Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bosnian American Croissants

When people think of fusion food a likely first thought is of elaborate, exotic main dishes. However, this next recipe, the third in our series on celebrating the diversity of our Muslim American community, surprisingly melds two very different traditions in the form of a wonderful baked good.

Bosnian Muslim cuisine exudes hearty warmth and comfort. While the flavors are subtle, the ingredient combinations fill you with down-home goodness. Some of the staples of Bosnian recipes are potatoes, traditional cuts of meat, peppers and hearty beans. But a Bosnian meal is never complete without the addition of a lovely home-baked good of some sort.

Our good friend Melida has filled our tummies over the years with some amazing treats that are truly unforgettable. One of our favorite items, in which she kindly drops off to our homes on a regular basis, is her cheese-filled croissants. The base for the filling of her croissants is a super-mild farmer's cheese that can be easily fused with flavors from other ethnicities to make this treat akin of your own tradition.

Here, we give you a special version of Melida's Croissants that fuses this traditional Bosnian cheese-filled delicacy with a spicy Italian olive muffaletta. Americans tend to spice up sandwiches and pizza by tossing on some giardiniera. Spicy Olive Muffaletta from Chicago's very own "That Pickle Guy" is a new form of this super-hot condiment sure to gain in popularity as people discover it. I picked up a jar at Costco and now I'm hooked.

Spicy Olive and Cheese-filled Bosnian Croissants

(Print this Recipe)

1 egg
1 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour

Cheese Filling Mixture:
6 oz. farmer's cheese
6 oz. feta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup olive muffaletta or giardiniera

1/4 stick of softened butter
sesame seed or black seed (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the dough, blend together first six ingredients and then gradually add in flour. Once dough is fully blended, knead well. Separate dough into 8 balls, rolling each on counter using flat of your hand until it is well-shaped. Let dough balls sit while you prepare cheese mixture.

To prepare cheese mixture, mix cheeses, one egg and spicy mixture of your choice (we use olive muffaletta or giardiniera).

Now, back to the dough. Begin rolling each dough ball into a circle about 7-8 inches in diameter. Once each is rolled butter the top of seven of them. Stack on top of one another leaving unbuttered one for the top. Now, roll entire stack out so that it remains in circular form - you will need to turn over and over again while rolling out with rolling pin. Roll until dough becomes about 20 inches in diameter.

Using pizza cutter and beginning by slicing dough in half, make 12-14 small triangular cuts out of the dough. Take about a 1/2 tbsp of filling and place at base of triangle on each cut of dough. At bottom of each triangle piece, fold in corners so that they come together around filling. From bottom of each triangle, fold up towards point. Place in baking dish with sides that you have prepared first with non-stick spray.

Baste each croissant with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame or black seed on top.

Bake for 23-25 minutes until lightly golden on top. Remove and cool.

Other filling options:

Melida's Traditional Bosnian Filling
6 oz. farmer's cheese
6 oz. feta cheese
1/4 cup paneer

Roasted Vegetable Filling
6 oz. farmer's cheese
6 oz. feta or blue cheese
one egg
roasted vegetables of your liking (roasted red pepper, red onion and brussel sprouts are a good combination)

Cheddar Cheese Filling
6 oz. farmer's cheese
6 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
one egg

This post and recipe was brought to you by Halal Mama’s Editor at Large, Jill Alali. See sidebar for more info about Jill. Eid Mubark!    ~ Katia

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