I found Sochniki on the internet, having never seen or heard of them before. They appear to originate from Ukraine and/or Russia and are still very popular there. Made with a dough which is really very like a scone dough and filled they look very good indeed. In the original version, which is still the usual way of making them the filling is cottage cheese or tvarog, both of which are quite dry. Cottage cheese is made with curds, whereas I am using ricotta which has a very similar taste but is made from whey and is slightly wetter. I prefer ricotta which is why I am using it.
The filling also has flour and egg white in it. For mine I also used the zest of a lemon since I like the hint of extra flavour that it gives.
These pastries are actually very similar in texture to scones, depending on how thick you roll out the dough. Most of the recipes I checked, and videos that I watched seemed to roll out the dough to a thickness of between 3 and 4 mm. Which I thought was rather too thin, so I simply divided my dough into 6 and rolled each piece out until I could cut out a round which was 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. I could have rolled the cut off pieces again to make more, but as I didn’t want to skimp of the filling in the 6 I had made I actually pulled the off cuts together and froze it to use on another occasion.
Having baked mine, and I did that for 25 minutes, I let them cool and then sprinkled some icing sugar, lightly, over the top. They turned out very well, and although they may not be entirely autentic as Sochniki I believe they are a good representation. They certainly tasted wonderful and a great texture to both the scone cover and the filling.
For the dough:
- 400g(3 cups+2 tbsp) plain flour
- 120g(1 stick+ 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 1 medium egg(large in USA)
- 140g(3/4cup less 2 tbsp) caster or granulated sugar
- 100ml(1/2 cup less 4 tsp) double cream(or heavy cream)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
- 200g(7 oz) drained ricotta
- 40g(5 tbsp) plain flour
- 15ml(1 tbsp) soured cream
- 1 medium egg white(large in USA)
- 50g(1/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- Icing sugar to dust after baking
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together(I used my hand mixer).
- Into that add the cream and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
- Add the egg into the mixture and whisk to combine.
- Into the flour add the baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
- Add the flour mixture, in four additions, to the batter and use a spoon or spatula to stir to combine but do not over mix.
- When all the flour is mixed in use your hands to pull the whole thing into a nice, smooth dough.
- Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
- While the dough is chilling add the ricotta and flour into a large bowl and mix until all is combined, I used my hand mixer.
- Add all the other ingredients for the filling and mix until fully combined.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- On a floured work surface place the dough and divide into 6 equal pieces.
- For each piece of dough roll it out until you can cut out a round which is 5 inches(12.5cm) in diameter.
- Place about 60g (2 oz) of the ricotta mixture along a centre line of the rolled dough, leaving half the dough ready to folded on top. Dont spread the mixture, leave it in a sausage shape but not touching the edge of the round.
- Fold the bare half of the dough onto the top, pressing lightly on just the two corners, leaving the ricotta visible along the length.
- Place on a baking tray.
- Mix the egg yolk and 1 tbsp milk together and brush over the tops of the sochniki.
- Sprinkle the caster sugar over the tops.
- Bake in the oven of 20 to 25 minutes, until the top of the sochniki have lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar and serve.