Monday, December 19, 2011

How to make Christmas Pierogis part 2

Yesterday, I showed you how to make the filling. Now that it's had its time to chill in the fridge, let me tell you about the dough.

But first, some more linguistics. As I mentioned earlier, pierogi is a plural noun, so while 'pierogis' is acceptable amongst foreigners, don't be surprised if you never see the term in Poland. The singular form is pieróg, pronounced pyeah-roog. Uszka, meaning 'little ears', is the plural for uszko, pronounced, respectively: oo-shkah and oo-shkoh.

Pierogi and uszka use the same dough. It's not too terribly difficult to make, but it does dry out very quickly, so don't even think about storing it. However, once you've filled and rolled the pierogis, you can freeze them. They will keep for months.

Darth Vader mug optional, but it seems to help. Click to enlarge.
Dough for Pierogis and Uszka

about 500 g of flour
1 egg (optional)
1 flat teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of oil (canola or sunflower is good)
about 250 ml of boiled water, or milk

Sift the flour into a little mountain on your work surface. Make a crater for the oil (and egg, if you choose to add it). Fold and knead, carefully adding water or milk as needed. You will have to try and keep the dough springy and stretchy, but not sticky.

(psst...we just tried doing it in the blender...that works too!)

Roll it out as flat as possible, and don't dawdle- it dries out fast. Keep any dough that you are not working with in a covered container.

If, by accident, the dough is just too dry for pierogis, don't worry. You can cut it into strips, then lay it out on a cloth to dry... and you have delicious homemade pasta!

Nothing gets wasted.

But, assuming your dough came out just right, cut circles into it with a glass. Bigger ones for pierogis, smaller ones for uszka.

Here is a helpful diagram showing the four stages of making an uszko. The third stage is pretty much where you stop to have a pieróg.

Still confused? Check out the video:

And that's it! Make many, lay them out on sheets, freeze immediately. When they're cold enough not to be sticky anymore, put them in plastic bags. They'll keep in the freezer for a long time- when you want to eat them, just drop them into boiling water and wait until they bob up to the surface.

348/366: Pierogis for Christmas
Storing your pierogis. Top shelf: waiting to harden. Bottom shelf: bagged and ready.

Pierogis are usually eaten by themselves, while uszka belong in your bowl of barszcz.  The picture below has it all wrong- but it was leftovers at that point and I couldn't be picky!

39/365: Red on red
Pierogis in the barscz? Blasphemy! Those should be uszka. But they're the same thing, just shaped differently.

Meta information:

Music in video: Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies (Tchaikovsky),  Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0""

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