While the exact origin of these parcels is difficult to trace, they are enjoyed in many Eastern European countries. Pirozhki are often served at celebrations and the larger pie is known as pirog.
- 250 ml (1 cup) warm milk
- 7 g sachet dried yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 415 g (2¾ cups) '00' pasta flour (see Note)
- 50 g butter, at room temperature, plus extra, to grease
- 3 eggs, 2 separated
Beef and cabbage filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 250 g minced beef
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 350 g savoy cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped dill
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make dough, combine 125 ml (½ cup) milk, yeast and sugar in a bowl and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Add 150 g (1 cup) flour and remaining 125 ml (½ cup) milk and stir to combine. Cover and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until yeast mixture doubles in size.
Place remaining 265 g (1¾ cups) flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add ½ tsp salt, butter, 2 egg yolks and yeast mixture, and mix on low speed for 3 minutes or until combined. Increase speed to medium and mix for a further 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1½ hours or until dough doubles in size.
To make beef and cabbage filling, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook beef for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Add butter and onion to pan and cook for 2 minutes or until onion is just softened. Add cabbage and cook for 5 minutes or until cabbage is wilted and softened. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and cool. Add beef mixture, hard-boiled eggs and dill, and stir to combine.
Shape dough into a log on a lightly floured work surface, then cut into 16 slices. Cover dough with a clean, damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Working in batches of 4, roll out dough to 14 cm rounds. Place 2 tbsp filling into the centre of each round. Lightly brush edge with water and fold dough in half to enclose filling. Press edges together to seal, making small pleats and place on a greased oven tray. Repeat with remaining filling and dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes or until slightly risen.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C. Whisk together the remaining egg and 1 tsp water in a bowl. Brush the parcels with egg wash. Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden. Serve parcels warm.
• '00' pasta flour, available from supermarkets and delis, is a super-fine Italian flour grade. Substitute plain flour.
Photography by John Laurie.
As seen in Feast magazine, November 2011, Issue 3.