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Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
Small, cheese-filled pastries, eaten as snacks. This recipe comes from the book "A Baker's Odyssey" by Greg Patent. It was recently featured on NPR.
For the dough
- 2 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (spooned into the cups and leveled)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- 1⁄2 cup cool water
- 2 teaspoons fennel (optional) or 2 teaspoons cumin (optional) or 2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
- 1 large egg, beaten with a pinch of salt for egg wash
- sesame seeds, for sprinkling
For the filling
- 12 ounces cheese, shredded (use sharp-flavored cheese for best results)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten with
- 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
- First make the dough:.
- Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process for 5 seconds.
- Add the butter and pulse 10 times, or until the mixture is the consistency of fine meal.
- With the machine running, add the water in a steady stream, taking about 10 seconds to do so.
- Process for 1 minute. The dough will gather into a ball and form a mass that whirls around the blade. Feel the dough. It should be smooth, soft, elastic, and no longer sticky.
- If necessary, adjust the texture with droplets of water or small amounts of flour, processing a few seconds after each addition. If you want to add seeds to the dough, knead them in by hand on your work surface.
- Divide the dough into 24 pieces and shape into balls (3/4 ounce each).
- Cover the balls of dough loosely with a kitchen towel and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Next, the filling:.
- Place the cheese, salt, cayenne, egg, and egg white in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse very rapidly 20 to 30 times, until the mixture just begins to gather into a mass.
- Turn out onto a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap and pat into a 6 x 4–inch rectangle.
- Cut the cheese mixture into 1-inch squares.
- Adjust two oven racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F
- Line two 14 x 17–inch baking sheets with silicone baking pan liners or cooking parchment.
- To shape the sambouseks, pat a ball of dough into a 4-inch circle on your unfloured work surface.
- Place a square of the cheese mixture slightly below the center of the circle and pat it into a semicircular shape, leaving a bottom border of dough a scant 1/2 inch wide.
- Fold the top half of the dough over the cheese and press the edges firmly to seal.
- Use a fingertip to crimp the edge of the dough back on itself, forming a fluted border.
- Place the sambousek on the prepared sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese, placing 12 sambouseks about 2 inches apart on each sheet.
- Paint the sambouseks with the egg wash.
- Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back once during baking to ensure even browning. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the sambouseks to wire cooling racks, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Very well written recipe. I added the ground cumin into the dough at the pulsing stage instead of folding in the seeds at the end. The dough turned a disturbing color, but the flavor was fabulous!. I can see using this dough for other apps. I only baked up a few of these, froze the rest right after step #21. They turned out pretty and tasty. They bake up fine from the frozen stage, and I always like to have an assortment of apps in my freezer for impromptu "occasions" . Thanks for sharing this recipe.
These were very good. Baked up beautifully. I did loose some of the cheese out of several of them, due to tech error on my part. I'm not very good with these types of pastries but I still like to try them out once in a while. The instructions were very well written. Thanks for sharing