Pronounced "plæchinte", these very famous and ubiquitous pastries can pass for National Dish of Moldova. We bake them all the time for a wide range of occasions or no occasion at all. There are many ways folks make these pastries, but the one I am presenting today yields a very flaky and crisp pastry!
Well, my occasion today is my 100th posting: I made it, though much slower than I thought I would!
Anyway, I am going to be slightly more generous than usual, and provide you with a bit more detail on the making of these beautiful and tasty pastries! For the seasoned baker out there, just looking at the pictures would be enough of an idea of what to expect.
For the dough you need:
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1.5 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 and 3/8 cup water
- 2 pounds sliced raw potatoes, seasoned with salt, black pepper, spices or herbs of your choice.
- Oil for brushing the dough
- Combine all the ingredients for the dough and knead a smooth, pliable dough, as if for bread. You may need to add more flour or water, depending on the humidity level of your flour.
- Divide the dough into 10-12 equal parts, slightly knead into small balls and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into pizza-like crusts about 25 cm diameter.
- Generously brush every single sheet with oil, and lay them one on top of the other. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
- Take one sheet at a time and stretch it till it becomes very thin, almost transparent. Either use your both hands and rotate the dough by grabbing its edges or stretch it on a flat working surface. Do not worry if it breaks here and there- it will get covered! (see photos)
- When you have a thin sheet about 40cmX40cm, start folding it like for an envelope, each time brushing it with oil. (that is how you gate the flakiness) - see photos.
- When you have folded your dough, place a handful of stuffing in the center and start "gluing" its corners (see photos). You may want to glue 4 corners for a square shape and 6 corners for a round one.
- Place on greased baking sheets and bake for about 35-40 min at 350F.