On the farm, Mom made Dill Buns in early summer – HUGE ones FULL of potatoes and dill.
“These pih-roh-hih are the real pih-roh-hih,” my mother told me, as she deftly stuffed and shaped another plump dill bun. “They are baked. Boiled perogies are vareniki.”
“Then why are they called pyrohi?” I objected.
“If people get mixed up when they move away from their countries, maybe words get mixed up too,” suggested my mother.
Ukrainian Dill Buns (Veh-lih-kee Pih-ro-hih z Kropoo)
For dinner at 6:00 p.m., start preparing the buns at 4:00 p.m.
Ingredients for Dough Ingredients for Filling
1 cup milk 1 ½ pounds potatoes
1 ½ tablespoons butter 1 cup chopped onion (a 6 ounce onion)
1 package or 2 ½ teaspoons yeast 2 teaspoons margarine
¼ cup warm water ¾ cup chopped fresh dill
½ teaspoon sugar 1 cup dry cottage cheese
3 eggs 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil 1 egg
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
4 ¼ cups flour to 5 cups
First prepare the dough:
1. Bring milk almost to a boil and set aside to cool. Add to it 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter.
2. Put yeast and ½ teaspoon sugar in a small bowl with ¼ cup warm (not hot) water.
3. Separate the eggs; the whites in a medium-sized bowl and the yolks in a large bowl.
4. Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks.
5. Add salt, oil, sour cream, oil, and 2 tablespoons sugar to the egg yolks. Beat together.
6. Mix in yeast and milk.
7. Lightly fold egg whites into the other liquid ingredients.
8. Add 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time, and stir.
9. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Work in extra flour as needed – you will use about another ¼ cup.
10. Generously flour the working surface again. Set the dough on top and turn the large mixing bowl over to cover the dough.
11. Let the dough rise 45 minutes or more. Meanwhile, you have lots of time now to prepare the filling.
Preparing the filling:
1. Peel and set the potatoes to boil in 3 cups of water and ½ teaspoon salt. This takes about 17 minutes after the water comes to a boil, then drain and mash the potatoes.
2. Finely chop the onion.
3. Over medium heat, melt 2 teaspoons butter in a non-stick saucepan.
4. Add the onions to the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, cover the saucepan, and sweat the onions for 10 minutes, until tender.
5. Finely chop the dill.
6. Mix the cottage cheese, onions, dill, salt, and pepper into the mashed potatoes.
7. Beat the egg and mix into the potatoes.
Preparing the dill buns:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (I used 375 degrees in my new oven.)
2. Grease a large cooking sheet.
3. Punch down the dough and knead it to remove air bubbles.
4. Divide the dough in half. Divide each half into 8 sections, (16 sections in all).
5. With your fingers, shape each section into a circle 3 – 4 inches wide.
6. Put a large tablespoon of filling into the center – it should be larger than an egg.
7. Pinch the dough together around the filling and set the bun, seam-side down, on the cooking sheet.
8. Leaving just a little space between each bun, make the rest of the buns. There is enough dough and filling for 16 large buns. (A bit less than 1/3 cup in each bun.)
9. Cover the buns with a tea towel and let rise for 10 minutes.
10. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
11. For a nice, shiny look to the buns, melt 2 teaspoons margarine and brush the top of the buns lightly.
12. Serve hot with sweet whipping cream or sour cream.
Chop an onion finely and brown it in 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Add 1/3 cup milk or cream to the pan. Put buns in and cover. When cream thickens in about 2-5 minutes, serve.
Big pyrohi may need a bit of time in the microwave to make sure they’re really hot.
Note: Mary also made smaller buns.
As a child, I preferred these PYRIZHKY to the larger buns because I was more interested in the bun than the filling.
TO MAKE PYRIZHKY:
Divide the dough into 32 sections. Bake same length of time.