Tonight's dinner took most of the day to prepare.  It was definitely a high carb meal.  I am pretty much so tired of dough, I don't want to see it again for a looooong time.  It was good, though!  We had Russian пирожок or in English, Pirozhki and Buchty (which originated in Slovakia) for dessert.  Both recipes were modified slightly to be dairy-free.  These are definitely NOT gluten-free.

Verdict (Pirozhki):  Two of the kids liked the pirozhki, but they did not cook all the way through and were a bit doughy in the center. The third kid requested just a plate of meat.  Since there was plenty of meat left over after I filled the pirozhki, she could have that!  They were good, but not great.

Verdict (Buchty):  These were very tasty.  The recipe makes a lot so we have plenty of leftovers that will be making their way to confirmation class with my oldest daughter and husband tomorrow!  They are very similar to a fruit filled pastry.

We'll start with the recipe for the Buchty.  Buchty is actually a plural word.  If you want to refer to just one, you need to say Buchta.  Also, the word buchta loosely translated from Slovakian means sweet, jam-filled bun.  Pirozhki is also the plural form of pirozhok.  Just a few kernels of mostly useless knowledge for you.  Anyway, I'm starting with this recipe because it was the more time consuming of the two. We started the dough at noon and it was ready about 5pm. 

Buchty (original recipe from Natasha's Kitchen)

You need:
2 cups soy milk
1⅓ TBSP (i.e. 1TBSP + 1 tsp) active dry yeast
6½ cups + 1 tbsp bleached all-purpose flour
1½ sticks Earth Balance spread (12 tbsp) softened almost melted
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups pitted cherries (I bought frozen ones)
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup and 1 rounded TBSP sugar

Warm the milk for about a minute and a half in the microwave.  Put the milk in the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle the yeast on the top.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Add a cup of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar to the mix.  Whisk them until blended and set aside to rise for about half an hour. 


Whisk in the eggs, melted butter, ¾ cup of sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla.  Mix in the flour about half a cup at a time on low, using the dough hook attachment on your mixer.  When the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl and is slightly sticky, but does not stick to your hands, it is done.  It took about 15 minutes total, mixing on low speed.  Transfer the dough to a large bowl and let it rise.

After about 2 hours, it should have risen two to three times it's original volume (like the image on the right).  On a clean non stick surface, make a log out of your dough.

Cut into six equal pieces.

Roll each piece, one at a time into a 10-13 inch circle.  This is a hard task for me for some reason.  I generally only managed an 8-9 inch circle before the dough seemed too thin.  Use a pizza cutter to divide the circle into 8 mostly even triangles.

Sprinkle about 1/4 tsp of sugar into the center of each triangle and put 3-4 cherries on top of the sugar.

Fold the long end of the triangle up over the cherries (kind of like a diaper, according to my pre-teen).

Fold the two other corners together and pinch along all the seams to seal the cherries in.  The goal is to keep the cherry juice contained inside the dough during the baking process.  Pinch well!

This was a challenge for the girls, who had a hard time keeping the juice in the dough.  Once the dough was moistened by the juice, it would NOT stick together. 

Place the buchta seam side down on your baking sheet.  You may want to line your baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Keep in mind that this recipe makes 48 buchty so you will need multiple baking sheets.  Space them about 1 1/2 inches apart if possible.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Allow the dough to rise/settle about 30 minutes while the oven preheats.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Mix 2 TBSP of water and 1 TBSP of sugar and brush over freshly baked buchty to create a sweet glaze.  You can also dust them with powdered sugar if you'd prefer.

Pirozhki (original recipe from allrecipes)

You need:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP ground black pepper to taste
2 TBSP dried dill weed 
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water 
1 cup soy milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 TBSP granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups oil for frying

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef and drain the grease. Stir in the onion and cook with the beef until the onions are translucent. Add in salt, pepper and dill weed to taste.  Set aside until dough is finished.


Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water and let set about 10 to 15 minutes until frothy.  Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Whisk in the eggs, oil, sugar and salt and remove from heat.

Place half of the flour in a large mixing bowl and gradually stir in the milk mixture. Then add 1/2 the yeast solution and stir.  Next, add about 1/2 the remaining flour and stir.  Add the remaining flour and mix well.  Knead until the dough forms a ball and does not stick to the bowl. You may need to add more, a little at a time, as you knead the dough. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and allow to rise until doubled in volume (about 30 minutes).

Lay out a rolling mat or parchment paper.  Flour it lightly.  Remove dough from bowl, pinching off golf ball sized pieces.  

Roll the pieces into circles about 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter.  Add a heaping tablespoon (or a small handful) of the cooled meat mixture into the center of each circle.

Fold the edges of the circle up over the meat mixture and firmly pinch the edges to seal each pirozhok

Allow the completed pirozhki to set for 10 minutes while you heat the oil to 375 degrees in a deep fryer or large pan.

Fry the pirozhki until golden brown.  Roll/flip them to get both sides equally.  It should take 2-3 minutes.  You may want to test one to see if the dough inside is completely cooked.  If not, adjust your cooking time accordingly.

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