We have been enjoying the Olympics as a family. We have liked watching the various sports, cheering on Team USA and keeping track of where we stand with medals. At the same time, we’ve also been using this opportunity to explore the Russian culture and experiment on our own by making a few traditional Russian food recipes.
We made Pirozhki, which is meat filled dough, for dinner and loved it!
Traditional Pirozhki Dough
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs (save one for glazing)
1 package of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
Warm the milk in a sauce pan over medium heat until it bubbles around the edges. Mix 1/2 cup of the warmed/hot milk, a tablespoon of sugar and the yeast together in a cup. Let the mixture stand until it creates a foamy layer. Note: If this doesn’t happen the yeast isn’t good & you have to start over. Pour the frothy mixture into the remainder of the warm milk. Slowly add 3 cups of flour into the milk mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Let the dough rise for 4 hours covered. Note: I heat my oven to 200 degrees, turn it off & put the dough in it covered, it rises every time beautifully no matter what I am making/baking.
Combine the remainder of the ingredients (3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt & 3 cups of flour). Knead it gently while incorporating the remainder of the flour. It should no longer be sticky. Let the dough rise for an additional 2 hours. Note: I used the oven trick again! While the dough is rising prep the filling below.
Traditional Pirozhki Filling
2 lbs. ground beef
1 chopped onion
salt & pepper to taste
Brown the ground beef with the chopped onions until it is full cooked draining any excess juice. Salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
Once the dough is ready, divide it into 12 balls of dough. Roll each one on a well floured surface with a floured rolling pin. We placed each flattened dough in between waxed paper as we were completing the process. Fill the center of each floured round with the meat filling, fold the edges and place each individual pirozhki in a well oiled glass baking dish. Once all of the pirozhki are in the pan, beat the one remaining egg with a whisk and baste them all with the egg wash. Top the pirozhki with a light layer of salt and pepper. Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for approximately 30 – 40 minutes; until they are golden brown on all sides, the dough is cooked in the center & the meat filling is fully warmed.
Pirozhki on the Quick & Easy
Use pre-made pizza dough instead of creating a traditional dough from scratch if you don’t have the time to navigate these Russian food recipes favorite. The idea is to introduce the kids to the culture and have fun in the process.
Pirozhki Filling Suggestions
We found the Pirozhki filling to be a bit bland & on round two added 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder to the traditional filling, which made improvements, but we still had to use a bit of ketchup for dipping. However, the real trick is to add the spices, and a bit of sour cream with sauce or ketchup before baking it to avoid the dryness and to add flavor, but then it’s what we call Americanized Pirozhki! We’re glad to give you some variations on Russian food recipes for your family to try.
What have been your favorite parts of the Olympics so far?
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