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Author Notes: Enticing, flaky, savory, delicate snack that will go equally well with ice cold beer and hearty soup. Easy to make, easy to scale.
Adapted and scaled from a Russian cookbook Cookies, Cakes and Sweets by A. Elenesku —Eat Already!
Makes 20 sticks
- 3 tablespoons warm milk
- 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
- 4 ounces all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces butter
- 4 ounces farmer cheese, feta cheese, or dry curd cottage cheese
- 1 egg, whisked with 1 tsp water and a small pinch of salt, for washing
- coarse salt, caraway seeds
- Sprinkle yeast grains on top of the warm milk in a cup and let sit while you are working the dough.
- Cut buter, cheese and flour on a board with a knife, until uniform fine crumb forms. If using farmer cheese or cottage cheese, add 1/4 tsp salt as well.
- Make an indentation in the middle of the crumb mass, and pour milk+yeast mix into it.
- Aiding yourself with the knife, mix everything together, scraping dough off the board frequently. Don’t over knead — you want the ingredients just combined to form the dough. Resist the urge to add flour, unless the cheese is very wet.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle 1/4? thick. The short side of the rectangle should be about 6-7? long (the desired length of the stick).
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut off uneven edges of the rectangle and reserve the scraps.
- Spread the egg wash carefully over the dough. Sprinkle caraway seeds and coarse salt (if desired) evenly over.
- Using the knife or pizza cutter, cut the sticks to about 3/4? wide. Transfer the sticks onto a dry baking sheet, leaving about 3/4? interval between them (you can use parchment if you like).
- Roll the dough scraps into a sheet and proceed cutting as before, until all the dough is gone. You want to cut off the uneven portions before eggwashing every time, to keep the dough nice and clean.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Bake the sticks for about 13-15 minutes, until puffy and nicely golden. Cool on rack until manageable and enjoy.