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.
Start by pouring flour into a large bowl and dig a hole in the middle for your other ingredients. Put buttermilk, an egg, olive oil, salt, and dry instant yeast into the hole. I used a wooden spoon to gather the mixture, then used my hands to work it together into a dough. I had to add more buttermilk and extra egg as I went until everything came together. Knead until the dough is flexible but firm, then cover the bowl with a tea towel for twenty five minutes.
After that time is up, you’ll have to knead again; my dough felt too firm at first, but once I started working it the texture returned to normal. Leave again for twenty five minutes, tea towel over bowl as before, and begin your filling. The most common filling appears to be soft cheese, but I’m not a big fan so I chose potato (there is also a sweeter variation using apples or raisins). Chop your potato into chunks and boil with a bay leaf until soft enough to mash. I removed my boiled potatos from the saucepan before mashing them, fried onion in the same saucepan, then returned the potatoes and mashed them all together.
Flour a board and separate your dough into fist sized pieces. Roll the first piece out into a disc, six inches across and maybe half an inch thick. Put your potato in the middle of the disc, then fold the sides of the dough over your filling. The sides should meet in the middle. You have to stretch it out, so what I did was use one hand to hold all the sides down and used the other to tug at the sides, until the parcel you’ve formed is back to six inches across. You should have a square-ish shape, so fold the corners toward the center, again so that they meet in the middle. Now roll out again gently, not too much.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan, enough to cover the entire bottom. Fry your placinta until it browns, then clean the oil off with a paper towel. Your placinta is ready to eat as soon as it cools, but it tastes fine after being in the fridge for a few hours too.