To learn more, read "The Julia Child of Russian Cooking" in our National Edition.
Recipe adapted from Anya Von Bremzen, author of "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking" (Crown)
Yield: 25 pirozhkis
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Caramelized Cabbage Filling
¼ head green cabbage, finely chopped (about 3½ cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon warm milk, divided
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus 1 tablespoon at room temperature for greasing a pan
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
1¾ cups flour, plus extra for shaping and rolling dough
1 egg yolk
1. Make the filling: Place the cabbage in a colander and set in the sink. Pour a kettle of boiling water over the cabbage until it wilts. Shake off the excess water and turn the cabbage out onto a kitchen towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
2. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the butter and peanut oil. Once the butter melts, add the onion and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the drained cabbage and cook, stirring often, until it is lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the paprika, a splash of water, salt and black pepper. Continue to cook until the cabbage is completely tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cabbage to a large bowl to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, stir in the chopped eggs, dill and scallions.
3. Make the dough: To a large bowl, add the yeast, sugar and ⅓ cup warm milk and whisk to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest the mixture until the yeast blooms at the surface, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter, salt and egg, then slowly add the flour, ½ cup at a time, using a wooden spoon to stir until well combined between each addition. Once all of the flour is added, knead the dough in the bowl, adding more flour if the dough is sticky, until the dough becomes soft, smooth and shiny, about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with the softened butter and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Roll each dough ball into a 7-by-16-inch rectangle (1/16-inch thick). Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to stamp out 10 circles. Gently stretch each circle of dough and fill with one heaping teaspoon of the cabbage mixture. Fold the edges of the dough and pinch to seal, then form each into an oval and gently flatten with the palm of your hand. Place the pirozhkis on the greased baking sheet seam-side down. Loosely cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and set aside for ten minutes.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and the remaining 1 teaspoon of milk. Brush the pirozhkis with the milk and egg and transfer to the middle rack of the oven. Bake until golden brown, 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.