Pizza Pirogs or

Pirozhkis!

 

Grand Duke Rogeroff's Secret Lunchtime snack!
 

 Classic Russian Cooking has been making a revival. Thanks to the foresight of some
 great people the book “A gift to Young Housewives” by Elena Molokhovets has been
translated and an English version is available entitled “Classic Russian Cooking.”

 Pirogs (stuffed Pastry) are usually round although Elena preferred triangular shaped
versions. She also used butter and eggs in her dough but was very careful to cut back
and keep the total amount of liquids static relative to the flour level.

 What of the wonderful things about this book is ferreting out the exact recipes which
 are no easy task even with all of the superb guidance of Joyce Toomre. It is like following
 your superbly culinary trained grandmother in the kitchen as she grabs handfuls of this an
 that while she prepares something mysterious that only materializes into a recognizable
form on completion!

 How much is a ‘glass’ of this or that? The answer is that it is ½ lb. A little memory of ‘a pint’s
 a pound the world around’ and you know she is talking about a cup! To the purest this may
 seem like blasphemy, but this is the way to really learn how to cook with the courage to
meet your successes and the willingness to be less successful.

 One of our friends recently sent a recipe for ‘Pirogs’ from his trip on the river in Russia. Good
 as it may sound, there were quite a few things that turned me off… particularly the words
 ‘margarine’ and ‘vegetable oil.’ This recipe seemed like an echo of the days of shortages
 and deprivations of the Soviet era, but this is changing. Also, in the typical tradition
 of Russian generalities the amount of flour called for is “enough for you to be able to roll
 it out easily.” Is this cryptic enough for you?  My grandmother would just shrug and say,
 ‘simple enough.’

 Elena never did anything special for the Pirozhkis dough and called for ‘whatever’ was
handy. I think having flavored dough makes this Pirogi so special!  Consequently, I  have
 thrown in some of the spices she liked in various fillings as seasonings for the dough:
pepper and dill, for example.

 

 


So in the tradition of Russian generalities
and from the time of the Czars…
 here is my version… a
 

PIZZA Pirozhkis!

 

Step 1) Making the dough

Into Bread machine place:

3 cups bread flour

3 tablespoons gluten

2 tsp yeast

            1 teaspoon dill

            1 teaspoon oregano

            1 tsp salt
            1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 1/8 cups total liquid to include:

            1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon honey (Elena calls for sugar in one recipe
Remainder to be water

Add on last cycle: 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

 

Step 2) Making the filling

Combine:

The first time I made the filling I had a lot left over… so I will leave this challenge to figure out how
much you need. It is never as much as you think, unless –like Elena – you have decided to make a
giant Pirog for a sit down dinner. If that is the case, you can put in as much as it will hold. However,
I like the man-sized pocket sandwich which I have designed here.

In general, a couple of pounds of various meat will do. ( if you have any left over, stuff some
 bell peppers with it… yummy!)

sliced pepperoni
cooked and crumbled pork sausage
sliced linguisa , or wild pheasant sausage, andouille sausage

Sautéed mushroom
Sliced olives
Sliced and nuked bell peppers
Sliced and sautéed onions
crushed garlic

Mozzarella cheese shredded
Cheddar cheese shredded

Marinara sauce (my recipe)…not too much, just a bit more
 than if you were making a couple of Pizzas.

 

Step 3) Assemble

 

Divide the dough into two pieces and place each on a large greased cookie sheet

Roll each to the width and length of the cookie sheet.

Slice the formed rectangle in fourths so that you have 4 squarish pieces on each cookie sheet

Divide the filling into the four squares and bring one corner of the square to the other and
even out the filling… pinch the open areas closed and allow to rise a bit.

Paint the top of the Pirogs with an egg and water mixture and Sprinkle with ‘Rusk” crumbs,
bake in a hot oven (375 degrees) for 20 minutes.

Serves 8 for lunch… approximately any the hearty Russians might have expected.

 

 
 

always get your ingredients... and since this is
 supposed to be made from what you had at hand...
 We grabbed a bit out of the icebox!

 


I like to precook all of my vegetables in order
to reduce their moisture content and prevent
any wateriness in the final product!

Do you see the steam?

 

   
   

Seasoning the dough makes it wonderful!

 


(Here's what it will look like!)
   
   


I always cook and assemble the meat before I
do anything else!

 


Adding in the red bell peppers, onion and garlic
after it has been cooked and drained!
   
   

Next, we stir in the cooked mushrooms and
sliced olives... finally add the cheese... as much
as you want!

 


Around this time your bread will be ready to
rollout on a greased cookie sheet
   
   
Placing filling on each square!
 
Flolding the Pirozhkis!
   
   
   
Make an egg and water mixture and spread
over the dough!
 
Sprinkle over the dough a little rusk
   
   

Cheese ooze!

(made especially for Karen & Kristin )

 


"Extra" Pirogi's for the freezer...now whenever
I want one... they'll be there!
   

This is a real
man-sized  satisfaction
that only comes from
something made by hand!