I haven't made, or had, bierochs in years. Brett doesn't love cabbage, and would usually turn down anything that included it in a noticeable way. Plus they're a bit of work - making the dough, cooking the filling, assembling, rising, etc... But then I pulled this beauty out of the garden this past weekend...
...and I knew I had to do something worthy with it! After some searching around, I settled on this recipe: http://www.balticmaid.com/2014/03/bierocks-volga-german-meat-pastries/
I worried a little bit when I sliced into it - I already had made the dough the afternoon before, and had it out of the fridge coming back to room temp so it could rise a bit more. Then I sliced into what felt like a really hefty, dense cabbage only to find the core was a bit loose and chunky. Would I not be able to get enough shredded cabbage for the recipe?
Good news! While the recipe is a bit vague on how much cabbage you need (some recipes call for a specific number of cups, while this just called for "about half of a medium cabbage") - I felt I had plenty once I started slicing it.
It took me a little while to get into the groove of filling/forming the bierochs. The recipe has you cut the dough into fourths, and then each of those blobs into fourths. My first four were a bit ugly. Each group of four improved - here's my last four. I finally found what worked best was to roll the dough out, put on the blobs of filling, use a brush wet with water to moisten the outside edges and then a + sign through the middle, and then cut with pizza roller. Cutting first and then moistening edges just made extra work, and was often more sloppy.
Look at them all gathering on the cookie sheets!
After they were assembled I let them rise, covered, in the warm oven for about 25 minutes - until nice and puffy - then I brushed them with milk while the oven came up to temperature.
About halfway through their baking time I flipped/rotated the cookie sheets to ensure more even cooking.
Yummmmmm.... Good ol' comfort food, which takes me back to my childhood!
And the verdict? Brett even liked them! I honestly hadn't planned on them being our dinner, or him even eating one for that matter. But he reminded me he eats cabbage when I put it in beef and veggie soup (it cooks down a LOOONG time in that), and that he would try them. Granted, he mixed up some sort of English gravy/sauce powder for dipping his in (cheesy sauce maybe?), but he said it was really good! He was really impressed with the bread dough, and said I should do more things with it.
Right now all of them are packaged up in the fridge. Some will go into the freezer at home, and I figure I'll stash some in the work freezer so I can pull one out to nuke for lunch every now and then.