Russian yeast dough recipe. Simple and versatile yeast dough for Russian pies, piroshki, pasties or pastries
In this series of a few posts I am going to share with you my Mother’s Russian piroshki (Russian pies or pasties) recipes. Oh, yes, my Mother is soooooooo good at making them! And if you don’t believe me just ask my US husband, his friends and our neighbours. There will be Russian “piroshki” pies with meat, cabbage (that’s my favourite!), apples (another favourite!), cottage cheese and maybe some other ones. But before we get down to making famous Russian pies, let’s talk about the dough. Traditional Russian piroshki are made with yeast dough and the yeast dough is not that complicated as some people may think
Yeast dough will take some time to get ready so it is better to make a larger batch in one go. The leftover yeast dough can be stored in the refrigerator for several days or can be frozen and later thawed out and used.
For about 2 large pies or 18 small pasties of the Russian yeast dough you will need
3 teaspoons quick yeast
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons softened butter
2 cups warmed milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4+ cups plain flour
How to make Russian yeast dough
1. To activate the yeast, mix the dry yeast with sugar and half a cup of warm (not hot) water in a separate cup. Mix lightly and leave in a warm place to raise.
2. Mix all the rest of ingredients adding 4 cups of flour using consecutively smaller portions. Mix well with the electrical mixer or whisk on the slowest speed.
Alternatively, put all the ingredients into the bread-maker and let it do the job for you! Use the setting for dough.
3. When the yeast has risen (it will happen in about 10 minutes), mix the yeast mixture into the dough and mix well. If the dough seems too runny and sticky add some more flour (it’s hard to say the exact amount of the flour needed as the flour varies). The right yeast dough should be soft and elastic but not too runny and sticking to your hands. If you are not sure about the flour don’t worry – it’s better to under-do it than to over-do it. You will be able to add some more after the dough has risen.
4. If you are making the yeast dough by hands, now you will have to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes and then put it into a large bowl (the dough is supposed to exceed its initial size at least twice), cover it with a damp towel and put the bowl into some warmer place (boiler room or preheated up to 50° C / 120° F and then turned off oven) to raise. After one hour take the dough out and push it down by hands, then do it again in another hour. After the dough has risen for the 3rd time it’s ready to be used.
If you are using a bread maker (make sure the pot is not too small for this amount) let it do the rest.
Now you have made the Russian yeast dough! Dust the counter top generously with more flour and knock the dough over from the bowl or the bread maker pot. See how sticky it is and add some more flour on the top to make handling the dough easier.
Now you can make your favourite Russian piroshki pies. Check our coming posts for some mouth watering recipes of Russian meat and apple pasties, cabbage pie, vatrushki with Russian cottage cheese (tvorog) and other types of baked goods made from the yeast dough.
Before you get down to making Russian pirozhki pies, let me give you some very quick and simple idea of how to use the dough to make soft and very tasty buns or dough balls.
Yeast dough plain buns and dough balls
For buns grease the loaf tin, make balls of the dough in the size of tennis ball or a bit less and place 3 balls in the loaf tin. Brush with a row egg (optional). Cover with a damp towel and let them sit for half an hour, then put the yeast dough buns into preheated to 180 C (350 F) oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes depending of the bun size. Get the buns out, brush with butter (optional) and let sit for half an hour or so covered by the towel. If you can wait… Then cut between them and serve with a soup – it’s a perfect soup accompaniment!
For the dough balls just mould balls the size of a cherry tomato and put them on a greased tray leaving some space between them. Bake in the preheated to 180 C (350 F) oven for about 5 minutes. Serve warm with garlic and herb butter! So tempting!