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Monday, November 23, 2015

Cheezy Garlic Balls for One

You could eat this little treasure for breakfast, as part of a mid-day snack, as a side dish for dinner, or for an evening pick-me-up after rehearsal. The degree of ooey-gooey depends on your choice of faux cheese, but the bready part has a nice crunch to the crust and a soft “tooth,” as bread-makers say.

2 TBLSP all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
Pinch rapid rise yeast
Pinch baking soda
Pinch garlic powder
Shake of salt
1 ½ TBLSP plain vegan yogurt (or faux sour cream)
¼ ounce hard faux cheese (I had some Miyoko’s Triple Cream Chive hanging around and I also had some homemade Camembert—from Miyoko’s cookbook. Both were excellent, but Daiya shreds would work too.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, yeast, baking soda, garlic powder and salt. Add the yogurt or sour cream in and mix it well.
  2. Plop the blob of dough onto a clean surface (I like to do it on waxed paper for easier clean up), and knead it for a bit, adding flour until it’s no longer sticky but is still quite soft.  This could be as much as a whole TBLSP more.  Keep kneading until the dough is barely sticky anymore but has a silky smooth texture, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a ball and then flatten it on the waxed paper or counter. I like to use my knuckles for the most even spread.
  4. Cut the cheese into small cubes (or use shreds), and drop them into the center of each dough disk. Fold the edges of the dough up and around the cheese to engulf it and roll it between your hands to form balls and remove any evidence of a seam.
  5. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown. I like to roll them over about half-way through, but maybe your oven has more even heat than mine.

Serve with a dipping sauce (like olive oil, crushed fresh garlic, parsley, and salt), douse them with mustard, or toss them into your picnic basket just as they are.

  • Put 1 teaspoon of dried basil (or any other herb that makes you happy) into the dough with the other dried ingredients.
  • A little chunk of faux meat (like a brat or cooked Unbacon) would be a nice surprise, too. Just put in a little less cheese to make room for it.
  • You could wrap a piece of cheese in a bit of spinach with a tiny bit of onion and a slice of mushroom and have a whole spanakopita thing going on. 
  • Switch the all-purpose flour out for whole wheat. You’ll need a larger pinch of the baking soda to make this heavier flour rise, but it will still work.
  • Smear some pesto or other sauce on the inside of the flattened round of dough before you put the cheese into it if you’re picnicking so you don’t have to bring a dipping sauce.

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