Cooking class: Dairy delights

Strauss’s focus for Shavuot is on its line of Symphony cream cheese.

Artichoke quiche (photo credit: DANYA WEINER)
Artichoke quiche
(photo credit: DANYA WEINER)
One of the largest dairies in Israel, Strauss’s focus for Shavuot is on its line of Symphony cream cheese, which is available in many flavors.
The company asked a few top chefs to prepare dishes using the different cheeses.
Here is a selection of their recipes:
Makes 8 This recipe was adapted by chef Tom Frantz for Danone Strauss.
✔ 1 bag dry yeast
✔ 1 Tbsp. sugar
✔ 150-300 ml. lukewarm water, as needed
✔ 1 tsp. salt
✔ 600 gr. flour (about 32⁄3 cups)
✔ 1 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ 1½ (200 gr.) containers of Greek yogurt (200 gr.)
✔ Olive or grape-seed oil for brushing
✔ For garnish: sesame seeds, fennel seeds or caraway seeds (optional) Place yeast, sugar and ¼ cup water in a small bowl and mix gently until dissolved.
Leave in a warm place for 10-15 minutes, until the yeast begins to bubble.
Place salt in a large bowl and sift the flour into the bowl. Create an indentation and pour the yeast mixture into the flour. Add the yogurt and oil.
Start kneading with your hands, gradually adding water as needed. The dough should come together but not get too sticky. So be careful not to add too much water – add it very gradually.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and continue kneading for 5-10 minutes. To test if done stick a finger in the dough. If the hole closes quickly the dough is ready. Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll each part into a ball. Place a ball on the lightly floured work surface and roll it into a 1 cm. thick circle. Heat an iron skillet. Pour a little olive oil or grape-seed oil into a small bowl. Using a brush, oil the skillet very lightly and place the circle of dough on the skillet. Brush the top side with oil. Sprinkle with sesame or other seeds (optional).
When bubbles begin to appear on the top and the bread is golden on the bottom, turn the pita over and continue cooking it until it is golden-brown on both sides. Transfer the pita to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat with all the dough balls.
This recipe was created by chef Yaniv Gur- Arye for Strauss.
26 cm. pie dish For the pastry:
✔ 20 gr. white flour
✔ 50 gr. rye flour
✔ 175 gr. butter, cubed
✔ 1 egg
✔ 1 tsp. salt
✔ 1 Tbsp. honey
✔ 1 tsp. Cajun spice mix
For the poached garlic:
✔ 10 garlic cloves
✔ 250 ml. milk
✔ 1 tsp. sugar
✔ 1 tsp. salt
✔ 2 Tbsp. olive oil
For the quiche:
✔ 1 package Symphony cream cheese, roasted eggplant, olive oil and garlic flavor
✔ 2 eggs
✔ 1 package frozen artichoke bases
Prepare the pastry: In a food processor (or by hand) mix together the flours, seasonings and butter until the mixture becomes crumbly.
Add egg and honey and process only until a dough forms.
Make a ball, wrap with plastic foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Cook garlic: place peeled garlic cloves, milk, salt and sugar in a small pot and cook for 15 minutes. Strain, and add the olive oil to the cooked garlic cloves.
Heat the oven to 190°.
Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and roll on a lightly floured work surface to the size of the pie dish. Transfer the pastry to the dish. Trim excess pastry.
Arrange the artichoke bases on the pastry.
Mix the cheese with the eggs until smooth and pour into the pie dish.
Arrange the garlic cloves on top.
Bake for 45 minutes, until quiche is golden.
Makes 4
✔ 1 onion, chopped
✔ 2 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ ½ tsp. sugar
✔ ½ tsp. salt
✔ Pinch black pepper
✔ 1 package Symphony cream cheese, roasted eggplant, olive oil and garlic flavor
✔ 250 ml. water
✔ 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
✔ 1 tomato, peeled and cubed
✔ A little olive oil for garnish Fry onion in oil until golden.
Add water and cheese and bring to a boil.
Cook while whisking, until the soup is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour into small serving bowls or cups, and garnish with a few tomato cubes, some chopped parsley and a few drops of olive oil.
Makes 4 loaves
4 bread baking forms
This recipe was developed by chef Yaniv Gur-Arye for Strauss.
For the dough:
✔ 500 gr. white bread flour
✔ 1 Tbsp. dry yeast or 25 gr. (½ package) fresh yeast
✔ 1 container Symphony cream cheese, natural flavor
✔ ¼ cup milk
✔ 1 Tbsp. salt
✔ 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
✔ 1 bag dried fried onion flakes
✔ 2 Tbsp. mustard seeds
✔ 2 Tbsp. sugar
✔ 100 gr. butter, softened
For the filling:
✔ 2 packages Symphony cream cheese, dried tomatoes and olives flavor
✔ 100 gr. roasted pine nuts
✔ 1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves only
For baking: 1 beaten egg with a little salt In a mixer bowl with kneading arm place all the dough ingredients except the butter. Knead for 10 minutes. Add butter and knead 5 more minutes. The dough should be soft and shiny. If the dough is too dry add a little more milk.
Place dough in a wide bowl, leave to rise in a warm place 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each part to a thin leaf and spread ¼ of the cheese in an even layer on the dough, top with 3 Tbsp. pine nuts and 2 or 3 chard leaves. Roll into a tight roulade. Using a sharp knife, cut the roulade lengthwise and twist the 2 halves into a “screw” shape. Place in a lightly oiled bread form.
Repeat with all 4 dough parts.
Leave to rise covered for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 170°.
Brush with a beaten egg and bake for 40 minutes.
Variation: instead of baking 4 loaves, you may cut the rolls into “roses” and place in a large round baking form or bake separately on a baking sheet, for individual buns.