I have tested many recipes of pirozhki – this recipe of dough is the best for today to my taste (if I find a better recipe, I will publish it). This dough is multipurpose – it can be used for baked or fried pirozhki (small pies) and for big pirogi (big baked pies). The dough stays soft inside and becomes crispy outside. Also it is very easy to work with this dough – it doesn’t stick to hands or rolling pin and there’s no need to put flour onto working surface.
If you like sweet dough, add 1-2 tbsp of sugar more. I prefer to bake even sweet pies using non-sweet dough (and sweet filling). In the end of recipe I will offer you various fillings that I suppose to make the best.
- 50 ml of warm water (36-38°C)
- 1,5 tsp of dry yeast (of good quality)
- 250 ml of warm milk (36-38°C)
- 450 g + 1 tbsp of all purpose flour
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 0,5 tsp of salt
- 50 ml oil
- 1 small egg for glazing (usually this amount of dough takes only 0,5 of egg)
1. Read instructions on the package of your dry yeast. If you need to combine yeast with flour, then start with step 3. If you need to dissolve it in water – put yeast in water, cover glass and leave for 10-15 min.
2. Add warm milk (I usually warm it up in microwave oven, ~35 sec, 600 W for milk out of fridge) and 1 tbsp of flour to yeast. Blend it with a spoon and leave covered for 20 min.
3. Put flour, sugar and salt in food processor’s bowl, add yeast mixture and oil. Knead the dough.
Dough may be a bit sticky (it depends on flour type), it’s ok. Put the dough in a bowl (there’s no need to shape a ball if it is sticky, just put dough the way it is), cover and leave it to rise for 45 min. Use this time to cook filling for your pirozhki.
4. Knead the dough with hands. If the filling is still hot, than put the dough back to a bowl, cover and leave it to rise for another 15-45 min. As my last experiment has shown – there’s no difference between dough that was rising for 45 min. and for 1,5 hour. Than why should one waste time waiting, right?
5. Knead the dough manually. If the dough remains sticky, cover it with 1-2 tbsp of flour and knead one more time. It will be enough to reduce stickiness. Usually I roll the dough on plastic board and I still never needed to put even a pinch of flour on it.
Usually different shape means different filling. After 1 year of experiments, I have found out that shape affects taste due to difference of pie’s thick places.
Shaping pirozhki for baking you may lay any pie upside down on a baking sheet, so it will give you more different shapes. If you use juicy fillings (like berries, fruits or jam), it’s better to put pirozhki on baking sheet with the seam up, and make sure that they were sealed strong enough.
Avoid dropping filling on dough’s edges – the seam will 100% open during baking.
Except the last method, you’ll need to divide the dough in portions (1 portion = 1 pirozhok). From this amount of ingredients you will make 12-16 medium-sized pirozhki. Usually they fit 1 baking tray. Put these dough balls back in a bowl and take them out 1 by 1 to prevent dough from drying out.
Gather all edges in center (don’t let them touch filling unless you’ve finished).
The weakest place of triangle shaped pirozhki is the middle, where all seams meet. So you need to hold the middle and don’t let it touch the filling unless you have finished modeling.
Don’t hesitate if the seam seems to be too high – it will reduce during baking (compare the first picture of this article and the last picture in “baked pirozhki” paragraph – these are the same pirozhki).
This is the ready oval pie. But you may continue and make a braided seam. Braided seam serves not only for decoration – it is a double protection for the seam. To make a braided seam, your first seam needs to be high enough (like on previous picture).
Shape square pirozhok the same way you did it with triangle pirozhok.
Stripes for sausages
You’d rather put a piece of parchment paper (of good quality) on a baking sheet – this way you will keep your baking sheet clean. Also you may use non-stick mold (it should be big enough so all pirozhki will fit in it).
Before baking pirozhki need ~15 min. to rise a little bit and to make seams stronger. Cover them with a towel to prevent them from drying out. Then preheat your oven until it reaches 180°C, convection mode. While oven is preheating, put the egg in a glass and blend it with fork, then brush egg onto piroshki (to reach tasty look + it helps sesame or any other seeds at your taste to stick onto pirozhki).
Put the rest of egg in a jar and store it in a freezer. When you’ll be baking pies next time, take the jar out of a freezer before kneading the dough. It will defrost at room temperature right in time.
Bake pirozhki in the middle of oven for ~25 min. Check them, if they look brown enough – take them out.
There’s no need to glaze pirozhki with egg and to leave them to rise, if you intend to fry them.
If you deep-fry pirozhki – preheat oil to the appropriate temperature. Low temperature will make pirozhki absorb too much oil. High temperature will give no chance to have fully fried piroshki (they will have raw dough inside). This dough puffs up at least twice, no matter how thin you roll it out.
If you fry piroshki with a little amount of oil, then fry not only upper and lower surface of piroshok, but sides too. You should also use medium temperature in this method.
As soon as pirozhok became fried, put it on a rack, so the excess oil will drop out of pirozhok (f.e. you can put rack from the oven over the sink). Fried pies are only delicious, when they are eaten fresh. That’s why I usually fry only some of pies and the rest I bake.
Raw minced meat, raw meat and fish need more time to be cooked through, even if you put a thin layer of filling on thinly rolled dough. That’s why you’d rather use precooked meat/fish filling.
Fillings for pirozhki
- Leaves of green or spring onion (chives) & egg
- Cabbage & egg
Fillings for pirogi
You may use any fillings that one puts in pirozhki. Pirog is a big pie, so one will cut it prior to eating. Pirozhki are small pies that one doesn’t cut. But there are some fillings that suit 1 big pie better that 12-16 small pies: