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How To Make Pierogi (aka Pierogies) - Polish Traditional Dumplings Recipe
Pierogi or pierogies is a very popular polish dish quite often served at the Christmas Eve dinner called “Wigilia”.
These dumplings come in different flavours, the most popular are “Pierogi Ruskie” what basically means Russian dumplings and that simply describes a filling made from potatoes, onions and curd cheese. The other common filling, especially for the Christmas Eve dinner is made from sauerkraut and wild mushrooms.
Both recipes and directions how to prepare them are described in another hub: Russian and Cabbage Fillings for Polish Traditional Pierogies
Once you get the idea of how to make pierogies, you may like to experiment with different fillings and turn this dish into a meaty one or even a dessert with fruity filling.
Ingredients for 100 to 120 dumplings
- 1 kg of white flour
- 0.5 l of milk
- 1 egg
- Butter for greasing before storing or serving
How to Make Pierogi
The process of making dumplings is quite time consuming so put aside several hours for making them. Still you can always ask your whole family to help you make them. It will really speed up the process and is a lot of fun, especially for the kids that like to play with dough.
Before you start making pierogi, you need to have your chosen filling ready. It is wise to make it a day earlier as it takes some time. It also helps the taste if the filling is refrigerated for few hours.
You will also need a spacious flat space that you will not mind covering with flour - table top will do the job perfectly. Additionally you will need a rolling pin and a glass with an edge shaped in circle or any other tool to cut out circles from your dough.
Making the dough
Put flour, egg and milk into a big bowl and stir it until it is mixed well.
Then use your hands to knead the dough for few minutes. If it is still sticky after a while, try to add a little more flour. You will know it is ready when it goes off your hands easily.
Take some of it and put on the flat surface, cover the rest in a bowl with a piece of cloth so it does not dry out.
Use the rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is about 2 millimetres thick.
Then use the glass or other tool to cut out as many circles as you can. Put the circles of dough on the side of the surface and put the rest of the dough back into the bowl - it will be reused in next round.
Form small balls from filling paste and put them in the centre of each circle. They should not be too big otherwise you won’t have enough of dough on sides to form dumplings. Lay the circle in the centre between your thumb and index finger.
With a finger of the other hand press the filling lightly down so the sides of the circle will go up and allow you to glue them together with your fingers. Ensure the filling is not touching the edges and that edges are “glued” together so they will not fall apart in cooking. As a result, each dumpling will look similar to a half moon with a fringed edge. You may want to pinch the edge few times with your fingers so the edge is even stronger.
Lay the dumplings on the wooden board dusted with flour. Take another portion of dough from the bowl and repeat process of flattening, cutting out circles and making dumplings.
Kitchen tools required
- Cooking pot
- A big bowl and smaller one for storing
- Flat surface like table top
- Rolling pin
- A glass to create even circles of dough
- A wooden board to store dumplings before cooking
Once you have 20 or so, there will be time for cooking them. Boil slightly salted water in a big pot and stir it with a spoon just before putting the dumplings into it. It will keep them twirling around instead of falling down to the bottom. If you will notice that some dumplings stacked to the bottom, use the wooden spatula and move them carefully so they are not stuck.
Wait several minutes, until dumplings start going up to the surface of the water. Then you need another few minutes before they are ready for serving. Use this waiting time for making another batch of dumplings. Do not overcook them or leave in the water, take them out into a bowl immediately.
Pierogi or Pierogies?
The name Pierogies was created as an English plural form of polish word Pierogi. In fact the word Pierogi is already plural in Polish language and the singular form is Pieróg. So adding ‘es’ in English to word Pierogi is not correct even though quite common.
Once pierogi are cooked put them into a bowl and grease with butter, it will stop them from sticking to each other. Traditionally Russian Pierogi are served with a sour cream or cracklings. For the Cabbage and Mushroom stuffing, butter greasing is usually enough but some people also eat it with sour cream.
A portion of 100 to 120 dumplings is quite substantial and will usually last for few meals depending on a family size. If your family is a small one, you can easily store remaining dumplings in a fridge, then either heat them up in a microwave next day or fry on the pan.
If you would like to freeze them and serve one day in the future, then the best way is to cook them halfway through only – 3 minutes in boiling water is enough. Then grease them well with butter, leave to cool down and finally put them into freezing bags and store in your freezer. You will need to take them out and unfreeze before cooking again. Then you just put them into boiling water for short time- 5 minutes should be enough and voila – fresh dumplings on your table.