Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Baked Piroshki with Trinidad-style potato stuffing/filling

Piroshki are Russian-style (or mainly Eastern European-style) baked or fried buns with veggie and/or meat fillings. They are perfect for lunch boxes, travels, picnics etc or even as a snack/appetiser. We had a lovely sunny weekend at last, so, I baked these for a picnic at the park. After running around playing in the park, we pretty much finished the entire batch :) Anjalie is a big fan of anything potato and also loves my milky bread, so, it is not surprising that she enjoyed both of them put together. Piroshki can be either fried or baked. I always have gone for the healthy "baked" option. You can try frying with the same recipe for a variation.

You will need:
For the buns:
water roux prepared as shown here (optional)
1.5 to 2 cups milk (will need less if using water roux)
25 g butter
2.5 to 3 cups white bread flour
1-2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
1 tbsp milk powder

For the Trinidad-style potato filling:
2 tsp oil
1 tbsp soft light brown sugar (optional)
small piece of habernero peppers (for adults - optional)
1 small or 1/2 large onion chopped
2 small tomatoes chopped
1 tsp tomato puree
1 stalk celery
1-2 stalks salad/green onions chopped (both white and green)
1 inch piece ginger grated
3 cloves of garlic grated
2 cups of peeled and cubed to bite size potatoes
salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbsps of milk for basting

Warm milk and butter together on the stove top or in the microwave until the butter just begins to melt (to lukewarm).

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients for the dough.

Add little bit of the lukewarm milk at a time to the dry ingredients to form a slightly sticky dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 15-20 mins until you reach an elastic, smooth dough.

Alternatively, you can use bread machine and set it to basic dough cycle. Cover and leave to rise for 1 to 1.5 hrs or until doubled.

Mean while, you can prepare the filling.

Heat oil to medium-low in a pan/wok. Add the brown sugar and let is spread and melt. The sugar gives a lovely dark brown colour (similar to red-meat dishes used in Russian style Piroshki) and this step can be skipped if you wish.

Maintain heat at med-low to avoid burning the sugar. The whole dish will turn bitter if the sugar is burnt (which will happen very quickly). Just when the edges turn dark brown and the centre starts bubbling (shown in the left pic)...

Add the onions, garlic, ginger, celery and green onions (& pepper if using). Cook until onion turns transparent.

Add the tomatoes and the tomato purée and

cook until well mashed.

Add the chopped potatoes and salt & pepper to taste. Add water as needed and cook until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked.

Using a masher mash the potatoes (but do not make it creamy) to a coarse chunky mash. The filling should be quite dry so that the Piroshki is not soggy. Allow the filling to cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan assisted).

Punch down the risen dough and turn it on to a lightly floured surface.

Divide the dough into 16 golf ball sized pieces.

Roll out each ball into 6 inch circles.

Add 2 tbsps of the filling to each circle

Bring in the edges of the dough to the centre and pinch the dough to seal the filling. This will form a ball.

Place on a greased baking sheet or on greased cupcake liners and then on to a baking sheet (This will score some awesome presentation points :) )

Cover and leave to rise for another 45 mins to 1 hr.

Bake for 18-20 mins in the middle rack.

Lightly brush the buns with milk when still hot to soften the crust.

You can try other filling such as meat or cheese or fruits for dessert. In fact, I did make 3 of these Piroshki with pineapple, coconut and brown sugar filling. They were gone like hot cakes. According to Anjalie, "It was the best picnic lunch" :) Hope you and your family enjoy your Piroshki with your favourite fillings soon. Happy Summer and enjoy your picnics!

Sending this to Priya's May 2013 edition of Healthy me and Healthy Us event hosted by yours truly ;)

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