a Family Cookbook with a splash of Art
follow us 
search recipes:
No-egg yeast dough is a real savior during Great Lent that started about a week ago and will last until Orthodox Easter. During this time one cannot eat anything of animal origin - no milk, no eggs, no meat, no butter. They say it's the time of cleansing your body and soul, time of praying and re-evaluating yourself. Well, I tried it a few times, and it seemed to be the dullest time of my life. My body longed proteins that it was not getting, and depression set in quickly. Then I thought that I could pray and re-evaluate my doings by just eating less or attempting occasional short fasts. It worked fine. :)
Today's recipe will satisfy vegans and those who endeavored Great Lent. One of the pie fillings does include chicken, but this is for us, carnivores. This dough is economical (no milk, no eggs!)and surprisingly tasty, it stores well and is as good the next day as it was freshly baked.
What you need:
1.5 cups water
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
0.5 cup olive oil
2.5 tsp dry yeast
More flour and oil to work with the dough

Enameled/Stainless steel pot
2 large baking sheets

Preparation time: 3-4 hours

For the Fillings:
1. C a b b a g e:
1/2 cup sour kraut, packed
1.5 cup shredded white cabbage, packed
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1 cup water
1 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped

2. M u s h r o o m s:
16 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white vinegar

3. C h i c k e n   a n d    r i c e:
1 half of cooked chicken breast, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup rice, boiled in 2 cups of water and 1/4 tsp salt for 10 minutes
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped

1. Prepare the dough for the first rise. In the pot warm up water, add oil, salt, sugar, stir all together. The mixture should be lukewarm. Add 3 cups of flour mixed with dry yeast. Mix with wooden spoon until well incorporated, then transfer to the cooking surface/board dusted with the 4th cup of flour, knead the dough until it doesn't stick to your hands. Oil the dough ball with some olive oil and put back to the pot. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise. The first rise took about 1 hour, your time could be less or more depending on the quality of the dough and the flour.

2. While the dough is rising you have plenty of time to prepare fillings. You can make them all together, and keep an eye on all of them. Boil rice, saute onions (I did it in one skillet for cabbage and chicken fillings), work with two skillets at a time (one for mushrooms, one for cabbage) and so on, to save time - it will take much more time if you cook each filling separately.

C a b b a g e   f i l l i n g:
In a skillet simmer sour kraut covered with water for about 10 minutes, add thinly shredded fresh cabbage, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil, mix all together, and saute until fresh cabbage is soft and all water is evaporated. Mix in sauteed onions and dill, set aside.

M u s h r o o m s   f i l l i n g:
In this filling I tried to reproduce mama's salted mushrooms filling that was a real delicacy. I did it with fresh mushrooms though.
Saute mushrooms with 3 Tbsp olive oil until all liquid is evaporated, add chopped onion, salt, pepper, white vinegar. Saute on low heat until onions are translucent, then add diced apple and cook until apples are soft. While cooking, add some water if necessary.

C h i c k e n   a n d   r i c e    f i l l i n g:
Rinse boiled rise with cold water, drain well. Mix chicken pieces with rice, sauteed onion, pepper, dill, add more salt if desired.

Before filling pies, add about 1 tsp flour in each filling to hold it together.
3. When the dough doubles or even triples in size, punch it with your fist to let out air bubbles, cover and set in the warm place to rise for the second time. It will take about 45 minutes.
4. I made three pies out of this dough - one bigger and two smaller ones. Tastes differ, but I like my pie crusts thin, so I rolled them out thin, about 1/3". If you prefer thicker crusts, use more dough. You will have less pies, and you will not need three fillings.
For the bigger pie you will need a bottom and top parts of dough. The bottom should be about 0.5" bigger than the top on all sides. Roll out 0.5 lb of the dough to form about 9"x12" rectangle, transfer it to the greased and sprinkled with flour baking sheet, shape with your hands by slightly pressing and tearing. Spread  the filling (I used chicken for the bigger pie), leaving a 0.5" border all around the bottom. Roll out the top (you will need about 6 oz or so of the dough), transfer it on the filling, shape the rectangle over the filling.
The big pie in the making.
Pinch together the top and the bottom,  make a small hole in the middle of the top to release steam while baking, then press gently with your hands to shape the pie. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise before baking.
5. For smaller pies I used another method - each is made out of one  10"x12" piece of dough ( about 0.5 lb of dough per each). I baked both smaller pies on one baking sheet. Roll out the dough, transfer it to the baking sheet so that one half of it is hanging out (see the picture below).

Spread the  filling, fold the top part, and pinch both parts together. Repeat with the other pie. Again, make small holes in the middle of tops for steam to escape. Cover with plastic wrap, put in a warm place to rise.
Loosely cover with plastic wrap to let
the dough rise freely.
6. When pies look puffy and very soft to the touch, they are ready to bake. Carefully remove plastic wrap, and bake in 400 F oven for about 35-45 minutes or until the top and bottom are golden (the time depends on your oven). Transfer ready pies to the board lined with paper towels, oil with butter (it is optional!), and cover with paper towels or a kitchen towel to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Let the pie rest covered to soften the crust a little.

Small pies look like huge calzones. :)

7. Cut and serve the pies while still very warm!
Want a piece?..
The dough is soft, light and bubbly - nice! The verdict: highly recommended. :)

This dough also will do for small pies - pirozhki. Form small dough balls, about 2" in diameter each, roll out rounds, fill with a filling, pinch together, and let rise before baking or frying. See Belyashi recipe how to work with dough for pirozhki.
The fillings are a matter of taste of course, but this time they worked extremely well with us. You can compose your own fillings, your imagination is the limit.
It's convenient to keep leftover pies in a covered pot lined with paper towels.
The pies can be warmed up in the 325 F oven, on a dish loosely covered with foil, OR on a dry skillet, covered and on low heat (my preferred method).
It's your choice what to serve pies with. Traditionally, pies are served with tea, but broth (vegetable or meat) is also very popular.
Tags:    baking challenging main course
Summary: a main course recipe
blog comments powered by Disqus