Today would have been my husband’s grandmother Nanny’s 91st birthday. She was such a wonderful lady. Nanny was always all about her family. Nanny showed her love like most mothers and grandmothers do by cooking and baking from the heart! One of her favorite things to make in the kitchen was Belushi. Her Belushi was always a family favorite. The bread never lasted very long at gatherings. Matter of fact you can never make enough to please everyone. This weekend we made three batches.
Belushi is a Slovakian dish. If you have never had this cheesy potato flatbread, you are truly missing out. There is nothing quite like it. The flatbread is prepared with flour, yeast, sharp cheddar cheese, colby jack cheese and sprinkled with salt and slathered with butter. Everyone has an opinion as to when it tastes best. Most like it right out of the oven but some prefer it cold out of the refrigerator.
The traditional bread was not made all the time but as special treat. My mother-in-law mentioned to me the bread was baked more during the months of lent since it was rich in protein with the folding of the potato cheese blend. My mother-in-law states Nanny learned how to make this dish from her Grandma Anna Palonder. If you try to look up this recipe online there is nothing to be found. It truly is the Kessman special flatbread.
Nanny gave me this recipe in 2007 for a wedding shower gift. My husband and I tried to prepare it my ourselves a few years ago and it did not turn out. Luckily this past weekend my husband’s sister came to town and give us the Kessman 411 on the family classic.
Servings: 90 servings
1.5 lb Idaho Potatoes (pealed and quartered)
5.5 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
5.5 oz Colby Cheese (shredded)
1 box of Hot Roll Mix
1 cup AP flour
1 1/4 cup warm water (like bath water)
1 tsp salt, plus more for dusting
1 tsp sugar
2 TB Unsalted Butter, softened, plus more for brushing out of the oven
1. The night before, boil the potatoes in a large stock pot for 15 minutes. Run the potatoes through a food mill. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the cheese and mix thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover and let cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight.
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take the potato cheese mixture out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Also line half sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
3. In the meantime work on the dough. Place the additional flour, sugar, & salt in a standing mixer along with the contents of the hot roll mix box. Use the dough hook attachment. Mix with stand mixer on low. Slowly add the warm water, egg, and softened butter. Gradually increase the speed to medium and allow the dough to form a ball (kneading with dough hook for 5 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in warm area for 30 minutes.
4. Once the dough has risen evenly divide into 6 dough balls. On a heavily floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a 5 inch diameter. Place a generous scoop # 8 (4 oz) of the potato cheese mixture into the center of each circle. Wrap the dough around the cheese ball and pinch together the ends and place the sealed side down. Using a rolling pin, take the dough and roll it out on the heavily floured surface and roll the dough into a rectangular shape (large enough to fit a half sheet pan). The flatbread should be very thin (1/4 of an inch or less, thinner the better!). Prior to placing in the dough in the oven take a fork and make random hole marks onto the dough to prevent the dough from bubbling in the oven.
5. Bake 2 sheets at a time in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and flip the pans top to bottom halfway through and bake another 10 minutes.
6 Immediately remove the belushi to a cutting board and brush with pastry brush melted butter and season lightly with salt. Cut as you wish and enjoy!