Pirogi with Meat

What's the best way to ignore the 5 feet of snow outside? Imagine warmer climes, pray for summer....maybe. Or, comply with what nature gave you (and keeps giving you) and make the very domestic pirozki.

1.5 tsp dry yeast
1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
4.5 cups of flour

Warm up 1/2 cup of milk mixed with 1 tbsp sugar. Add in the yeast. Let stand for 15 minutes for the foam to form on the yeast mixture (this tells you it's fresh enough to raise the dough). Mix in the rest of the milk (make sure to warm it up). Mix in the eggs. Add and mix the rest of the sugar, salt and oil.

Start adding the flour in bits and mixing until it stops being sticky. I know I said 4.5 cups above, but! you should use less, but it will all depend on the size of the eggs, your exact measurements of the other ingredients, the barometric pressure...well, maybe not that.

Set the prepared dough into a slightly oiled pot, into a warm place (~85F) for about 1.5 hours and cover with a tea towel. At this point it should just about double in size. Punch it down with a fist lightly and let rise again for another hour. After the second rising, the dough is ready to be made into pirogi.

While it was rising, I made the stuffing (1lb boiled meat of choice, 1 roasted chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste). Prep the oven by preheating to 425F and oil a cookie tray. Rip off golf ball sizes of dough and shape into a circle in hand. Add the stuffing inside and pinch the ends together. Place on a baking sheet with seam side down.

Let the stuffed pirogi sit for about 10 minutes and place them into the preheated oven for 15 minutes. They should be fluffy and golden at this point. Brush the ready pirogi with milk using a pastry brush to give them a slight shine.

This recipe makes about a bakers dozen of pirozki. The dough is on the sweeter side, but it's a great contrast. The same dough may be used with any filling.


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