Sunday, August 23, 2009

Aug 23: Lucky Recipe Find...

Chalk one up to serendipity!

I was at the local second hand store, Goodwill, looking at cookbooks... Hoping to find a cookbook by Julia Child. However, the colorful spine caught my eye and the title, Bite of Seattle Cook Book.

One of my favorite stops at The Bite is the piroshki stand - The Kaleenka. Thumbing through this cookbook their piroshki recipe is included for the home cook. Alright! Let's see how much this book will cost... small paperbacks are $0.69. Hmmm... I think I can afford 69 cents. What a lucky find!

Looking at the recipe, I was suprised to find that an enriched dough (milk, sugar and egg) is used.

Piroshky [Recipe provided by The Kaleenka]
[Ref: Bite of Seattle Cook Book, Vol VIII, Judith Deak and Gretchen Flickinger, 1993]

1 1/2 packages of yeast [I used 1 package of rapid rise yeast]
1/4 C Warm Water
2 T Sugar
1 t Salt
1 1/2 C Milk [I'm not a milk drinker but I did have powdered whole milk which I reconstituted using 3T powdered milk to 1 C hot water]
1 egg
1/4 C oil
4 to 5 C of flour

1 medium Onion, chopped
2 lbs Ground Beef
1 Clove Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

Usually with rapid rise yeast, proofing is not needed. However, the yeast expired May '09 so it's three months out of date. Before I continued on with the recipe, I proofed the yeast in 1/4 C warm water for about 10 minutes. Just to see if it was alive.

After 10 minutes, there is some activity. However, usually the liquid would be foaming like mad. At least some of the yeast is still alive. The good thing about yeast.... yeast reproduces quickly. So I carried on...

The dry ingredients were mixed together - 4 C flour, sugar and salt. In another bowl, the liquid ingredients were mixed together - yeast mixture, milk, oil and a beaten egg.

The liquid was added to the 4 C of flour mixture and mixed.
I could tell by how wet the sides were that a little more flour was needed.

Added another 1/4 C of flour and the dough came together, pulling away from the sides.

The dough was kneaded 10 minutes using a the remaining flour a little at a time. Total flour used was about 4 1/2 C.

The kneaded dough was placed in an oiled bowl and cover. Rising time was about 90 minutes.
While the dough was rising, the filling was made.

Hurray! The dough doubled in size - looks like the yeast worked after all.

The dough was punched down and golf ball/kiwi size dough balls were rolled out.
Dough balls were rested about 10 minutes for filling.

The dough was stretched out about 4 to 5" in diameter and filled with 2T of filling. The ends were brought together and pinched shut.

Part way through the batch of dough, I had the idea of adding cheese to the filling.
1 T of filling, insert the cheese chunk (approximately 1" by 3/8" by 3/8") and another 1T of filling on top of that.

After filling, ideally, the piroshkys are allowed to rest and proof 30 minutes before cooking.

My intention was to bake the piroshkys but my oven was acting up where I had to run the self cleaning mode. In the mean time, I deep fried some of the buns.

350F for about 5 minutes or until a uniform golden color is achieved.

My first batch out of the fryer. Looks good so far!

Another batch was stashed in the refrigerator to slow down the proofing.

My oven finally works... gave the piroshkys a coating of egg and off to the oven.

Bake 350F for about 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, the piroshkys were pulled from the oven. Looks like baked Chinese BBQ pork buns... Recipe will be in a future post.

The Tasting
The deep fried pirsoshy with cheese.
The dough turned out nicely. Very similar to the "official" piroshkys... the beef is beefy and actually mildly seasoned. I've tried other piroshkis in the past where the filling seems to have a gravy with it. Next time, I can try adding more liquid and thicken with corn starch.

The baked version with cheese...
The bread here is drier than the fried version. Now I'm not sure if that's due to baking vs frying in oil, or if it's due to the extended proofing (about 2 hours) while I waited for the oven to finish going through the self-cleaning cycle.

Overall, the results were good. The bread part is very similar to restaurant version. The filling is good too. I do want to try adding more juiciness to the filling the next time around, if that makes sense. The book has already paid for itself with the delicious results! lol :-)


Arlene said...

Minus the eggs, it's pretty much the same dough my mom uses for pork buns. The baked piroshkis looked beautiful, but I think I'd go for the fried ones. Mmm, crispy dough!

shawn said...

Great job! The fried ones look just like the ones we get at the Bite of Seattle. Thinking of opening a booth next year? :) I really like the ones where they add potatoes to the inside. Did you try that? Congrats on a superb job John!

Eat4Fun said...

Arlene: That's what I was thinking about the dough too... baked pork buns! :-) Can't go wrong with frying.

Shawn: We can open a booth next year... Right next to Kaleenka. We just won't tell them where we got our recipe... [wink... wink...] lol! I didn't even think of potatoes... since I don't have any. Actully, now that I think about it... I had frozen potatoes that I could have used. Next time! Potatoes, beef and cheese. Oh my!

hana said...

This recipe has been on my to do list for months and I finally just made it tonight! I made a few changes though: 1) added 2 eggs instead of 1 on accident, 2) used instant yeast, 3) since the yeast didn't need to be mixed with water, I replaced the water with milk, and 4)I added cumin to the beef mixture. I'm not sure if all the changes made things "better" but I'm so glad your post gave me inspiration. The hard part for me was sealing them shut in a pretty way :/ More practice needed, I guess. Thank you!

Eat4Fun said...

Hana: Glad you're able to give the recipe a try. Also, I'm glad you have the spirit to improvise. Great job!

Anonymous said...

Making them now... Beef,onion and mushroom filling. Doing some with cheddar and some with gravy. Debating now whether to fry or bake. Thank you for this recipe! I love ur detail and photos!

Eat4Fun said...


I hope the recipe works out for you. Sounds like you have some delicious fillings planned! Yum!