For the dough:
250 ml warm milk
1 tbsp instant yeast
½ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
¼ cup butter
3 ¼ cup flour
For the filling:
300 gr cottage cheese (I use cottage cheese from Russian or Polish stores and it has very thick and creamy texture to it, but I guess you could try to substitute it with ricotta cheese just don’t add sour cream to it then)
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp sour cream
¼ cup sugar
1 Egg yolk for brushing
1.Warm up milk in a microwave (anywhere between 20-30 sec on high, it should be lukewarm), add 1 tbsp of sugar, salt , yeast and ¼ cup of flour. Gently stir just until it’s incorporated, and leave it in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
2.Beat eggs with sugar on medium high speed for about 5 minutes, add melted butter and yeast mixture, stir gently with spatula. Gradually add the rest of the flour to the mixture ( some times it takes 3 full cups, some times a little bit less). The dough should be soft and elastic but not sticky. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, cover and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. After that, press it down and let it rise one more time.
3.Prepare the filling by combining together cottage cheese, sour cream and sugar. Mix well and leave it aside.
4. Transfer the dough to a good non stick surface and cut it in half. Working with one piece at a time, cut each piece in half, then in half again. Repeat with the rest of the dough until you have total of 12 pieces. Shape the dough into balls.
5. Place balls of dough on baking tray covered with parchment paper, evenly spaced. Push a narrow drinking glass or small ramekin over the centre of each dough to make a well in the centre.
6. Place a tablespoon of the filling into each well. Brush the dough with egg yolk and let it rise until they look puffy (it will take about 30-40 minutes at room temperature or 20 minutes in a warm 100F oven.
7. Bake at 350 F for 20-22 minutes.
Let it cool and serve. Enjoy!