Every region of Romania has its specific cheese-filled pastries,
whether salted or sweet, irrespective of being called donuts or pies. The
region of Moldavia is famous for the so-called "poale-n brau", a medium-sized
pie filled with salted cheese. In Dobrogea, this type of pastry, known as
"branzoaica" is also salted, just like in Transylvania, where the locals called
it "langos", a Hungarian-derived term. There
are also slight differences in the cooking process, as "branzoaice" are cooked
in the oven, whereas "langosi" are deep fried, just like donuts. In the Apuseni
Mountains, the locals make another type of cheese pie, filled with a mixture of
fermented cheese and dill. The dough is handmade, rolled out into fine sheets.
You spread the mixture in the middle and slightly try to bring the ends to the center.
Then roll-out into a thinner sheet, carefully, until you get a round-shaped
pie, small enough to be slightly fried in a pan, with very little oil. There is
also another version of this pie, which is baked on a hot tin. It looks very
much like a pancake, but it has a cheese filling.
To make "poale-n brau", you need
half a kilo of flour, 50 g of fresh yeast, or a sachet of dry yeast, four eggs,
milk, sugar and salt. To make the filling, you need slightly salty cow cheese
and dill, or cottage cheese and raisins. If you use dry yeast, then you mix all
ingredients together, with the flour. To make the dough, the yeast should be
dissolved into lukewarm milk, then mixed with 3 egg yolks and 100g of sugar.
Pour this mixture into a big bowl, over the flour and knead for 20 minutes,
until you get a smooth dough. Leave it to rise for about an hour in a warm
room. Roll out this dough into sheets, making sure they are not too thick, but
not too thin either, then cut them into squares about 15 cm to a side. Spread
the filling evenly on the dough sheets, then cover, by bringing the edges to
the center. Brush egg wash and sugar on top, then bake them at medium heat for
20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
If you have dried fruit to spare,
you can make cupcakes. You require half a kilo of flour, a quarter kilo of
white sugar, three eggs, yogurt or sour cream, vanilla essence, grated lemon
peel, a pinch of baking powder and salt. Mix in all the ingredients into a
rather fluid paste. You can add blueberries, for instance. Spoon the soft dough
into cupcake moulds, and make a topping using 150 g of white flour, 50 g of
brown sugar and 100g of butter. Bake the cupcakes at a medium heat for
approximately 25 minutes.