4cupsflour 500g / 17.5-oz, scoop and leveled, all-purpose flour, type 480
1 cup + 2.5 Tbspwater280g / 280ml / 10-oz (to weight on a scale)
3tablespoonsbutter1.4 oz/40g, or vegetable oil
sauerkraut and mushroom filling:
0.7ozdried porcini mushrooms (20g)or 3.5 oz / 100g if you’re not using cremini mushrooms
2medium onions240g / 8.5 oz
14ozfresh cremini mushrooms (400g)
salt and black pepperto taste, I added about 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
5prunesoptional!, can be omitted, 45g / 1.6 oz
Make the filling:
Drain the sauerkraut (drained sauerkraut should weight 450g / 16 oz), combine in a medium pot with dried mushrooms, bay leaves, and allspice berries. Add water, enough to cover the sauerkraut and mushrooms. Cook, partially covered, over medium heat for about 45 minutes or until the sauerkraut is soft.
Dice the onions. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a big frying pan. Cook the chopped onion with caraway for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until soft and translucent. Add marjoram, cook for another minute, transfer to a plate.
If you’re using cremini mushrooms: Wash them and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into ½ cm / ¼ inch slices. Increase the heat under the pan to high, add another tablespoon of oil and chopped mushrooms. Don’t stir for the first 3-4 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned at the bottom, then stir and cook until the mushrooms release water. Cook until it evaporates, stirring from time to time, then cook until nicely browned, transfer on a plate. It will take about 12 minutes.
Drain the cooked sauerkraut with mushrooms, reserve the liquid! It can be used to enhance the flavor of many soups, including Polish Christmas Eve Beet Soup. Discard bay leaves and allspice.
Add the cooked sauerkraut with mushrooms, pan fried cremini mushrooms and sauteed onions to the food processor bowl. Pulse several times to chop finely (but not to a paste consistency). You can also chop it finely with a knife.
Season the filling with with salt and pepper, to taste.
You can also add finely chopped prunes to the filling. It’s important to chop them with a knife by hand and not process in the food processor with the rest of the filling (or it will come out too sweet).
Make the pierogi dough:
Add the flour and salt into a large bowl, mix together.
In a small saucepan, warm the water with butter until they are very hot, but not boiling (temperature should be around 80-90 °C / 176-194 °F, that is when the water starts to move and steam).
Pour hot water with butter into the bowl with flour, mix with a wooden spoon until roughly combined.
Knead the dough using your hands or with a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, for about 5 minutes. A food processor can also be used (fitted with the dough blade). The dough should be smooth, soft and elastic, it shouldn’t stick to your hands. When you follow the recipe (especially if you weight the ingredients, instead of using measuring cups), the dough should be perfect, but if for some reason it’s not, add some water if it’s too dry, or a little bit flour if it’s too wet. If the dough already forms a ball, is relatively smooth, but still tough, it means that it’s not ready, it must be further kneaded until soft and elastic (after resting time it will be even softer).
Wrap the kneaded dough in plastic foil (so it doesn’t dry out), leave to rest for about 30 minutes (it will be easy to roll out).
Fill and shape the pierogi:
Pierogi dough should be at room temperature. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough thinly, about 2 mm / 1/16 inch. Cut out dough rounds, portion filling on all the dough circles. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, press the edges together to seal. Transfer on a kitchen towel lightly sprinkled with flour. Cover with a second kitchen towel, so that the dumplings don’t dry out. Gather scraps, roll out and repeat the steps.
Cook the pierogi:
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pierogi, about 10-12 dumplings at a time. When they rise to the water surface, cook them for 1 minute, then remove from the water with a slotten spoon and transfer to a plate.
Serve drizzled with melted butter or caramelised onions.
If the sourkraut is very sour, you can rinse it with water, but I don’t usually do it (I tested this recipe with home-made and store-bought sauerkraut). Some people always rinse the sauerkraut but I actually prefer when it's slightly sour.
Pierogi dough can also be rolled out using a pasta maschine. I have an Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment. Roll out the dough on setting 4. According to the manufacturer’s instructions you need to roll the dough on each setting until you get to the setting 4. I’m not doing this, pierogi dough without an egg is easier to roll out than an egg dough or pasta dough. To make it possible, the dough must be well sprinkled with flour, at room temperature, slightly rolled out with a rolling pin (to a thickness of approx. ¾ cm / ½ inch) and smooth (otherwise it will tear).
The recipe yields about 70 dumplings and uses up about ¾ of the pierogi dough. What to do with leftover dough: Cut it into thick stripes and use as pasta eg with soup. You can also fill them with fruit filling (just fruits mixed with sugar, you can use frozen berries).
Preparation time: making the filling about 30 mins + making the dough 5 mins + 1h 15 mins filling and shaping the pierogi.
Cooking time: 45 mins (sauerkraut with mushrooms) + about 20 mins (the dumplings)