Irina Shiryak's Pirozhki. Photo: Irina Shiryak.
Irina Shiryak's Pirozhki. Photo: Irina Shiryak.
Recipe

Pirozhki – Russian bourekas

Pirozhki are one of the classic recipes of Russian cuisine, and they come with a variety of fillings - the classics are potato, cabbage and meat

This recipe was passed down to me from my grandmother, who would close the Pirozhki in a special way: she would pinch along the edges, then fold the edges towards each other, almost like a pretzel or a Chinese fortune cookie. She would bake her pirozhki seal side down, with the smooth side facing up.

Irina Shiryak’s Pirozhki. Photo: Irina Shiryak
Cabbage stuffed pirozhki. Irina Shiryak’s Pirozhki. Photo: Irina Shiryak
Irina Shiryak’s Pirozhki. Photo: Irina Shiryak.
Potato stuffed Pirozhki. Irina Shiryak’s Pirozhki. Photo: Irina Shiryak.
Irina Shiryak’s Pirozhki. Photo: Irina Shiryak
Pirozhki stuffed with Cabbage and potato. Irina Shiryak’s Pirozhki. Photo: Irina Shiryak

Ingredients for Pirozhki - Russian bourekas

For the dough:

  • 2⅔ tablespoons (25 grams) fresh yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 5.2 ounces (150 grams) mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 4 cups flour

For the cabbage filling:

  • 1 small Cabbage
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • pinch Sugar
  • Seasoning to taste (nutmeg, white pepper, and more are options)

Instructions

Prepare the dough:

  • 1. Dilute the yeast with water. Wait about 10 minutes until the yeast begins to ferment.

  • 2. Add mayonnaise, salt and sugar, and mix. Gradually add the flour and mix. Knead the dough with your hands (or in a mixer with a kneading hook) for a few minutes, until the dough becomes elastic and soft to the touch. Let the dough rest for an hour and a half.

Prepare the cabbage:

  • 3. Finely chop the onion and cabbage.

  • 4. In a large pan over medium heat, fry the onion until it changes color, about 5-10 minutes. Add the cabbage, salt, sugar and spices, cover with a lid and fry until the cabbage softens, about half an hour. Stir occasionally to prevent the cabbage from sticking to the bottom.

Roll out and assemble:

  • 5. Roll out the dough to a thickness of ¼-inch (½ cm). Cut out circles with a diameter of about 2¼ inches (6 cm). Put one tablespoon of filling in the middle of each circle, fold and pinch the edges (you can also close the edges in the form of a braid).

  • 6. Heat the oven to 356F (180C) degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the assembled pyrozhki.

Additional filling options:

  • 7. Potato filling: take 4 peeled and diced potatoes and cook them in salted, boiling water until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Mash them, add about a quarter of a cup of hot milk and two tablespoons of butter, then 1 fried onion.

  • 8. Chocolate filling: fill the pirozhki with chocolate spread. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and brush with an egg mixed with milk

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