Romanian / Moldovan Placintas

Plăcintă is a Romanian traditional pastry resembling a thin, small round or square-shaped cake, usually filled with a cheese such as brinza or apples. History of plăcintă goes centuries back… As shown by the etymology of the word, the plăcintă has a Roman origin, and dates from when Romania was a part of the Roman Empire.

Moldovan Placintas

Ancient Greek bakers made their bread with olive oil, herbs and cheese. The secret of making cakes was given to the Romans during the invasion. At first there were only two varieties of cakes, called the libum and the placenta. The libum was a small cake, used as an offering to the gods.As for the placenta, the Romans developed the recipe as a cake made of fine flour covered with cheese, honey, and fragrant bay leaves.Ancient Roman bakers customarily prepared a large placenta which was cut into squares to be offered for sale. 

Growing up in Moldova, I often watched my Grand Mom and Mom make placintas and then not so patiently waiting while they were prepare and inhaling the wonderful aroma. Alas, while childhood is the most wonderful and care-free time of our life, it all ends too quickly before we realize it… Helping to make and enjoying placintas is one of those cherished childhood memories.  Luckily, I learned this simple, yet wonderful recipe from my Mom and happy to share with you :)

Moldovan Placintas

Sources:
What is Plăcintă: Retrieved July 23, 2013

Ingredients for the dough:
250 grams buttermilk
1 large egg
4 table spoons olive oil and more for frying (sun flower oil also can be used)
1 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon dry instant yeast
700 grams flour

Ingredients for the potato filling:
5 medium potatoes
½ medium onion
salt and black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the cheese filling:
500 grams farmer cheese
1 large egg
small bunch of fresh dill
salt to taste

Moldovan Placintas

How to make placintas:

1. Bread-making machine can do a nice job kneading the dough for you. If you have once, place all liquid ingredients in the machine, then add flour and lastly yeast. Use dough kneading cycle to prepare the dough. This cycle accounts for the intervals during which the dough needs to rise and then kneaded (2 times).

However, if you don’t have a bread-making machine or up for some exercise, then making the dough by hand is another option. Start with the flour and make a well in it. Place all other ingredients in the well and combine with the flour. Knead till the dough forms. The consistency of the dough should be somewhat firm, but not too dry.

2. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, place it in a warm place and let it rise for 25 minutes, then go over the dough kneading it gently (no need to take the dough out of the bowl), let it rise for another 25 minutes and go over it again.

3.  While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Often, following the traditional way, placintas are made with brinza filling. Brinza is a kind of salty cheese, which is popular throughout Eastern Europe and is made from sheep’s milk. It is similar to feta which is used extensively in Moldovan / Romanian cuisine. But you can use variety of fillings for placintas – even fruits! They are great with apple filling. In this recipe, however, potato and farmer cheese fillings were used.

4. To prepare potato filling: Wash, peal potatoes, cut into cubes and boil in slightly salted water with a bay leaf. One the potatoes are cooked and tender (test with a fork), drain the water and mash the potatoes. In a little olive oil sauté chopped onion and add to mashed potatoes. Add salt and mix everything. Taste the filling and adjust salt as needed. Set aside.

5. To prepare cheese filling: Combine farmer cheese with salt and finely chopped dill fronds. Mix all ingredients. Set aside.

6. Once the dough is ready, take it out of the bowl and knead it into a large ball.

7. Divide the ball of dough into 8 equal parts and form little patties.

8. Using the dough roller, roll each patty into a circle approximately 6 inches in diameter.

9. In the middle of each circle place a generous amount of filling. It should cover approximately 1/2 of the dough circle. Spread it a bit.

10. Fold the dough to form the placinta: First fold towards the center the ends of the dough from top, bottom, and sides and press in. This will form a square. Then lightly stretching the dough, fold each of the square corners towards the center and press. Once this is done, using a roller go over the placinta flattening it slightly. Repeat the same with the rest of 8 dough patties and filling till all 8 placintas are formed. You should end up with 4 of them with potato filling and 4 with farmer cheese filling.

10. Fry each placinta on both sides frying the side with folds first in some live olive oil on low-medium heat till cooked through and golden brown color develops.

11. After each placinta is ready, transfer on paper towel to drain excess of oil.

Moldovan Placintas

That’s all there is to it! Placintas are best to be enjoyed warm. Try them with borsh, salad or with a glass of wine or how they say in Moldova: cu un pahar de vin!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

dina-signature

Romanian / Moldovan Placintas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe for authentic Romanian / Moldovan Placintas with 2 filling variations - potato and cheese.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Moldovan / Romanian
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the dough:
  • 250 grams buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 table spoons olive oil (sun flower oil also can be used) and more for frying
  • 1 tea spoon salt
  • 1 tea spoon dry instant yeast
  • 700 grams flour
  • Ingredients for the potato filling:
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • ½ medium onion
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Ingredients for the cheese filling:
  • 500 grams farmer cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • small bunch of fresh dill
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Bread-making machine can do a nice job kneading the dough for you. If you have once, place all liquid ingredients in the machine, then add flour and lastly yeast. Use dough kneading cycle to prepare the dough. This cycle accounts for the intervals during which the dough needs to rise and then kneaded (2 times). However, if you don’t have a bread-making machine or up for some exercise, then making the dough by hand is another option. Start with the flour and make a well in it. Place all other ingredients in the well and combine with the flour. Knead till the dough forms. The consistency of the dough should be somewhat firm, but not too dry.
  2. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, place it in a warm place and let it rise for 25 minutes, then go over the dough kneading it gently (no need to take the dough out of the bowl), let it rise for another 25 minutes and go over it again.
  3. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Often, following the traditional way, placintas are made with brinza filling. Brinza is a kind of salty cheese, which is popular throughout Eastern Europe and is made from sheep’s milk. It is similar to feta which is used extensively in Moldovan / Romanian cuisine. But you can use variety of fillings for placintas – even fruits! They are great with apple filling. In this recipe, however, potato and farmer cheese fillings were used.
  4. To prepare potato filling: Wash, peal potatoes, cut into cubes and boil in slightly salted water with a bay leaf. One the potatoes are cooked and tender (test with a fork), drain the water and mash the potatoes. In a little olive oil sauté chopped onion and add to mashed potatoes. Add salt and mix everything. Taste the filling and adjust salt as needed. Set aside.
  5. To prepare cheese filling: Combine farmer cheese with salt and finely chopped dill fronds. Mix all ingredients. Set aside.
  6. Once the dough is ready, take it out of the bowl and knead it into a large ball.
  7. Divide the ball of dough into 8 equal parts and form little patties.
  8. Using the dough roller, roll each patty into a circle approximately 6 inches in diameter.
  9. In the middle of each circle place a generous amount of filling. It should cover approximately ½ of the dough circle. Spread it a bit.
  10. Fold the dough to form the placinta: First fold towards the center the ends of the dough from top, bottom, and sides and press in. This will form a square. Then lightly stretching the dough, fold each of the square corners towards the center and press. Once this is done, using a roller go over the placinta flattening it slightly. Repeat the same with the rest of 8 dough patties and filling till all 8 placintas are formed. You should end up with 4 of them with potato filling and 4 with farmer cheese filling.
  11. Fry each placinta on both sides frying the side with folds first in some live olive oil on low-medium heat till cooked through and golden brown color develops.
  12. After each placinta is ready, transfer on paper towel to drain excess of oil.

 

Comments

  1. Karen Beilman Moldovan truemprr says:

    I was brought up
    On this. Could u pls give me the ingredients with spinach and dill? Thank u. Karen

  2. not the placinta the Romanian women made at the Romanian picnics in Detroit Michigan.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Plăcintăs are a typical Romanian dish, often eaten with borsch, a sour soup. They are easy to make, take under to two hours to prepare, and are a safe dish for even the pickiest of eaters. […]

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