Baba’s best perohe-varenyky-pyrogy dough

Pyrohy-Varenyky dumplings lined up in neat rows

What would make a woman who made pyrogy (peroghies, perohe, varenyky, and so on) change the recipe that she had used for over fifty years?  Here it is – the best dough recipe ever.  Or at least my baba thought so.

This is a soft dough that’s easy to roll out and shape.  It’s just the right ratio of everything – and a cup of butter or margarine can’t hurt.  The dough doesn’t use the Instant Pot but the fillings will.


Jump straight to the recipe

I’ve tried a lot of recipes for pyrohy dough.  One with yogurt (weird and watery).  Another recipe used sour cream for almost all of the liquid.  Yet another family recipe put mashed potatoes into the dough (finicky because the moisture in the potatoes was so variable).

My baba made thousands upon thousands of these little dumplings in her lifetime.  When she moved into a retirement home, she continued to cook with new friends.  This recipe came from Annie, one of those new friends – I wish I knew her name to fully credit her.Dumplings lined up on a cookie sheet ready to freeze

A typical varenyky-pyrohy dough is water, vegetable oil, an egg, flour and salt.  This is an amazing recipe – maybe even magical.  But isn’t everything with a cup of butter* in it?

* But, this recipe works great for vegans, too! Using margarine makes this an ideal dough for the dairy-free Sviata Vecheria Christmas Eve dinner.  I substituted Tofutti’s “Better Than Sour Cream” dairy free sour cream in this recipe for my lactose-intolerant friends, and it worked great.

Mixing 2 eggs, cool water and sour cream with a whisk

Start off by whisking together 2 eggs, 1 ½ cups cool water and 3 to 4 Tablespoons of sour cream.  Set this aside.

Flour combined with butter and salt in a bowl

Mix 6 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 cup of room temperature butter or margarine and 2 teaspoons of salt.  You can use your hands or a pastry blender.  It’s not as critical as keeping the butter cold for pastry.  Just mix until it resembles fine crumbs.

A rough version of the dough when the wet ingredients are first combined with the flour mixture

Combine the wet ingredients with the flour mixture.  It’s not pretty at first.

Hands kneading the dough inside a bowl

It’s easy to knead dough in a bowl that’s in your sink.  It helps you get a better angle.  Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it’s smooth and not sticky.  You could also use a dough hook on a stand mixer – but work the dough just until it forms a smooth ball.  Avoid overworking the dough.

A neat and tidy ball of dough

Divide the dough ball into quarters and cover with a dish towel to prevent it from drying out.

Divided balls of dough on a countertop.

Roll out one of the dough portions on a lightly floured surface until it’s about an eighth of an inch thick.

Rolling out the dough with a rolling pin

At this point, I should probably admit that my mom is doing all the work in these photos.

Circles cut out of the dough rolled out on a countertop

Cut out circles that are about 3 inches (or 7.5 centimeters) in diameter.  I like to use a normal sized (not red wine) wine glass.  You can also use a sharp round cookie cutter.

A small bowl of water next to a circle of dough

Wet your finger and moisten the circumference of the circle.

A heapimg teaspoon of potato and onion filling on the moistened dough circle

Take about a heaping teaspoon of filling and place it in the center of the dough.  These dumplings are filled with a mixture of potato, cooked onion and vegan sour cream.  But, you can mix it up with a recipe for potato, cheese and dill filling.

Folding the dough in half around the filling

Pinch all the way around to seal and avoid any air pockets.

You can boil them right away.  If you’re unsure about the seal, boil a few to test them before you continue.

If you’re freezing them, arrange them in rows on a cookie sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper.  After they’re frozen solid, transfer them into bags.

Special equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Pastry cutter (optional)
  • Rolling pin
  • Round cookie cutter or wine glass with a 3 inch diameter
  • Waxed or parchment paper

A finished dumpling fully pinched together with an army of dough circles behind it waiting to be filled

Baba's best perohe-varenyky-pyrogy dough

Rating 

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 96 dumplings

This is the best ever dough for whatever manner of Eastern European dumplings you make. It's easy to work with and simply to make.
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 ½ cups cool water
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of sour cream (or dairy-free sour cream substitute)
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter (or margarine), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Instructions
  1. Combine 2 eggs, 1 ½ cups cool water and 3 to 4 tablespoons of sour cream with a whisk. Set aside.
  2. Mix 6 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 cup of room temperature butter or margarine and 2 teaspoons of salt until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  3. Mix the liquid into the flour mixture and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  4. Divide the dough in 4 pieces. Use tea towels to prevent the other pieces of dough from drying out. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll out a piece of dough until it's ⅛th of an inch thick and cut out circles.
  6. Moisten the edges, add a heaping teaspoon of filling and seal.
  7. Lay out finished dumplings on a cookie sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper.
  8. If freezing, freeze on the cookie sheets and bag after they're frozen

 

 

 

 

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