The Germans love quark cheese!
Quark is so popular in Germany that it accounts for almost half of that country’s total cheese production.
The word means “curds” and it is a cow’s milk cheese. It is a low-fat curd cheese made from skim milk and soured with a lactic starter.
Quark cheese is Germany’s answer to France’s ” fromage blanc” or Italy’s ricotta cheese.
Interesting fact – Germans eat more than 17 lbs per person of quark cheese per year.
Not to sound cheesy or quark-y but that’s a lot of cheese to consume for just one person. Reason being Germans believe that this cheese is very good for you and that quark aids in maintaining healthy digestion.
This cheese is eaten in a variety of ways. Plain on its own or with herbs, nuts, garlic to make it savory or with fruit or jam to make it into a dessert or fruit spread. It is used in many German dishes for souffles, dressings, sauces, toppings, stuffing and dips and is the secret of a perfect baked cheese cake.
What does quark cheese taste like you might be asking? Simply put, quark cheese is a non-fermented soft cheese. It’s taste and texture are very similar to sour cream.
Quark, as many will agree, is an excellent cheese for baking. Baking cheese cakes or even better yet cheese-filled buns.
German cheeses click > http://ow.ly/9mzSp
Germany Travel: “Schleswig-Holstein” Cheese Route | German Cheese | Cheeses of Germany > http://ow.ly/1H6Wo8
Below is a great recipe for a bun that incorporates quark cheese and pineapple.
The best part of this recipe is the quark cheese filling so make sure to fill the buns nice and full…and then sit back and enjoy your short trip to Germany.
Quark Cheese and Pineapple Buns
(Makes 20 buns)
- 7 g – Dried active yeast ( 1 package)
- 250 ml – Milk ( lukewarm)
- 1 – Egg ( lightly beaten)
- 85 g – Sugar
- 2 teaspoons – Cardamom or Cinnamon
- 500 g – Flour ( all-purpose)
- 100 g – Butter ( unsalted) melted
- 1 Egg – Egg wash ( for brushing)
- 2 – Eggs
- 170 g – Quark Cheese
- 130 g – Greek yogurt
- 220 g – Pineapple ( canned or fresh) cut in small dice
- 2 tablespoons – Honey
- 4 tablespoons – Sugar
- 1 teaspoon – Vanilla extract
- 2 baking trays – lined with non-stick baking paper
- Heat the milk until it’s warm to the touch. If you can’t hold your finger in the milk and count to 20 without pulling it out because of the heat, then the milk is too warm.
- To the warmed milk add the yeast. Mix well until the yeast had dissolved
- Let proof in a warm place in you kitchen for 10-15 minutes or, until bubbles form slightly on the surface of the milk.
- In a mixing bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, add the egg, sugar, cardamom or cinnamon along with two-thirds of the flour. Mix to form a soft dough.
- Once the soft dough is made, add the remaining flour and the melted butter.
- Knead for 10 minutes to form a smooth non-sticky dough.
Place dough in a slightly greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place in a warm place and allow to rise. This should take 30-60 minutes or, until the dough has doubled in size. In the meantime, make the filling.
- Mix all the filling ingredients together, folding in the diced pineapple at the end.
- Make sure all is thoroughly mixed. Cover and set in the refrigerator until ready to fill the buns.
- You can reserve some diced pineapple to the side to garnish the tops of the buns once they are filled with the cheese. This is optional.
Buns – (Second Rise)
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Use a scale if you’re unsure of your accuracy.
- Now divide each fourth into 5 equal pieces.
- Roll these small pieces of dough into uniform balls and arrange evenly spaced on the prepared baking trays.
- Press your finger into the center of each bun and wiggle it around to create a nice indentation in the bun
- Cover the tray with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for and additional 30-45 minutes.
Once the second proof is complete, you might need to re-form the indentations. This is normal! Simply place your finger in the now closed indentations and rework them. The larger the indentation the more the bun will be able to hold the delicious quark-pineapple filling.
So take you time and carefully recreate the holes for the filling, being careful not to knock down the air in the entire bun. The bun should look like a mini doughnut – puffed up on the sides and a doughnut-sized hole in the middle to fill.
Also, be careful not to make a complete hole through to the bottom of the bun. We want the filling to stay in the bun and not fall out once picked up.
Preheat your oven to 350 F ( 180 c)
Filling & Baking:
- Now fill the holes of the bun with the pineapple-cheese mixture. Fill them to form a slight mound, somewhat higher than the bun itself.
- At this stage, you can garnish the tops with the reserved pineapple, if you choose to.
- Now egg wash the buns. This is an important step for appearance. Egg wash the buns completely and thoroughly. If you run out of egg wash make some more and proceed until all buns are complete.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or, until the buns are uniformly golden brown and the bottoms of the buns are cooked as well.
- If you do not have a convection oven, you will definitely have to rotate the trays in your oven approximately halfway through the cooking time.
German Quark and Pineapple Buns – Mission Complete.