Hristos se rodi, Srecan Bozic - Jesus is born, Happy Christmas to all Orthodox Christians!
To celebrate, I made these pastries, that are quite common back in Serbia, but very special to me as they were a traditional Christmas dessert in our house since I can remember and I haven't had a chance to make them or eat them in years.They are made of layered pastry, but instead of using butter, margarine or other widely used fat, they call for unrendered pork fat, better known as salo, which gives the pastry a distinctive taste and texture which I finally found in a newly opened Eastern European food store around the corner.This is my grandmother's recipe, that calls for coffee cups to measure the ingredients:
300 gr salo
2 table spoons flour
3 coffee cups of warm water (around 260 ml)
1 coffee cup of oil (80 ml)
480 gr - 550 gr flour ( depends on flour)
1 table spoon of apple vinegar
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
icing sugar mixed with 1 packet of vanilla sugar to coat
Mix room temperature salo with 2 spoons of flour and set aside. Make the dough which is not too soft, roll it out as thin as you can and spread one half with salo/flour mixture. Fold the other half over, spread half of that area with the mixture and fold again, then repeat again. Store in a refrigerator for at least half an hour, then repeat the folding process 2 more times, resting the dough in the refrigerator in between.
Roll the dough out into a rectangular shape of 5 mm thickness and cut into equal pieces (I made 24), put a small spoon of apricot or plum jam on the lower end and fold the upper part over it. Bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 25 minutes or until light golden in colour. Leave them to rest and while still warm coat with icing sugar-vanilla mixture.