I have eaten and enjoyed pierogis since I was a child (or at least I think I was a child when I had my first pierogis. My first clear memory of pierogis is eating them smothered in spaghetti sauce). I recommend melted vegan butter or olive oil and garlic instead. While spaghetti sauce is okay, it may tend to overpower the flavor of the pierogis. Vegan butter and/or olive oil doesn’t, but instead enhances the flavor.
After cutting dairy and eggs out of my regular diet, I have missed pierogis. This summer, while my friends were experimenting with a waffle iron, and after hearing about homemade pierogis from a book that the head leader of our program read on Friday evenings, I began to seriously consider homemade pierogis that would be both dairy and egg free.
Finally, a few weeks ago I looked up a recipe online, and decided to try them. Of course, I mainly look at recipes to learn absolute necessary ingredients, measurements, and how to make some food items. I don’t typically follow a recipe 100%, and in this case I didn’t. I used a different filling, and also used a slightly different method for making my pierogis. Here’s what worked for me.
(A little note, the picture here has been darkened a little much…I apologize for that. Also, it is actually of spinach dumplings on the top, the pierogis are, in this picture, on the bottom. Yes, this dough can also be used to wrap up salted spinach, and that makes dumplings that are also delicious served with melted vegan butter and salt. I made those with leftovers that I had after baking a couple pies using a double batch (which was more than was necessary) of this dough recipe for a crust. I had eaten about half of the pierogi that I had made by the time I took this picture, but the pierogis pretty much look like the ones on top, except the ones on top are greener…)
- 4 cups all purpose flour (plus extra)
- 1 cup warm water
- 2-3 Tbs olive oil (recommended: 100% extra virgin)
- ¼- ¾ tsp salt
- About 2 or 3 cups of mashed potatoes. (recommended: garlic&onion mashed potatoes.)
- Wash your counter, thoroughly.
- Wash your hands, thoroughly, with antibacterial soap, up to your elbows. Make sure to apply the 20-30 second rule, and not just a quick wash. You will need your hands for this recipe.
- Pour water, oil, and salt into a large bowl and whisk together with a whisk or fork, mixing thoroughly.
- Add 2 cups of water, a little at a time, whisking it into the mix.
- Mix together thoroughly. If it is still watery, add more flour, a little at a time, mixing thoroughly until it becomes doughy.
- Make sure your hands have been thoroughly washed. Begin pressing dough together with your hands, squishing out any extra flour lumps that are obvious (some are okay).
- Knead dough with hands, adding a little flour at a time.
- On a thoroughly cleaned and dry counter, sprinkle and spread some flour (to minimize dough from sticking). Scrape dough out of large bowl and onto the counter (where you have sprinkled the flour).
- Continue to knead the dough, adding flour until it is neither longer lumpy nor sticky. If it becomes too dry, however, you may want to add back in a little more water or oil.
- When dough is of the right consistency (neither too dry, nor too sticky (a little bit sticky may be acceptable, so long as it keeps its form and does not plop all over the place like a gooey blob), roll out the dough with a rolling pin or a clean glass/water bottle. (outside must be thoroughly cleaned). You may need to add flour to keep from sticking, and/or rub some flour onto the rolling pin/glass/bottle.
- Roll the dough until is about 1/16 of an inch thick.
- Cut circles in the dough. I used a glass that was probably about 2.5 or 3 inches in diameter for most of the pierogis, but made some bigger and some smaller. What I did for most of them was simply pressed the mouth of the clean glass down onto the dough and twisted it to cut out the circles. They will stretch out a little more as you lift them up.
- If you are still preparing mashed potatoes, or still need to prepare mashed potatoes (which should be thick, and not thin or watery), you can store the pierogi shells in the fridge. Do not place them on top of each other or they will stick together. I used wax paper the first time I made pierogis, and they were fine, but the second time they stuck to the wax paper and the pierogis were ruined, so I don’t recommend wax paper.
- Scoop mashed potatoes by teaspoon or tablespoonfuls (depending on the size of your pierogis). One or two scoops may be all that is necessary, depending on the size of the pierogi or scoop. You could also make giant pierogis (which will make fewer pierogis), but will need more scoops of mashed potatoes.
- Fold the pierogi shell and press together the edges tightly. If mashed potato squishes out, use less for the next one (unless the next shell is bigger—mine were of different sizes for some, because I used the cup for most, but not for all. Most were about the same size though, but they also stretch).
- Make sure the two edges seal together.
To cook the pierogis right away, boil a large pot of water, add a little salt, and add the pierogis. They should float, and the outside shell should be soft (kind of like cooked pasta). Some might be sticking to the bottom instead of floating though.
They also keep well in the freezer, and cook well after they have been frozen.
I enjoyed mine with salt and melted vegan butter/margarine. My dad recommended olive oil with garlic and salt. I’ve eaten store-bought pierogis that way, and they were delicious. In my opinion, they’d also go well with sauerkraut.