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How To Make Pierogi (aka Pierogies) - Polish Traditional Dumplings Recipe

Updated on December 04, 2011

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.

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Dough Recipe

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.

Preparation

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.

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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.

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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.

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Forming dumplings

Use the rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is about 2 millimetres thick.

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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.

A circle cut out with a glass edge
A circle cut out with a glass edge | Source
Circles made of whole piece of flattened dough
Circles made of whole piece of flattened dough | Source

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.

Ball of potato filling on one of the dough circles
Ball of potato filling on one of the dough circles | Source

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.

Pierogi in a shape of the half moon
Pierogi in a shape of the half moon | Source

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.

Serving

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 cooked dumplings greased with butter
A portion of cooked dumplings greased with butter | Source

Storing tips

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.

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    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Some Canadian friends are visiting this month and they love pierogis! I'd been looking for a recipe, and this one looks like just the thing. I've marked it to come back and try soon. Thank you!

    • Ania L profile image
      Author

      Ania L 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      You are welcome! I hope you find them tasty as we all do :)

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Wow...it sound delicious. I can't wait to make it soon and it looks easy recipe. Thanks for share with us. Good job and voted up!

      Prasetio

    • Ania L profile image
      Author

      Ania L 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you prasetio30, the recipe is easy but making dumplings it's quite time consuming so it's better to start with a smaller amount to have a feel for it.

    • TheLastBabyBoomer profile image

      Deborah Turner 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona

      Two thumbs up from this Polish girl! Mmmm, yummy!

    • Ania L profile image
      Author

      Ania L 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks BabyBoomer :) Yummy!

    • Sophie Mortimer profile image

      Sophie Mortimer 4 years ago

      Delicious looking pierogies recipe. I'm excited to try it, although I've only had dumplings a few times. I want to see how the homemade version measure up. I did think they were traditional dumplings in Russia, though. Then again, the restaurant that served them was Polish. http://pieroguys.com

    • Ania L profile image
      Author

      Ania L 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you Sophie for your comment. I must say that I have no idea why we call them 'Russian Pierogi' even though they are purely a polish dish. Although it's more about the filling and not the dumplings as such. We only call them Russian when they are filled with a paste made of potatoes, onion and curd cheese.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 19 months ago from Oklahoma

      Looks delicious. I'll have to give it a try.

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