cream cheese

This recipe is an entirely sourdough, naturally-leavened dough that I often experiment with. It is extremely versatile and flexible in either a sweet or savory direction. I learned to make pizza with potatoes in Tuscany years ago, and I personally love it, though I know not everyone would agree. These sourdough bites with potatoes, scallions, and cream cheese are a sort of reference to classic potato pizza with an added flair of scallions and cream cheese. These sourdough bites will be sure to satisfy many cravings. 

Makes about 24 bites 


for the dough

  • 50g butter
  • 150g water
  • 100g sourdough starter 100% hydration
  • 50g sugar
  • 350g flour
  • 18g salt

for the toppings and assembly

  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 russet potatoes, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup chives, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt


In a large bowl, mix together the butter and water then add the starter and mix until combined. Add in the sugar and mix, then add in the flour and salt and mix until the dough is evenly combined. It will be shaggy at first but become blended and somewhat sticky as you mix. With wet hands, pinch and press the dough until it is smooth then cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 2 hours. 

After the dough has rested for 2 hours, stretch the top of it up and fold it over itself. Turn the bowl 90° to the right and pull the top of the dough up and over. Repeat this 8 times total. Let the dough sit for another hour then repeat the folding process 8 more times. Let the dough sit for one more hour then repeat the series of folds one last time, for a total of three stretch and fold sequences.

Let the dough rest for about 14 hours overnight until it has doubled in size. After this bulk fermentation, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and cut it into squares. I used a 2 ¾ x 2 ¾-inch square cutter, but you can just as easily use a knife or bench scraper.

Let the squares rest for 1-2 hours until they puff up. After this final rest, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spread about ½ teaspoon of softened cream cheese on each square then layer with potatoes, scallions, and chives. Top each square with cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt. 

Bake for 20 minutes at 375°F, then turn the oven up to 450°F and bake for 10 more minutes. 

While experimenting with different enriched sourdough ingredients, I decided to incorporate sour cream. What a great decision it was, as this dough for sourdough pepperjack buns is enriched with sour cream instead of butter and cream, for a refreshing sharpness and creamy elasticity.

Sourdough pepperjack buns have a slight sweetness from the brown sugar and a unique richness from the sour cream and egg. Adding some cream cheese, pepperjack cheese, and crushed red pepper makes for a bun that is perfectly balanced with cheese and spice. Enjoy these sourdough pepperjack buns as a pick-me-up snack or to complement a larger meal. 


for the dough

  • 120g sourdough starter 
  • 200g sourcream
  • 1 egg
  • 70g brown sugar
  • 10g salt
  • 450g all-purpose flour

for the filling and assembly

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

dough steps

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pinch and squeeze the dough to work the ingredients together until all is incorporated. Wet your hands and stretch the dough up and fold it in half over itself. Turn the bowl clockwise 90° and stretch and fold it once again. Turn the bowl twice more, each time 90° and stretch and fold each time, for a total of four stretches and folds. Then let the dough sit for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch, fold, rotate, and rest sequence for a total of 6 times, over the course of 2 and a half hours. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let the dough sit until it has doubled and nearly tripled, about 14-16 hours at room temperature.

filling and assembly steps

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Divide the dough into roughly even pieces. Roll each piece out into a log and coil it on top of itself to create a little nest in which to place the filling. Repeat with each piece of dough. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the softened cream cheese and pepper jack until evenly combined. Spoon about 1 tablespoon into each of the dough “nests” then sprinkle each with a pinch of crushed red pepper.

Bake for 25 minutes until lightly golden!

Growing up, friends and family devoured these Austrian cream cheese cookies every Christmas, Easter, and even on holidays in between. They are light but textured, and traditionally filled with lekvar which is an Austrian prune butter or apricot jam. I filled these with a mixed wineberry and mulberry jam that I had made back in the summer from berries I picked locally, but apricot has always been my favorite.

The dough, which is somewhere between cookie and pastry, is rolled super thin. When baked, it puffs ever so slightly and becomes flaky.

Though I am an avid proponent of my kitchen aid stand mixer, I have found that the power of the mixer causes the gluten to develop, making the dough too tough for these delicate cookies. So just like my ancestors made it for generations, the dough must be made with your hands.

So squeeze away and get the added benefit of stress relief! Isn’t that what baking is really about anyway?

Makes about 5 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups jam or preserves
  • Powdered sugar


Mix the butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Add the sugar  and egg yolks. Add in the flour and pinch and squeeze the dough with your hands until it comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the dough in quarters and working with one piece at a time, roll out dough as thinly as you can. Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut into squares.

Fill each square with a dollop of jam at the center. Fold one side into the center then fold the other side over it. I keep a bowl of water nearby to wet the corners of the dough so they stick together.

Bake until golden, 16 minutes, and let cool. Dust with powdered sugar.