How to assemble pierogi: it’s a lot of work, I’ll tell you. You’ll be exhaused by the time you’re done. Unfortunately, you can’t really bust it up – it all has to be done the same day. Raw pierogi dough has a shelf life of about 12 hours. After that, it will begin to discolor. In addition, if you leave a filled pierogi for too long without boiling it, the dough may begin to absorb liquid from the filling and become mushy. Once it’s been boiled, it’s completely stable. The way a lot of people cut down on the work is to do it collectively: a handful of people can approach the work in an assembly-line fashion. With this method, you could make pierogi with a couple friends or relatives, and when you’re finished, you could divide them among you.
What you’ll need:
How to do it:
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil, and keep it at a simmer.
- It’s easiest to work with a portion of the dough at a time, rather than trying to roll out the whole batch at once. Roll the dough out on a Silpat. That way, you you’ll only have to add minimal amounts of additional flour, if any at all. (Of course, you can roll it on your usual work surface if you want.) You want to roll it quite thin. How thin is too thin? If you can see through it, it’s too thin. Once it’s rolled, press into it gently. You should feel a tiny bit of sponginess, and your finger should leave a shallow imprint – otherwise, it’s too thin.
Perfect pierogi dough, when fried, has two textures: a crunchy exterior, and a light, soft interior. If the dough is too thin, when fried it will only be crunchy. If too thick, it will have a heavy doughiness that will take your attention away from the filling.
- Cut out rounds. Typical pierogi are made from rounds from 3 to 4 inches in diameter. An 8-oz. can of pineapple slices, with the top and bottom removed, makes a perfect cutter for a small-sized pierog.
- Lift one of the rounds from the Silpat and flip it over. (This side will be easier to seal.) Place a Tbs of filling into the round, fold the dough over the filling, and press or pinch the edges to seal. Take great care to seal the seam and make sure that no filling winds up in the seam. If you your pierogi are difficult to seal, try wetting the inner edge first. Some people press the edges down with a fork, but most of the Poles whom I know pinch them together by hand. You should know that there are mechanical pierogi presses, but again, most Poles whom I know don’t use them. Set the sealed pierogi aside on a nonstick surface (or one dusted with flour) and continue filling, re-rolling, cutting, and filling, until you’ve used up that whole bit of dough.
How To Assemble Pierogi: Rolling, Stuffing, Sealing, and Boiling
- Stir the simmering water to create a bit of a whirlpool. This will discourage the pierogi from sticking to the bottom of the pan as you drop them in. Drop in as many as you’ve made thus far.
- Once they’re all in, grab your next piece of dough and begin making more pierogi. The dough may well have become sticky, but you’ll be surprised at how the lightest dusting of flour will fix that. As you continue to make more pierogi, keep your eyes on the pot. Once the pierogi begin to float, allow them to simmer for two minutes (for a typical filling – some fillings require more cooking) before pulling them out with a Chinese spider strainer or slotted spoon.
- Place the boiled pierogi on a plate with a pat of butter. Move the pierogi around on the plate so that the butter melts into the remnant hot water dipping off the pierogi, and let the bottom of each pierogi get coated with this mixture. This will keep the pierogi from sticking to the plate. Allow them to cool as you continue making more.
- Once you have another batch ready for the plate, first take the ones that have already cooled, flip them over, and swish them around to get some butter on the flip side. This will discourage the pierogi from sticking to one another as you slide them into a large container.
- Add a new pat of butter to the plate and continue in a like manner.
Now that you have boiled your pierogi, there are three directions you can take: you can eat them, store them, or fry them. They keep well in the refrigerator and freeze beautifully.
If you’re looking for a really good dough recipe, check this out.
Credit for images on this page: Make It Like a Man! unless otherwise indicated. Clicking on images will enlarge them if they’re mine, or take you to the source if they’re not. This content was not solicited, nor written in exchange for anything. It was not sponsored by the Zrzeszenie Amerykańsko Polskie, even though I can’t see why it couldn’t’ve been.
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