savory

Spinach Mozzarella Pastry Bites

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Weekend time is baking time! Since I am still feeling kind of stuffed after the heavy cream cake from last weekend, I opted for a much lighter bake this time – puff pastry. With an even measure of butter to flour, this dough definitely belongs to the healthy, diet part of the dough family 😉 NOT. But body and health issues aside, who doesn’t love the cracking sound of the first bite in a good fresh puff pastry, that is sooo fluffy but still crisp. I myself definitely can’t resist! And if it is filled with some savory vegetables, as the spinach in this case, you can even have this amazing kind of baked goods for an entire meal 🙂

This recipe is more or less based on my imagination. You can get savory pastries like these in bakeries everywhere all across Germany and Denmark. Unfortunately they are quite expensive, so why not try to do them yourself, I thought. But since normal puff pastry takes a lot of experience, time and flair, I was super happy when I found out about the kind of “fake” full puff pastry that is called rough puff pastry. Turns out, the promises you read online hold, and it is way easier and definitely quicker to prepare! I will never have to struggle with full puff pastry again – YAY!

Ingredients (yields 6):

For the pastry: For the filling:
250 g strong wheat flour 1/2 small onion
1 tsp salt 200 g spinach
250 g cold butter 1 clove of garlic
150 ml water 50 g mozzarella
2 tbsp milk

Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter in small cubes and mix them with the flour, such that all butter cubes are covered in flour. Add 2/3 of the water and carefully stir with your fingers until you get a firmer dough. Be careful not to overwork the pastry, if necessary add a little bit more water until you get a soft firm dough. There should be still butter cubes in there. Let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Flour the counter top and roll the pastry to a rectangular, divide into 3 even pieces with your eyes and fold the ends one by one to the middle like a letter. Turn the pastry by 90° and roll it out again. Fold the outer thirds to the middle again, and let the pastry rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. Repeat at least two more times. If you want to prepare the pastry for another day, or for the freezer, the last step should be the folded letter. Let the pastry rest in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Clean and wash the spinach. Finely chop the onions and fry them in a pan with some olive oil. Add the spinach to the onions and after it wilted, press in the garlic and add the mozzarella. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and add the milk. Take off the heat and let the filling cool down, while you continue with the pastry.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Flour the counter top and roll the pastry to a thin rectangle (max 5 mm). Cut off the edges to make it a precise rectangle. Divide the rectangle in 6 squares (or rectangles) of the same size with a knife. Carefully mark the middle axis of the pastry squares with the back of a knife. In the left-hand half of every pastry make 5 short cuts, leaving a frame of pastry of at least 1 cm. Divide the filling into 6 equal shares and transfer it to the right-hand half of the pastry squares. Fold the left-hand side over and carefully press the ends together. Transfer to a baking sheet with baking parchment and bake for 20 minutes at 200°C until golden brown.

Tip: Vary the filling by taking feta or goat cheese instead of mozzarella. Or – and that might be even better – cook an apple compote and fill the pastry with that instead. You can find a good recipe for apple compote with cinnamon here.

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