Pierogi Dough

This one can be categorized (or classified? librarian friends which one is it?!?) as fussy.  But here’s my confession.  This is the second time we’ve tried to make pierogies.  I’ll be honest and tell you it took us a good year and some change to recover from the first attempt.  The first time they didn’t taste bad, but we made the mistake of using a random recipe from the internet.  Remember what I told you about iron clad recipes being necessary for me?  A recipe for pierogies is not one I should have tried without it being vetted.  The dough was gooey.  The filling was fairly tasty, but not the right consistency for our dough so it kept leaking out.  Really just not a fun time in the kitchen.

This time we used a hybrid recipe from a well known source who provides pretty good tips and tricks.  I’m not convinced that the dough turned out exactly how it was supposed to, but it did make for a tasty meal!

Dough from Smitten Kitchen’s Wild Mushroom Pirogies

First step was to measure the different types of flour.  Have you ever tried to pour cake flour, a much finer and aerated flour than all purpose, from a small box into a small measuring cup? Yeah, it doesn’t work so well.  And forget about being accurate.  It comes out in clumps and makes a big flour dust cloud.  I’m convinced that all of the flour cloud scenes in cartoons were modeled after the behavior of cake flour.

At any rate, it required me to get clever.  Against my better judgment I dirtied another dish and poured the cake flour in a bowl in order to measure it without a total disaster.  Putting it back in the box? Much easier and far less mess!

measure cake flour from the bowlOnce I had the ingredients measured, I made a little well in the dry ingredients for the wet ones.

wet ingredients in a dry ingredient wellUsing a fork I carefully mixed in circles bringing the flour in gradually.  The interesting part of the picture below is that I’m holding the fork with my right hand?  I mean, I know I sometimes forget I’m left handed, but I’m not sure what’s going on here.

gradually mixing the dough with a forkMy bread baking husband quickly instructed me when I should stop because the dough had ‘become a cohesive mass’.

cohesive mass of doughIf you ask me, it was not very cohesive at all and had waaay too much flour unincorporated, but Chris assured me that as I kneaded the dough it would come together.  This was my first time kneading a dough.  Chris was an excellent coach.

kneadingApparently all kneading is is smushing the dough around for a bit into the counter and sprinkling with flour so it doesn’t stick.  Oh, also, lo and behold, Chris was right about it coming together. (c:

After about 8 minutes it was deemed done by the bread baker.  It was smooth and ‘supple’.

final ball of doughWe covered it with plastic wrap and let it sit for about a half hour.  Not to leave you hanging, but I’ll finish telling you about the rest of our endeavor in the next post!

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