Any tricks to making pelmeni or pierogi ?


I’ve only ever made pierogi from that recipe, to the best of my recollection, so I have no basis for comparison. I’ve never seen a pierogi recipe with mashed potatoes IN the dough - like gnocchi?


Yes! A friend’s recipe for Varenyky (Pyrohy), which I’ve not eaten, calls for mashed potatoes. I’ve watched some videos of this type of dough, and it seems to roll out incredibly easily! Another advantage of mashed potatoes is that the dough is ready right away— my friend said that the dough is unusable if it’s not rolled out immediately.

I suspect I’ve eaten ones in SF that were made with potato----the crackly texture of the ones at 20th Century Cafe reminded me of fried gnocchi


Interesting. If you come across a recipe that seems like it would work, please post it.


Here’s an adaptation of the the dough recipe my friend uses and her notes (I’ve not used this recipe, but I’d be happy to direct questions to her)

Adapted from Mrs. E. J. Kusey, Canora, Saskatchewan’s Rich Dough for Varenyky (Pyrohy), from Savella Stechishin’s cookbook "Traditional Ukrainian Cookery"

1/2 cup cold mashed potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
2 egg yolks
1/2 lukewarm water
1 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp salt
1/4 cup flour

Mix the first 3 ingredients thoroughly, add the water and beat well. Sift 1 3/4 cups flour with
the cream of tartar and salt, and then stir into the first mixture. This will form a very soft
dough. 1-2 tablespoons at a time, add portions of the 1/4 cup flour until the dough no longer sticks to the hand. The dough should be very soft. If some flour is left, use it for flouring the board.

Knead lightly, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Roll quite thin, cut into the desired shape and form varenyky, using your choice of filling.

[Note: Do NOT let the dough rest for any length of time other than what is mentioned in the recipe - I did this once and it was unusable.] Also make sure the mashed potato is cooled and all lumps are gone… otherwise it’s very hard to roll out the dough. I take a smallish sized round drinking glass, flour the rim, put the filling on the rolled out dough near the edge, roll by hand - the dough over the filling, press out any air, and use the glass to make a perfect half-moon shape. ]

(Lamb Owner) #25

Em, from the other convo re: my MIL pierogi, I found her recipe, though I’ve never made it:

2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups warm milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
5-1/2 to 6 cups flour

She uses a wooden spoon to mix and fold until it is workable and knead for about 10 mins until smooth and elastic.

Sounds like a lot of work! Hehe. She’s not big on gadgetry.


Thanks! I’ll file that away until such time as I acquire some cream of tartar. Might be never, though.


Whoa, is there a typo in the recipe? There’s more liquid than flour, and a lot of fat! (mmm… frying)

Pierogie dough uses more fat than most Italian pastas, and jumping off a Serious Eats pasta article, might be responsible for some of the mushiness I like in a pierogie:

“Unfortunately, that high fat content complicates things a little bit. Though not exactly scientifically accurate, you can think of that fat as making the gluten proteins all slippery, preventing them from building a strong network—when I tested this using different amounts of olive oil, I found that, sure enough, more oil made for softer, mushier, less elastic noodles. And, to complicate matters, I had a really hard time getting the flour and yolks to come together. It was a dry, tough dough that’s difficult to mix and knead; not exactly beginner-friendly.”

(Lamb Owner) #28

Well, about 2:1 flour to liquid. They are a tad mushy, but I pan fry them after boiling to a crispy golden brown. Delicious with sour cream on top.


I edited the recipe I posted above a bit to accommodate some new directions based on Chinese dumplings.

These came out decent, and the dough very thin, but I made two mistakes with the sauerkraut filling – – first, I used a really good brand of sauerkraut, and it’s coarse shredding wasn’t ideal for the pierogies. Second, I let the sauerkraut filling sit overnight and refrigerator and the hardened butter wasn’t ideal for filling the skins—- I got 1 tablespoon of filling in each 10 g nugget of dough, but would’ve gotten more had the filling compacted more and not been so hard.

I was pleased that none of them opened up during boiling – – it’s important not to let the boiling become too vigorous


FYI I have the same bowls!


gasp !

They’re in pretty rough shape. My partner brought them along when we moved in together - I think he’s had them since the 80s.