Recipe by Gayle Hurmuses, photo by Gisela McKay
This is one of those wonderful instances in which the easiest recipe is also the best. There are a very small number of ingredients in this pierogi dough. It’s just sour cream flour and a little bit of salt. Somehow, these simple ingredients combine to make the most heavenly, light, and easiest to work dough imaginable… and it is incredibly delicious.
I typically make large quantities of pierogi. Usually with a friend and while watching an old movie, but it would be easy to make these in small quantities as well whenever one has leftover mashed potatoes, or the opportunity to make extra for a meal..
It’s a simple matter of mixing sour cream and flour together in nearly equal amounts…about half again more flour than sour cream…so 2 Cups of sour cream to 2 – 3 cups of flour. I begin by mixing in the 2 cups, then measuring a 3rd and mixing in as much as possible. Then, in the rolling, I find that the remaining part of the 3rd cup is incorporated.
Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for a while if you are not in a rush to eat these. I often make the potatoes and dough on one day, and roll the pierogi the next.
The recipe indicates one pound white cheddar for 10 potatoes, but this is a rough number, which depends on the size and flavour of the potatoes, the sharpness of the cheese you use, and your personal taste.
You should let the pierogi dry out a bit before cooking, as it is a pasta of sorts. I turn them over when the tops are dry to let the bottom air out. Be sure to lay them on cloth, not paper, as they will stick to anything but fabric.
My Ukrainian friend Shona says that at a pierogi party you would use a double bed to dry them on, and would not start cooking until the bed was full. Then, start cooking the first ones that were made. She also has suggested that when they are made, and before they are frozen (if you are making enough to freeze, and you should) you should boil them all, she says, and toss them in melted butter to coat them.
- cup Sour Cream
- cups Flour
- pound Cheese (I use a one pound white cheddar for 10 potatoes)
- clove Roasted Garlic
- cup Sauteed onions (same as garlic) (1 medium onion to 5 potatoes)
Make the Dough:
- Use 1 and 1/4 cups or 1 and 1/2 cups of flour to each cup of sour cream. Mix dough before peeling potatoes, then chill for 2 or more hours.
- Peel potatoes and cook in salted water
- While potatoes are cooking, roast garlic and sauté onions. (To roast garlic, separate cloves and trim off the stem end. Then wrap in foil with some olive oil and roast at 300- 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes )
- When the potatoes are cooked, add butter and cheese immediately while mashing. When the potatoes are smoothly mashed, add the remaining ingredients.
- Let this cool a bit. I sometimes put the potatoes into a thick ceramic bowl at this point to speed the cooling process.
- When the potatoes are handling temperature, take the dough from the fridge and make the pierogi.
Make the Pierogi:
- This dough is very sticky so water is not needed to stick it together. Knead it gently on a floured board (just a few times, you aren't making bread) then roll to about 1/8" thickness.
- Cut into circles and fill with potato, folding the dough around it and pinching it together. Save the dough scraps to use a band aids for any pierogis that get tears in them. Because the dough is so sticky this works well, even though it may not look as pretty.
- You can reuse the scraps, but the dough becomes a bit dry if you use too much. Try to mix the scraps in with some unused dough, about 1/3 scraps to 2/3 fresh dough (this works better if you leave the remixed dough covered, to sit for a while before using.
- When the pierogi are formed, put them to dry on a clean cotton cloth (some people will say waxed paper, they are using a different dough. For these, use nothing but cloth)
- You should let them dry out a bit before cooking, as it is a pasta of sorts. I turn them over when the tops are dry to let the bottom air out.
- My Ukrainian friend Shona says that at a pierogi party you would use a double bed to dry them on, and would not start cooking until the bed was full. Then, start cooking the first ones that were made.
- Freeze any uncooked pierogis on a tray and then store in containers or bags.