After having it at the markets, I was determined to try making it at home. Couldn't be too hard, right? (^_-)-☆
I took some to a friend, who was having a garage sale first thing in the morning yesterday. Figured she wouldn't have time to make herself breakfast. It's known some people would turn up to a garage sale at 5am, even when the open time has been slotted for 7am. And besides, we haven't seen each other in years. I couldn't very well turn up empty-handed. (^o^)
The rest got taken to the SO's family as a dinner appetiser. And it went down very well. (^_^)v
All in all, the below recipe yielded about a dozen lepenys the size of a small dish.
To make the dough, you'll need:
- 1 cup of lukewarm milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp active yeast
- 3 cups plain flour + 1 tsp flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 50 gms butter, room temperature
Warm the milk in a saucepan, but don't let it go into a boil. After taking it off the heat, add the sugar, yeast and teaspoon of flour. Mix well and let it sit in a warm place for about 10-15 mins. This will jumpstart the yeast and if the liquid becomes frothy, don't worry. It simply means the yeast is working well.
Add the flour, yolks and butter to the milk mixture and mix well. Knead it a little to form a smooth dough, which shouldn't stick to your hands. Place it a large bowl and cover with cling wrap to avoid drying out the dough as it is allowed to rise in a warm place.
I left the dough in the residual heat of a switched-off oven overnight. The dough will double in bulk and feel lighter with lots of tiny air bubbles.
At this point, the dough should not stick to your hands when you work it, but if it does, simply dust your hands and work surface with flour. Knead it and portion the dough into stress ball sized balls, ready for use. These can be fridgeated in cling wrap until needed, but if you're using immediately, leave it out to get to room temperature. It'll be easier to work with.
I used the following for the stuffing:
- 1 bunch of silver beet leaves, roughly chopped
- Grated cheese (tasty cheese for me, but cheddar would work just as well)
Other stuffing options include mushrooms, spinach, feta cheese, salami, ham, black olives... use your imagination. Just avoid anything that would be too bulky after cooking. What you want is a nice flat bread.
Rolling the balls in your hands will help it give a better disc shape when rolled out. Dust your hands in flour if needed.
Roll out the balls into discs. The dough has plenty of stretch, so pull and push as much as possible to get the dough as thin as possible. If there are any holes, just use a little water and pinch the hole close with your fingers.
I find buying a block of cheese and grating it myself more economical than buying a bag of pre-grated cheese. Less plastic like too. If you prefer softer cheeses, like camembert or mozarella, go for it. However, go easier on sharper cheeses and take into account how well they would melt.
Sprinkle the grated cheese and chopped silver beet leaves on half the disc. The leaves and cheese will melt down, so lots can be piled on top. If you're using spinach, you can pile on a lot more than this, as spinach really shrinks a lot in cooking.
Don't worry too much about a few bits of the silver beet stems in there. These will soften and flatten out anyway.
If you choose to stuff with meats (salami, bacon, ham, etc), try not to overstuff. Making it too thick will prevent the centre from cooking evenly.
Fold over the dough and pinch the edges close. A little water between the edges will help them stick together.
You'll want to ensure the pocket is well-sealed to prevent any of the melting cheese from escaping. (^_-)-☆
To cook, you can use a sandwich press. But if you're like me, either too lazy to get it out of the cupboard or don't have one, a frying pan or skillet will do just as well. A weight needs to be put on top, so I used to bottom of a saucepan to flatten the lepeny. Cook till golden brown. Cut into sections with a pizza cutter or knife, and serve hot.