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Sunday, January 10, 2010


My first introduction to this tasty meat-filled pastry was from my mother-in-law (who I’ve mentioned before was an amazing cook). It is said to be a German dish, and the area Mennonite women did make bierox, but actually, it was more like the “community” specialty. My mother-in-law took them hot (wrapped in foil) to the field during wheat harvest. Students made them by the tens of dozens as fund raisers. Even the school concession stand gained regional fame for having bierox on their menu. Most nights they sold out.

It takes the better part of an afternoon to whip up a batch of bierox, and there aren’t any shortcuts. Believe me, I’ve tried commercially prepared bread dough, and the end result just doesn’t cut it. It’s been a while since I’ve made them, but today I picked up the ingredients. We have a special occasion coming up – our son from California will be here. His Coast Guard career doesn’t allow him many trips back home, and I want to give him a nice welcome. Some things are simply worth the effort, you know.


5 ¾ to 6 ¾ cups flour
1/3 cup instant milk (powdered)
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
2 pkg. active dry yeast
1/3 c. soft margarine
2 cups very warm water

Mix 2 cups flour, dry milk, sugar, salt, and dry yeast. Add margarine. Gradually add water to dry ingredients. Beat 10 minutes (large stand-alone mixer w/ dough hook works best) on medium speed. Add 3 cups flour and beat an additional two minutes. Stir in enough flour for a stiff dough. Turn out on lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, 8 – 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl (covered with plastic wrap or a tea towel) until double—about 45 minutes to one hour.

Meanwhile, prepare filling.

2 -3 pounds hamburger
1 small head cabbage, chopped in blender or food processor
1 or 2 onions, chopped fine
Seasoned salt and lemon pepper to taste

Brown hamburger in large Dutch oven. Drain grease. Combine meat, cabbage, and onion in Dutch oven. Season. Cook until cabbage and onion are tender. Check for seasoning. Drain off any excess liquid.

Punch down the raised dough. Roll out ¼ of the dough at a time into a large square (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut into four six-inch squares. Place ¼ cup of the meat filling in the center of a square. Bring the four corners to the center, pinching all edges securely. Place seam side down on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely browned. Brush tops with melted butter when done.

Yields: 12 to 16 bierox. These freeze well. Reheat in foil.

I’ll be busy in the kitchen, up to my elbows in flour most likely. How about you? Do you ever make bread dough from scratch? Have you ever tasted bierox? There’s nothing quite like the warm from the oven yeasty goodness.


Camille Eide said...

Carla - you always make me hungry with your recipe posts. But you're forgiven because they are simple and tasty. :-) This sounds delicious too. I do make my own bread though not as often these days, and with a busy schedule I have been known to buy (gasp) Rhodes frozen rolls which the fam likes just as well. But scratch is best, and with a mixer that can handle dough, it's a snap. Only complaint is waiting for the ding dong thing to rise. But I'm sure we can find something to do while it rises. Like catch up on blogging. :-)

Thanks Carla - hope you have a fabulous visit with your son!!

Anonymous said...
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Patti Lacy said...

Never have even HEARD of bierox! You're givin' me new book titles, new culinary delights...

What next, girl???

I like visiting your post.
Have fun with your son!!


carla stewart said...

Thanks, Camille. I knew you made cinnamon rolls (maybe you'd like to share your recipe here). Homemade goodies are the best!

I'm not surprised your haven't heard of bierox, Patti. Never hear of 'em myself until I moved to my hubs great little farming community. The cooks there could put Paula Dean to shame.

And Patti, my friend, keep those book recommendations coming. So glad to have you here at the cafe.

Erica Vetsch said...

We used to have these when I was a kid! Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

Koala Bear Writer said...

That sounds really good... I'll have to print this one to try (someday when I have lots of extra time to spend in the kitchen!). Mom used to make pierogies by hand and it was always a good chance to spend some time with her chatting while we folded dough. :)

Patti Lacy said...

Missing you, girl!
Got a little surprise at

Faith Imagined said...

This sounds very tasty! I make most of our bread with my bread maker! It is hard to eat store bought bread now!

-Alisa Hope

Martha's Mews said...

I make bierox all the time! Have just started taking them to the homeless guys in my city here in Greece. I'm thinking of putting an Italian filling in next time - maybe Mexican too - just so they don't get cabbage each time! Have you ever put anything other than hamburger and cabbage in?