Pierogi leniwe – means lazy pierogi or lazy dumplings.
I wrote about kopytka – Polish potato dumplings a good while back and these have the same shape.
Traditional recipes use twaróg – Polish curd cheese – I use my own yoghurt cheese. I have found that you can use crumbly, white, mild, English cheeses such as: Cheshire, Lancashire or Wensleydale.
They can be served savoury or sweet – with melted butter, à la Polonaise(buttered breadcrumbs) or skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon) or sweet with a cinnamon sugar mixture.
400g of twaróg (curd cheese), yoghurt cheese or a white, crumbly cheese.
3 egg yolks
160 – 200g of plain flour
½ teaspoon of salt
Mix the yolks with the cheese.
Add the salt
Weigh out the flour to give an idea of how much is needed – this will depend on the cheese and the size of the eggs.
Add the flour and mix first with a wooden spoon and then by hand, you might not need all the flour or you may need more.
Mix until you have a soft dough.
Divide the dough into quarters and using a floured board shape the dough and roll it with you hands until you have a long sausage about 3cm in diameter. If the dough sticks to the board then you need to add more flour.
Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into pieces, make the first cut at a diagonal and make the thickness about 1 to 1.5cm. You will get a sort of oval shape.
Repeat this with the rest of the dough.
Fill a large pan with water, add some salt and bring this to the boil.
When the water is boiling, add the dumplings one by one, do not over fill the pan or they will stick together. I tend to do around 8 at a time.
As they cook they will float to the surface, give them about another minute and then remove them with a slotted or a perforated spoon and put them in a colander.
I have a colander sitting in an empty pan by the side of the large pan in which I am boiling the dumplings.
I find that the maximum from putting them into the water to taking them out will be 3 minutes, if you cook these too long they will start to fall apart.
Here served as suggested above with melted butter and with skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon).
Pierogi arelittle semi-circular parcels of pasta which are made with a multitude of fillings.
I wrote a very large post about them over 4 years ago.
Today I am looking at ones with a sweet filling – in this post – sweetened twaróg – curd cheese.
Pierogi with sweet fillings are made in just the same way as savoury ones.
Circles of dough have a filling placed on them. The dough is folded over and pinched to make a semi circle and these are boiled in slightly salted water.
Once boiled, sweet pierogi are dredged with icing, granulated or caster sugar and are often served with soured cream. They are best eaten straight away.
I must admit that when I was younger I did not really like sweet pierogi but now I think they are utterly delicious especially when served with soured cream.
Sweet Cheese Filling
200g curd cheese/twaróg or yoghurt cheese
40g caster sugar
1 egg yolk or 1 tablespoon of soured cream
1- 2 drops of vanilla essence
Tiny pinch of salt
Method – Filling
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.
Ingredients – Dough
250g pasta flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
1 tablespoon oil – sunflower or light olive
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
Method – Dough
In a jug or bowl mix together the water, oil and the yolk.
Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Pour in the liquid from the jug and initially use a knife to mix this into the flour and then use your hands to mix the liquid and flour to get a ball of dough.
Turn this out onto a floured board and knead the dough for a few minutes until you have a smooth ball.
Cover and leave to rest for about ½ an hour.
Cut the dough into half.
Prepare a large tray and cover it with a clean cotton or linen tea towel and sprinkle this with flour.
On a floured board roll out the dough a half at a time until you have a sheet of thinly rolled dough.
Cut out circles using a 7 cm diameter cutter.
The excess dough can be re-mixed and rolled out again.
Around a half tablespoon of filling is put on each circle and then they are folded over and the edges pinched together to make a good seal.
You learn from experience how much filling to put in as too much will make it hard to seal them and if not properly sealed they will burst on boiling. Do not worry if you have a few mishaps – it still happens – even with experience – it is hard to salvage one that has gone wrong – just accept that there will be a few that you do not cook.
Place the sealed pierogi on prepared tray until they are all made, do not let then touch each other.
To cook the pierogi, use a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt and a drizzle of oil.
Drop the pierogi in one by one and allow them to boil. I usually do about 6 to 7 at a time.
As they cook they will float to the surface, let them boil for 2 minutes and then remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and put into a colander above a pan for a few seconds to drain and serve.
Continue boiling batches in the same water.
If you want to make all the pierogi to serve together then you need to get a large oven proof plate.
Keep the plate warm in a low oven.
As you take out the cooked pierogi add them to the plate trying not to make them touch.
Keep on adding more as they cook.
Sprinkle with icing, granulated or caster sugar and some soured cream.
Served here on Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982-1998
What I wanted was a recipe that used a sourdough starter, zakwas – in Polish, for a wheat flour loaf that was a “classic” shape.
I wanted a loaf that looked right, tasted good and had a lovely crispy or chewy crust.
Every book or article that I read had loads of advice much of it contradictory.
I tried different methods with different degrees of success and several complete failures! Sometimes I knew what had gone wrong sometimes I just did not know.
I was getting the taste most of the time but getting the shape without an exploding crust was more difficult.
I kept wondering how my grandmother and others in generations past had made this type of bread with ease without the aid of books, articles and videos found on the internet.
The best advice came from two sources – the book – all you knead is Breadby Jane Mason and several YouTube videos by Tomek Lach – these are in Polish.
I am now writing up the results of many months of baking trials.
Timing given in the book are often not enough – depends on many factors.
I have found that leaving the refreshed starter or the dough for hours longer – even overnight, works.
My latest loaf tastes wonderful, the crust is lovely, the shape is nearly right.
I am hoping that next time it will be spot on!
Sourdough starter – zakwas
To make this you put 50g of rye flour and 50ml of water into a large glass preserving jar on day 1 and stir, cover and leave for 24 hours.
On days 2, 3, and 4 you repeat this.
On Day 5 it is ready to use.
Or you can keep it in the fridge – topping up once a week with a couple of spoons of flour and water.
Day 1 – refreshing the starter
3 tablespoons of starter
60g of wheat flour
3 tablespoons of water
Mix the ingredients together to make a thick paste.
Add more water if needed.
Place into a bowl and cover – shower caps are good for this.
Leave for around 12 hours at least – often I have make this in the morning and then leave it at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.
Day 2 – making the dough
Mixture from day 1
300g of strong wheat flour
200ml of water (may need more)
1¼ teaspoons of salt
Mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
More water may be needed – a wetter dough may be harder to work but better in the long run.
Place on a floured board.
Knead for 10 minutes (set a timer).
Try not to add much extra flour.
Form into a ball and place in a bowl.
Cover and allow to rest for 1 hour.
Pretend the dough is a clock face-pull a piece of dough out at noon, stretch and fold it back.
Repeat going around the clock face.
Cover it again and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Repeat this resting – pulling – resting twice more.
That is 4 rest and 3 pulls in all.
To shape the dough put it gently on to just a very lightly floured surface.
Try to use as little extra flour as possible.
Stretch and fold the dough to get a round ball shape.
Tucking the dough into the the base of the roll with your fingers.
Place in a proofing basket
I have found it is better to place a cotton or linen floured napkin over the surface.
This makes it easier to turn out the risen dough.
I now have a special circular piece of cotton specially for this.
It is best to wash this without the use of fabric conditioner or perfumed detergent.
Place into a large plastic bag or use a shower cap to cover.
Allow to rise until it has grown in size by 1½ times.
This can take 2-3 hours or even longer – depends on the heat in the kitchen.
Pre-heat the oven to GM 8 – 230°C.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with greaseproof paper and sprinkling on semolina or flour.
Gently tip out the risen dough onto the sheet.
Cut three long slashes in the top with a sharp knife.
Bake for 10 minutes then turn the heat down to GM6 – 200°C.
Bake for another 20 minutes.
Check the base sounds hollow.
Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Different wheat flours
You can alter the type and proportions of wheat flour and can use whole-wheat or wholemeal flour.
I am trying different versions out and have made a loaf with 60g of whole-wheat in the refreshed starter and 150g whole-wheat and 150g strong flour for the dough. It was a little heavier but tasted super.