It’s the last day of January, and that means the last day of Russian month. I’m sad about this. It’s been fun learning the classics like Kotleti and Borscht and throwing in some more obscure things like Chocolate Salami.
Truly, I have not cooked anything I wouldn’t want to eat on repeat in my house.
And now I have to visit the country.
Today’s final Russian recipe is a classic. Even if you don’t know anything about Russian food you’ve probably eaten a few of these in your life time.
Oh man. Little pockets filled with delicious secrets. Sweet or savory, it’s a cute little handheld delivery of heaven straight into your mouth.
I’ve seen these one of three ways – baked in the oven, fried in oil and wrapped in puff pastry. Boyfriend’s mom does the latter of the three and shhhhht they are good. Also this will cut down on your cooking time because uffda making your own puff is hard.
For today’s recipe, I decided to go the “healthiest” route and make a yeasted dough, baked in the oven. I also made these vegetarian because I just like to eat that way sometimes.
This dough is fluffy yet substantial. It’s an enriched (eggs) yeasted (yeast) dough, so it’s not a too-airy-is-this-actually-bread kind of dough. Think challah not sourdough.
The mushroom mixture is similar to what boyfriend’s mom uses. The dried herbs give the mushrooms a little something extra. I mixed in some more expensive/flavorful mushrooms but the bulk was just the inexpensive cremini/button mushrooms.
But really, you could put anything you want in a Piroshki. Making a mental note to test breakfast Piroshki.
Since the filling is wrapped in a little pocket of dough, they are also fantastic snack at parties.
You could even stuff them in your pockets on your way out.
Portable food is my favorite kind of food.
Baked Mushroom Piroshki
(Start making 3.5 hours before you want Baked Mushroom Piroshki)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add your warm milk and yeast. Let this sit for about 5 minutes. Then whisk in 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar. Let this stand (covered) for about 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, add your eggs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, melted butter and salt. Whisk together until incorporated.
Then, get your dough attachment out. You don’t have to have a KitchenAid to make this dough – you can always use a spoon/arm muscles/hands. Add 1 cup of flour at a time, letting the dough fully incorporate the flour after each cup. You should have 5 cups additional flour total. Add that last cup slowly, as you may not need the whole cup or you may need a few extra tablespoons. You know the dough is done when it completely pulls away from the side of the bowl.
At this point, mix on low for about 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 15). Cover in a bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours.This step was completed a day in advance for me. After the 2 hours, I put this in the fridge overnight so I could finish the next day.
To make the filling, start by chopping your mushrooms into very small pieces. Same with the shallot. You’ll get your olive oil hot on sauté pan (medium – high heat) and add your shallot and mushrooms. Let these cook for about 10 minutes, and when you’re nearly done, add in your salt, pepper and herbs.
When you’re ready to start filling the Piroshki, get your dough and divide it into 5 pieces (looking back, I wish I would have weighed these to make sure they were similar in size). Use a little flour if needed and roll out each section into a 14 (ish) inch circle. Divide it into 8 triangles, like you’re slicing a pizza. I didn’t take pretty step by step pictures but you can find them here.
You basically add a Tbsp of the mixture inside the triangle, fold the short end of the triangle in on itself to create a little pocket, then roll it up into itself. Confusing? The pictures help.
You can fit 6×3 in a 13×9 in pan. I had a couple extra and squeezed these in. Let these rise, lightly covered in plastic wrap for 40 minutes while you heat your oven up to 360F. You want these puffy and starting to touch each other.
Brush some beaten egg on top then get these in the oven. The original recipe states 20 minutes but I needed closer to 28. Just keep an eye on them and when they have that pretty brown color, they are done.
Best served warm. They are perfect for a snack or for a little something with a bowl of soup.