Following the adventures of making the main product that stuffs these glorious small buns- this post will explain and express how to make the bread, fry the onions up and add the fermented cabbage.
Pyrizhky is a white bread bun, stuffed with a simple filling of sauerkraut and fried onions. I love the simplicity of the bread, and how well the bread keeps- the moist filling keeps the bread fresh for days and it’s truly a treat to open one up and stuff with more goods as a quick snack. My favourite the last few days has been feta, dill and cucumbers as an addition.
The bread itself is a simple mixture, 1 cup of warm water 2 tsp of yeast 2 tsp of sugar, honey or syrup 3 tbsp of oil, any oil or melted fat will do enough flour to make a soft dough 1 tsp of salt
In the measuring cup, put the warm water, yeast and sugar and let to foam and bubble up for 5-10 minutes. You can technically use any bit of yeast, traditional bakers yeast tends to need the full 10 minutes to dissolve and warm up, and they say that you can throw instant yeast into the mixture itself- but for some reason, I have trust issues. I like the idea of knowing the mixture is fully dissolved and incorporated before throwing into the flour mixture.
While the wet ingredients are sitting to the side, start with two cups of flour, the salt and oil and once the warm yeasty mixture is set- make a well in the middle of the flour and pour it in. Using a spoon or even your hands if you don’t mind working with the dough from an early stage- slowly start mixing the flour into flour. A rough and shaggy dough will be what you are working towards. You’ll probably need more flour- so be sure to keep the bag of flour close by.
Turn out onto a floured surface and start kneading. Below is an easy visual on the basics of kneading. The basics of kneading are that you want to create gluten, to produce a chewy texture in the dough itself.
Once you’ve kneaded for a good 10 minutes, place to the side and cover. You’ll have to proof the dough until doubled in size, and the dough itself will be a more relaxed product to work with. All good, no bad.
Since you now have a while to wait until the dough is ready to use- grab two medium sized onions and slice them thin. I personally used a mandolin, because of ease. But this is the perfect place to practice knife skills and slowly die of eyes that just won’t stop tearing up. Burning until finished.
Place the onions in a large pan, add either butter or oil- and cook on medium until soft and golden brown. Take your time with this, the longer you are able to cook your onions, the better tasting it will be. This step focuses on caramelising the onions. The sweetness will be a perfect pair with the sour and fermented cabbage. I’d wager a good 15-20 minutes, being slowly and easy with this.
Once finished with the onions, throw in a good cup or so or sauerkraut, maybe 1 1/2 cups, a good pinch of salt and enough black pepper to taste and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes. Take off heat and put to the side. This is the filling you’ll use to stuff the small buns.
While you are getting ready, and prepping your workstation. Preheat the oven to 350, have a lightly floured surface, grease your sheet pan (or cookie sheet) and take one egg yolk, mixed with a tsp of water, and mix for a glaze before baking.
I divided the dough into 24 parts and squished them down into a rough circle. Having a rolling pin out would just be overkill, the dough is soft enough to be worked with your hands- all you will really need is a touch of flour – but be sure to not use too much, you want to be able to have a tacky enough dough for the buns to be closed into.
Spoon out a heaping teaspoon of filling (less is more) and fold in half as if you were making a simple dumpling. Pinch and then pull both sides into themselves, you will have yourself a makeshift ball. Try and get them semi-spherical.
Repeat for the following 23 and once finished, brush with egg yolk mixture and place in the oven for roughly 15-20 minutes. You want a finished product to be golden brown.
Once baked, cool and keep in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature.
Super easy eating and they are addictive as a savoury bread to have around. Highly recommended if you have sauerkraut in abundance or just want to try something a little new.