The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.




Oh yummy yummy dumplings type food. I love pierogies. There are a few Russian and Polish restaurants in Montreal and when I go I make sure to include some pierogi. I love eating them hot wit a large quantity of sour cream and chives. So hearty. For this challenge I enlisted my friend Karyn (she moonlights as a pastry chef btw). When I told her to come over I think she assumed we were having pierogies for inner. After a glass of wine and chat I suggested we get started. ‘what we are making them from scratch?’ Ah, yes, it is a challenge and you can cook!

Fried pierogis

It turned out o be quite an endeavour to start so late on a week night he he. We ate kind of late but it was so worth it. I had leftovers for another meal. I fried those and I preferred them even better that way actually. I know the challenge asked us to go local…but I am part Russian so I went traditional which remains local for me. We did attempt a sweet version with pineapple and cottage cheese but it got messy and the dough refused to stick with that mixture.

Our challenge was to make the dough from scratch and a savory or sweet filling of our choice. I chose the potato and cheese pierogi.

Makes around 30 dumplings.

2 to 2 1/2 cups (300 to 375 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
About 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water or milk


Potato and cheese Filling:
4 – 5 boiled potatoes
4 table spoons butter (60 g) or olive oil (60 ml)
50 ml (3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) milk
1 egg white (from medium egg)
about 120 ml (½ cup) farmers’ cheese (any unripened cheese like Indian Paneer)
salt and pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients for the filling (it’s best to use one’s hands to do that) put into the bowl, cover and set aside in the fridge until you have to use it.

2. Place 2 cups flour in a large bowl or on a work surface and make a well in the center. Break the egg into it, add the salt and a little lukewarm at a time (in my situation 1/2 cup was enough). Bring the dough together, kneading well and adding more flour or water as necessary. Cover the dough with a bowl or towel. You’re aiming for soft dough. Let it rest 20 minutes.

Rest well tired dough!

3. Mix well all the ingredients for the filling. Set aside.

potato and cheese, yumm!

4. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out thinly (1/8” or about 3 millimeters) cut with a 2-inch (5 cm) round or glass.

Look at the pastry pro on the go

5. Spoon a portion (teaspoon will be the best) of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold dough in half and pinch edges together. Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.

Before their plunge into boiling water

6. Bring a large, low saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop in the pierogi, not too many, only single layer in the pan! Return to the boil and reduce heat. When the pierogi rise to the surface, continue to simmer a few minutes more ( usually about 5 minutes). Remove one dumpling with a slotted spoon and taste if ready. When satisfied, remove remaining pierogi from the water.


  • when sealing pierogi don’t allow any filling to seep .. it should seal by itself very tight
  • if your dumplings stick to each add a tablespoon of oil into the water
  • when boiling your pierogi try to boil each type of filling separately
  • Boiled pierogi can also be fried after boiling for a nice crunchy dumpling

Another dough recipe:

½ cup (125 ml) milk (can be whole milk, 2% or skim milk)
½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream
3 large egg whites
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
3 cups (450 gm) all-purpose flour

1. Mix flour and salt, add other ingredients, and knead dough until you have a smooth dough. (I kneaded this dough quite a bit, and it yielded a nice, pliable dough).
2. On a floured surface roll out fairly thin (1/8” or about 3 millimeters), cut into 2” (5 cm) squares, and fill with 1 tsp (5ml) cottage cheese filling (see below).


Other types of fillings:

Cottage cheese
1 lb (455 g) dry cottage cheese (or wet drained for a few hours)
3 large egg yolks
Salt to taste

Russian style pierogi (Pelmeni)
3 big potatoes, cooked & mashed
1 cup (225 g) cottage cheese, drained
1 onion, diced & sauteed in butter until clear
3 slices of streaky bacon, diced and fried till crispy
1 egg yolk (from medium egg)
1 tablespoon (15 g) butter, melted
1/4 (1.25 ml) teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper to taste


Meat and cabbage
200 g (7 oz) cooked meat (minced or cut very finely)
500 g white cabbage (chopped and simmered in a little bit of water, until soft)
1 onion (diced and fried)
1 whole medium egg
1 tablespoon (15g) butter
dry breadcrumbs (add as much to hold the filling together, about 2 tablespoons)
salt and pepper


Sauerkraut filling
2 cups (500 g)  sauerkraut
1 big carrot, grated
1 shallot, chopped and fried with a tablespoon of butter
few (about 3) wild mushrooms (I used dry ones, you can use fresh but chop them and fry on some butter before adding to the sauerkraut cabbage)
salt, pepper and cumin
– Saute all the ingredients together until soft, cool before filling pierogi.

You can also fill pierogi with whole seasonal fruits for example- strawberries, blueberries, morels, grated apples etc. To prevent the fruits from ‘sogging’ just add a little bit of potato flour inside with the fruit and sweeten them after the boiling on the plate rather than putting sugar inside.

Thanks Karyn for cooking with me! Coming over soon again?