There is a tiny piroshky restaurant near my apartment that, on any given day, will have a line of customers out the door during the lunch and dinner rush. Their mushroom and rice piroshky has always been a favorite in my family. My version here contains the same basic ingredients with some additions of my own. If you are turned off by sauerkraut, you can substitute cooked cabbage or simply go without. The sauerkraut does mellow with cooking, however, and it adds an extra touch of Eastern European flavor that makes these piroshkies quite special. These freeze and reheat really well making them ideal for lunches.
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Mushroom and Rice Piroshky
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1/2 cup plain white rice
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
8-10 large crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup saurkraut, lightly rinsed and drained
salt and pepper
1/4 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 packet active dry yeast
4 eggs
4 cups flour

Cooking Instructions

Combine the rice and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil slowly over medium high heat. Once it has reached a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is done. Fluff the rice with a fork and set aside in a bowl.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and broccoli and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to become tender. Add the parsley, thyme, crushed red pepper, saurkraut, and the cooked rice. Stir to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. When cool, stir in the grated cheese. This filling can be made a day ahead (keep covered in the refrigerator overnight).

To make the bread dough, heat the milk in a medium pot until warm but not boiling. Add the butter and remove from heat. Stir until the butter has completely melted. When the milk has cooled to lukewarm, sprinkle the sugar, salt and the yeast over it. In a separate bowl, beat 3 of the 4 eggs. Add the eggs to the milk and mix thoroughly. Whisk in the flour, one cup at a time. When you get to the point of adding the last cup, you will no longer be able to stir it in. The best way to mix in the remaining flour is to pour it and the dough out onto a clean surface and knead it in. Knead just enough to incorporate the flour completely.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and set aside for at least 2 hours to rise. After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it on a clean counter. Divide the dough into 6 even pieces. Keeping the other pieces covered, roll one piece out until you have an 8 to 10 inch circle (about 1/4 inch thick). Place one sixth of the rice and mushroom filling in the center, cupping it with your hand to make it as densely packed as possible. Pick the dough up on opposite sides of the filling and fold the dough over the filling pinching the two sides together until all of the filling is encased by dough. Continue with the remaining dough and filling. Let the filled piroshkies rest at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes.

Beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water and, using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the piroshkies with the egg mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes until browned. Serve hot or cool on cooling racks and freeze for reheating later.

Makes 6 piroshkies



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When you divide the dough into sixths, reserve a bit of extra dough for rolling into neat designs to attach to the tops of the piroshkies.

To test if the piroshkies are cooked, pick one up off the pan, turn it over, and tap the bottom. It should have a hollow sound.

Avoid kneading the dough for too long. Kneading causes the gluten in the flour to stretch resulting in a coarse-textured bread. For these piroshkies, you want to the bread to be very soft and similar in texture to a pastry.

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