(A Traditional Polish Dish)
Standard Pierogi Dough
Sift 2 1/2 cups flour onto breadboard. Sprinkle with 1/2 t.
salt. Make a crater in the flour and deposit 1 egg into it. Work
ingredients in to a dough, gradually adding about 1/2 cup cold
water in a thin stream. (Some cooks prefer lukewarm, or even hot
water.) Knead dough on floured board until firm and smooth, roll
it into a ball and let rest 10 minutes or so beneath a warm
Savory Cheese Pierogi Filling
Combine 1 lb. ground farmer cheese (or dry cottage cheese) with 1 egg, salt and pepper (to taste). If neither farmer cheese nor dry cottage cheese are available, drain and press out all the moisture from ordinary creamed cottage cheese. Then ground or pulverize in a blender. If filling is too wet, stir in some bread crumbs. As a variation, add 1 to 2 T. finely chopped chives or minced onion or onion powder.
Throughout the centuries, up to today there have been many
variations of fillings for pierogi using different types of
cheeses, or sweet fillings, or mushrooms or cabbage or meat or
even potatoes (in more modern times).
Making the Pierogi
After the dough has rested 10 minutes or so beneath a warm inverted bowl, take 1/2 of the dough (leaving the rest under the bowl) and roll out thin. With a glass or biscuit-cutter cut dough into circles. (HINT: to maximize dough usage roll into a rectangle and cut into squares; this will result in the finished pierogi have a triangle shape rather than a semi-circle shape.)
Place a spoonful of filling on each circle, slightly off-center, fold in half and press edges together with fingers, crimping to ensure a tight seal (Moisten the edges if necessary to ensure a tight seal). It is essential that no filling protrudes from the seam. If that occurs, the pierogi are likely to fall apart during cooking.
Drop small batches of filled pierogi into a large pot of
boiling slightly salted water, making sure not to crowd them.
When boiling resumes, reduce heat to a slow boil and cook about
10 minutes. test one to see how well the dough is cooked. remove
to colander with slotted spoon and rinse lightly with cold water.
These may served as is, or after cooling, fried to nice golden
brown in a pan with butter. This make 25 to 30 pierogi.
Remember that the dough should be firm, smooth and elastic. If it is moist and sticky to the touch, sprinkle with and work in a little more flour. If the dough is dry, floury and crumbly, moisten with a little water and knead until you get the desired consistency. Adding 1 T. salad oil to standard dough will make it extra smooth and tender.
Once cooked, drained and cooled, pierogi freeze very well in
plastic bags. When ready to serve, place frozen pierogi in a
skillet, add 1 cup boiling water, cover and steam until fully
heated through. Or, allow them to thaw to room temperature and
brown them in a pan with butter. They can also be re-heated in a
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