Meat Piroshki or Piroshky are little pockets of soft yeast dough, stuffed with juicy filling and then fried for the most glorious perfection of a bite.
Check the yeast: Mix 1 cup of warm to the touch milk (90F°), 1 tbsp active dry yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes allowing the mixture to foam up and rise. If after 10 minutes there's no activity in the yeast, discard your yeast and do not start the recipe until you get fresh, unexpired yeast.
Knead: Meanwhile, sift 4 cups flour into a bowl of an electric mixer, add 1 tsp salt, 2 eggs, and 2 Tbsp oil. Then add the puffed up yeast mixture from step 1, as well as the rest of the milk and start the mixer on low, allowing the ingredients to combine.
When the flour is incorporated turn the mixing speed on the mixer from 1 to 3 and knead the dough until it pulls away from the bowl or feels tacky to touch, about 20 minutes.
Proof: Set the dough in a warm, draft-free place and allow it to rise for about an hour or an hour and a half until doubled in size. I turn my oven to 200F° for 2-3 miutes, then turn it off and place the bowl with the dough in there. Then leave the oven light on and allow it to proof.
If using a bread machine place the liquids first, then flour and the rest of the dry ingredients, finishing with the yeast. Turn the bread maker to the 1.5-hour dough cycle for making the dough.
Mix together, 150 g ground pork & 150 g ground turkey, 1 diced onion, 1 minced garlic, parsley, dill, salt & pepper. Cover and place in the fridge until the dough is ready to work with.
Once the dough is ready to work with punch it down.
Take one half of the dough and on a well-floured surface roll out to about 1/3 inch thickness, being careful to not burst all the air pockets in the dough.
Using the largest round cookie cutter or a large upside down glass/cup cut out circles (3-4 inches diameter).
Add about 1 teaspoon of the filling to the middle of each circle.
Pinch together opposite sides into a half-moon, pinching the two sides together tightly and squeezing any air from around the filling. Sealing the piroshki properly will ensure that no meat juice will leak into the hot oil and create splatter as it fries. Now tap the shaped piroshki with the seam in the middle to flatten slightly.
Place the formed piroshki onto the prepared baking sheet seam side up. Cover with a clean kitchen towel while you finish with the rest of the dough, allowing your pirozhki to rise.
*Allowing your piroshki to rise before dropping them in hot oil, makes the dough rise slowly, forming small uniform bubbles throughout the dough. If you do not allow the piroshky to rise before dropping them in the oil, you will get one huge bubble and an “empty” piroshok. So it is important to let them rise beforehand. This tip goes for all yeast dough.
When you’re almost done with forming your pirozhky, fill your Dutch oven or cast iron pan with about 2-3 inches oil. Place a frying thermometer on the side and when the temperature reaches 350F, slowly place a couple of piroshky into the hot oil, seam up.
*If you drop them seam down, they start turning to the other side on their own and then you have to hold each one with a fork, to brown them on the other side.
**Do NOT place your piroshky in the oil before it reaches the right temperature, otherwise they will absorb a lot of oil and will result in a greasy piroshok.
Fry piroshki on each side turning only once, until deep golden color, then remove to a paper towel lined cooling rack to allow excess oil to drip off.
Then, transfer to a pot, lined with a couple of paper towels to absorb the extra oil, and cover with a lid until you’re done with the rest of your piroshky.
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