Traditional Croatian baked strukli
This is comfort food and light meal all in one!
For the dough
4 cups (500 g) all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1 tbsp vinegar
some lukewarm water (about 0.4 cups or 100 ml)
For the filling
20 oz (600 g) fresh cottage cheese
3.3 oz (100 g) butter, softened + 2 tbsp
0.4 cups (100 ml) sour cream
For the topping
Make the dough: this is the traditional way, but you can make it with your stand mixer too: Sift flour combined with salt onto clean working surface and make indentation in the middle. Put one egg into that indentation, add oil and combine all ingredients using fork. Mix some lukewarm water with vinegar and gradually add to the dough, until it all comes together. Knead the dough with hands until it's smooth-it should be smooth and elastic, not too soft and sticky. Divide dough into three equal parts, brush each with oil and cover with warm pot. Leave for 30 minutes.
While the dough rests, prepare the filling: Mix softened butter with fresh cottage cheese, add eggs, sour cream, salt and pepper.
Take a clean tablecloth and dust with some flour. Put 1 part of the dough onto it, roll out with rolling pin until thin and then begin stretching it with your palms. Be gentle and patient, stretch it from the middle. Don't stress out if it breaks. The dough should be thin, but for strukli you don't need to make it too thin (like when making strudel). Cut out thick edges. It's good to leave the dough for 15 minutes to dry slightly, but you can skip this step if you're in a hurry. Then sprinkle it with some melted butter. Brush the filling over the dough-brush only half of the dough. Roll it, using tablecloth-take a look at the video in the link above for this. Using your hands, separate the dough into equal parts and cut them with a plate. We do this instead of using knife in order to firmly seal the edges and ensure the filling doesn't pour out of strukli.
Take a baking pan, brush it with some butter and assemble strukli in it.
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Make the topping: combine sour cream with some salt and pour it over strukli. Place a couple of cubes of butter on top and finish with some grated cheese. Bake for about 40 minutes, until nicely golden. Let cool slightly and serve warm.