Tag Archives: Russian potato pies

Russian pirogki

 Small, large, festive, with cabbage and eggs, potatoes, with wild mushrooms or rice&fish, with jam.. It’s all about pirogi (pies in Russian) and pirogki (small pies). Pies have been always prepared and enjoyed in Russia. The word “pirog” came from a word “pir” that means feast and therefore in old Russia every festival and banquet could be hardly imagine without a large, beautiful and delicious pie.
 In old times pies were generally made with rye, wholegrain or any similar flour (which is considered very healthy nowadays), such flour were available among poor people and thus pies could be eaten very often. While the white wheat flour was an expensive thing and using it was an luxury, affordable only among novelty, bourgeoisie and other high classes.
 The dough could be prepared with yeast or simple unleavened, based on a soured milk or cream, also made with oil or butter (shortbread pastry). Pies fillings were diverse as well, it could be meat of wild birds like pheasant and black grouse, vegetarian – with fresh forest mushrooms during summer and autumn, with soured cabbage, eggs or dried mushrooms on a winter time, sweet – with wild berries, dried fruits or homemade preserve.
 Without a doubt, serving a large pie or even several pies on a festive table was an indication of the host’s wealth and prosperity.
Russian pirogki
 The dough for these pies was made with yeast and soured liquid yogurt (I used local soured drink-laban, which is very similar to Russian kefir). The dough is very tender and fluffy, and of course very easy to prepare. Pies made from this dough stay soft even on the next day!
 I’m loving mashed potatoes filling since childhood, I haven’t made it pretty long time.. Second favourite filling is a mixture of chopped hard-boiled eggs&spring onions, that reminds me spring! I posted the recipe that you can find here, moreover the dough I made that time is unleavened (no any yeast) and even more quickly to prepare, but not thick and fluffy as this one. The choice is up to you, I love both. 🙂
Russian pirogki with potato filling

Russian pirogki with potato filling /sour milk&yeast dough/

  • Difficulty: moderate
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Instead of kefir you can use laban, buttermilk or any soured milk.
Ingredients
Dough
180g plain flour
6g instant yeast
250ml kefir, warm/at room temperature
50ml sunflower oil
a good pinch of fine salt (about 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp white sugar
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk, for glazing
Potato filling
400g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bay leave
1 tbsp oil (olive or sunflower)
a small knob of butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves)
15g butter
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, optional
salt, black paper to taste
some finely chopped parsley (2-3 tbsp)
Method
 
Dough
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, combine with yeast.
  • In a cup/bowl stir kefir with oil, salt and sugar.
  • Pour kefir mixture into flour. Mix to combine a dough. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and leave to prove for 45-60 minutes.
  • While the dough is proving, prepare the potato filling (recipe below).
  • When it’s risen, divide the dough into several equal balls. The size depends on your taste: if you wish to make small pirogki – you need small dough balls. Roll each ball slightly into round shape. The dough is soft and tender, that sometimes I don’t use rolling-pin and carefully stretch the dough with hands.
  • Put a tablespoon or two of potato filing into each round, close and arrange onto lined with baking paper baking tray.
  • Leave to rise for 10-15 minutes. Brush with egg wash.
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes.
  • Optionally, you can brush pirogki with butter. Cover with kitchen towel: it helps the dough to stay softer.
  • Serve warm with milk or tea.
Potato filling
  • In a large pan, bring water to boil. Add potatoes and bay leave, bring to boil again, reduce the heat and simmer on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft and ready.
  • Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat oil and butter, fry onions on a medium heat until soft and lightly brown. Stir in thyme and saute for a minute more.
  • Drain potatoes (leave 2 tbsp of water in a pan). Add butter, nutmeg and season to taste. Mash it. Stir in fried onion and fresh parsley.
Enjoy Russian pies!

Knyshy

 One day I was watching numerous foody videos.. among those millions just one stuck in my head. Russian cook (don’t know his name) made small pies with potato filling, which he called knyshy. Pirogki with potato mash are one of my favourite, they always bring back memories about parents’ home ..kitchen, my mother is making pies, me and my sister are impatiently sitting and waiting while pirogki are baking in the oven.. Sweet time!

 The difference between these pies and regular Russian pirogki is in the dough and shape, first ones are round, second are oval and usually made from yeast dough. I browse the Internet, and found not much information about these little pies. According to different sources, knyshy belong whether to old-Russian or Belarusian cuisine. In 19th century knyshy were widely-eaten pies among middle-class people, and the most popular filling was buckwheat kasha with fried onion and bacon.Knyshy

 It took me some time to shape them and make look like small barrels filled with tasty potato mash instead of rum (or whatever you imagine when hear barrel), but knyshy turned out beautifully and puffy, so they definitely worth all the hard work.

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Knyshy - little pies with potato filling

  • Servings: 16 pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
Dough:
1 egg
120ml sunflower oil
120ml warm water
1 tsp vinegar
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Filling:
600-700g potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp oil+ 1 tsp butter for frying
1 tbsp butter
some chopped dill, optional
salt, pepper to taste
Egg wash
1 egg, beaten
Method
  1. In a bowl whisk egg with oil, water and vinegar.
  2. Sift flour with salt and baking powder into another large bowl.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with flour. Mix all ingredients together, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a frying pan heat oil with butter, add onion and fry until lightly golden. Clean and peel potatoes, cut into medium chunks and boil until ready, drain. Using a potato masher blend butter into potatoes until soft. Mix in fried onion and dill, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Divide the dough into two parts. On a lightly floured surface roll out one part into 30x40cm rectangle. Spread half of the filling near the edge of the longest rectangle side. Make the roll. Cut the roll into 8 pieces: 5cm width each.* Carefully seal the ‘hole’ on one side, shaping into a roundish form (like a small barrel), place pie sealed side down on a lined and greased baking sheet. Repeat with all pies.
  6. Brush all pies with egg wash. Bake in preheated 190C oven for 40 minutes.
*You may cut the roll into smaller pieces to get more but small-sized pies.
 
Enjoy!
Knyshy - pies with potato filling