc. Apoi, plia?i celelalte dou? col?uri opuse. Acum, arat? ca un plic – las??i-l a?a sau împ?turi?i din nou col?urile acestei noi forme.
- Unge?i o tav? de copt ?i tapeta?i cu f?in?, apoi pune?i brânzoaicele în tav?. Nu le înghesui?i, 6 buc??i într-o tav? mare sunt mai mult decât suficiente.
- Bate?i un ou ?i unge?i fiecare brânzoaic?, pentru o culoare mai frumoas?.
- Coace?i brânzoaicele pentru aproximativ 25 de minute la 180°C.
- Când sunt gata, pute?i s? le pudra?i cu zah?r cât înc? sunt înc? fierbin?i. Ale mele erau destul de dulci, a?a c? le-am l?sat a?a.
- Servi?i cu mare pl?cere! ?