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Old 01-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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Armenian Cheese Turnover Issue

Last week my younger daughter and I got together for a cooking day. She has shown an interest in learning to cook some Armenian recipes she remembers from when my mom was alive and from my older sister’s kitchen.

We had settled on cheese turnovers. I remember cheese turnovers from my childhood. I would wait in the kitchen for them to come out of the oven and wolf them down as soon as they cooled enough to eat. In recent years, my sister made a different version using filo dough in a baking dish similar to paklava. My daughter wanted to make the more traditional version.

I checked my ‘go to’ Armenian cookbook written by a long deceased Armenian woman and generally regarded as the bible of Armenian recipes. I found a filling recipe and a dough recipe for the turnovers (there were several variations) and we were set.

On the big day, we made the dough first and set it aside to rise then made the filling. DD rolled out the dough into 7” circles per the cookbook and I added 1/3 of a cup of filling. She sealed it off and I eggwashed it and cut slits in the top all per the recipe.

Sadly, when they baked, a lot of the filling poured out of the slits in the top of the turnover. The sealed edges were fine. They tasted great and I’d love to make them again but have to solve the spillage issue.

Here’s the filling recipe:

2 Lb Munster Cheese, shredded
1 C Cottage Cheese, small curd
2 Eggs
½ tsp Baking Powder
3 Tb Butter, melted
¾ C Parsley

I have questions.

What is the purpose of the baking powder? I know it’s a leavener but why does the filling have to be leavened? So it can spill out of the turnover and ruin my day? Does it aid in making the domed shape for the top of the turnover by pushing the dough up from inside? What would happen if I left out the baking powder?

If you cut the turnover in half after it’s cooked and cooled, the filling is a layer on the bottom of the turnover with an empty dome of dough above. I don’ t get it.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:05 PM   #2
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I make something simular. First of all I bet original recipe calle dfor special cheeses. ANd I bet that is where the difference come in. The Armenian recipes I have seen call for hard cheese greated. Onother thing are the slits. I would, or actually I do just poke the top of the dough with a fork, just enough for hot air to escape.

P.S. You sure it calls for baking powder. Just went check my sourses, nobody says anything about soda or baking powder.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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I'm guessing that they want a somewhat lighter filling. Now, what kind of baking powder did you use? Single-acting BP sets to work immediately because its acid works at room temperature. Double-acting BP has an additional heat-activated acid that doesn't do anything until it's baking. In an modern recipe, you could safely assume baking powder meant double-acting. But if it's more than maybe 50 years old, it might have assumed single-acting, if it didn't specify double. It sounds like the second rising in the oven might be what's happening.

If you think that might be right, you can test by making up your own single-acting BP:
1 part baking soda to 2 parts cream of tartar.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLC View Post
I'm guessing that they want a somewhat lighter filling. Now, what kind of baking powder did you use? Single-acting BP sets to work immediately because its acid works at room temperature. Double-acting BP has an additional heat-activated acid that doesn't do anything until it's baking. In an modern recipe, you could safely assume baking powder meant double-acting. But if it's more than maybe 50 years old, it might have assumed single-acting, if it didn't specify double. It sounds like the second rising in the oven might be what's happening.

If you think that might be right, you can test by making up your own single-acting BP:
1 part baking soda to 2 parts cream of tartar.
I'm not an expert, so I might be wrong, but I think that is the recipe for your basic, homemade, double acting baking powder. The baking soda starts to work as soon as it gets wet. I think the cream of tartar is heat activated.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
I make something simular. First of all I bet original recipe calle dfor special cheeses. ANd I bet that is where the difference come in. The Armenian recipes I have seen call for hard cheese greated. Onother thing are the slits. I would, or actually I do just poke the top of the dough with a fork, just enough for hot air to escape.

P.S. You sure it calls for baking powder. Just went check my sourses, nobody says anything about soda or baking powder.
Charlie, the recipe in the cookbook called for munster and cottage cheeses. The recipe also called for two slits which is what I did. I am sure the recipe called for baking powder.

I have no doubt the cheese filling would have come out of the fork holes if that's what I did or busted a seam and come out that way.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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GLC, you could be right. SA BP would have avoided the second rise in the oven. However, I'm not sure what good the SA BP would have in the filling before baking. The filing was pretty dense.

taxlady, GLC is right. The second rise in DA BP is from an aluminum compound. The cream of tartar generates acid with water in SA BP for the first rise.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
GLC, you could be right. SA BP would have avoided the second rise in the oven. However, I'm not sure what good the SA BP would have in the filling before baking. The filing was pretty dense.

taxlady, GLC is right. The second rise in DA BP is from an aluminum compound. The cream of tartar generates acid with water in SA BP for the first rise.
I stand corrected. I just looked up cream of tartar. It is the acid component of SA baking powder. It activates the baking soda. Aluminium isn't used much in baking powder here in Canada any more. I used to get one with no Al from the health food store, but now the regular one from the supermarket has monocalcium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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You said that person who wrote the book passed away long ago? Was she an American Armenian? It really is strange, because there was obviously no munster or cottage cheese in Armenia.
I say you should try the same thing but without baking powder.
It is stupid of me to ask, but just in case, by chance did you make a mistake? Maybe baking powder was for the dough? Just don't hate me for this, please.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:09 PM   #9
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I have never cooked anything like this so please consider the following as guessing:

1. possibly the leavening is intended to expand the filling to make it lighter

2. use less leavening? or none?

3. use less filling in each turnover?

4. use smaller holes, either a fork or maybe a couple toothpick holes

Sometimes you have to cook recipes over and over while making changes to zero in on the perfect result.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:09 PM   #10
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BTW, what are they calle din Armenian?
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Armenian Cheese Turnover Issue [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]Last week my younger daughter and I got together for a cooking day. She has shown an interest in learning to cook some Armenian recipes she remembers from when my mom was alive and from my older sister’s kitchen.[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]We had settled on cheese turnovers. I remember cheese turnovers from my childhood. I would wait in the kitchen for them to come out of the oven and wolf them down as soon as they cooled enough to eat. In recent years, my sister made a different version using filo dough in a baking dish similar to paklava. My daughter wanted to make the more traditional version.[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]I checked my ‘go to’ Armenian cookbook written by a long deceased Armenian woman and generally regarded as the bible of Armenian recipes. I found a filling recipe and a dough recipe for the turnovers (there were several variations) and we were set.[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]On the big day, we made the dough first and set it aside to rise then made the filling. DD rolled out the dough into 7” circles per the cookbook and I added 1/3 of a cup of filling. She sealed it off and I eggwashed it and cut slits in the top all per the recipe. [/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]Sadly, when they baked, a lot of the filling poured out of the slits in the top of the turnover. The sealed edges were fine. They tasted great and I’d love to make them again but have to solve the spillage issue.[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]Here’s the filling recipe: [/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]2 Lb Munster Cheese, shredded[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]1 C Cottage Cheese, small curd[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]2 Eggs[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]½ tsp Baking Powder[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]3 Tb Butter, melted[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4][FONT=PC명]¾[/FONT] C Parsley[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]I have questions. [/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]What is the purpose of the baking powder? I know it’s a leavener but why does the filling have to be leavened? So it can spill out of the turnover and ruin my day? Does it aid in making the domed shape for the top of the turnover by pushing the dough up from inside? What would happen if I left out the baking powder?[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]If you cut the turnover in half after it’s cooked and cooled, the filling is a layer on the bottom of the turnover with an empty dome of dough above. I don’ t get it.[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=4] [/SIZE] [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]Any thoughts?[/SIZE][/FONT] 3 stars 1 reviews
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