Thursday, August 30, 2012


            I did not set out to make pierogies today.  I had, after all never made them before.  Why would it even pop in my mind to make pierogies?

           Today was a school day.  It was actually my 5 year olds first day!  I started her on, of which I will be posting a review soon.

           So after a full first day of school, feeding the kids, cleaning up, why would I want to make pierogies?  My 21 month olds favorite food is gnocchi.  I have lots of potatoes waiting to be cooked.  Gnocchi are made for potatoes so gnocchi was on the afternoon's agenda.  They didn't look hard to make.  Nope, never made them before either, but I was not afraid.  I'd conquered other recipes after all.

           I knew I needed potatoes that were cooked, so I put 2 potatoes in the oven to bake.  Then I went to get all the other ingredients.  I realized that I didn't have the right flour for gnocchi.  You need a very low protein flour.  King Arthur Flour sells it as Italian Style Flour.  You can use pastry flour, but I didn't have that either.  I had potatoes cooking in the oven.  I had to do something with them now.  Hmmm, potatoes and dough.  Got it, pierogies!

         So at 3:30 in the afternoon, I proceeded to find a recipe and gather ingredients.  I ended up modifying a recipe from King Arthur Flour.

         I knew that pierogies were a bit of work, and my time would be wasted unless I made enough that could be frozen for the future.  Yes, another food you can freeze for the future!

  1. 2 Cups all purpose flour
  2. 2 Cups white whole wheat flour
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 stick of softened butter, cut in pieces
  6. 1 1/2 cup no fat Greek yogurt
There are multiple fillings for pierogies.  Since I already had potatoes cooking, I went with a potato filling.  I ended up adding roasted garlic and monterey jack cheese to the potatoes.

Filling Ingredients

  1. 3 potatoes cooked and then mashed
  2. 1 head of garlic roasted
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 3/4 monterey jack cheese
You can get your potatoes cooking before you get your dough ready.  You can also start roasting the garlic ahead of getting the dough together by cutting off the top of the garlic and then drizzling it with olive oil.  Wrap it up in foil and put it in a 400F oven for 30 minutes.

For the dough, combine your flours and salt.  If you only have all purpose that is fine to use.  I just wanted to get a whole grain in the dough.

Then add your eggs and start working the dough with your hands.  It will be clumpy, and not really go together yet.

Now add your yogurt.  Start with 1 cup, and work the dough, kneading it.

Then add your butter and continue kneading the dough.

If after a few minutes you still have some flour that will not combine, add a little more yogurt.(This is how I got 1 and 1/2 cups.)  The weather can affect moisture absorption of the flour.  You should end with a slightly sticky dough, but one you can easily roll into a ball.

Take your ball of dough and wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least half an hour and up to 48 hours.

Now you can take care of your filling.  Drain your potatoes if you haven't yet.  Put it back on the stove so whatever moisture is left in the potatoes evaporates.  You can put the heat on really low for this, unless you have an electric stove which will just necessitate you to put the pot back on the cooking area.

Mash the potatoes.  Then squeeze your roasted garlic into the potatoes, and add your cheese.  You can substitute the cheese for cheddar, if you have that on hand.  Also add salt and pepper to taste.

Now that your filling is ready, you will want to get a large pot of salted water boiling for the pierogies.

After at least 30 minutes you can get your dough out of the fridge.

Work in batches if you don't have the counter space.

Take the dough and roll it out to 1/8 of an inch thick.  The dough should roll easily and not stick to your rolling pin, so you shouldn't need to flour it.

Use a glass or a round cutter to cut circles in a dough.  My glass was just over 2 inches round.  Whatever dough is left over, place on your dough ball for the next roll out.

With the circles now cut out, place 1-1/2 tsp, or whatever amount you can place without filling squishing out once you seal up the pierogies.

Use your fingers to seal the edges up, and then use a fork indent the seal.

When your water is boiling, just drop your pierogies in and time them for 10 minutes.  Continue rolling out and filling pierogies, working in batches boiling them.  When your water level drops, add more water otherwise your pierogies will stick to the bottom of the pot.

I made 67 pierogies.  I froze most of them after I boiled them.  With the ones we were going to eat, I quickly fried them in a little butter.  I personally like the dough crispy which is why I did that.  My husband is ok with them just boiled.  Just finish them off how you want.  One thing I always do is serve them with sour cream.

Yes, this took a while, but we were eating by 6 pm. From the happy looks on the people around me, especially on my "tot-tot's"(baby's nickname) whose cheeks looked like a chipmunks, and her face smeared with sour cream, it made the effort all worth it.

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