Babushka’s Pirozhki (Sweet)

This is an original recipe for a sweet Ukrainian pastry, given to us by a dear friend and mother/grandmother of our next-door neighbors. (“Babushka” means “grandmother” in Russian.) Babushka’s recipe has been adapted for preparation in a bread machine. These pastries can be filled with a sour cherry, apple, or strawberry filling, or another fruit filling of your choice. They are best eaten at room temperature or warmed slightly.

Dough ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter (not hot)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Scant 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 dry vanilla packets (0.03 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons yeast

Filling (your choice):

  • Chunked fresh apples, chunked fresh strawberries, or strained/pitted sour cherries (24 oz jar)
  • Sugar (to taste)

Egg wash:

  • 1 large egg, beaten

Place liquid ingredients for dough recipe into the bread machine. Sprinkle the flour on top of the liquid. Create dry wells in the flour and add the remaining dry dough ingredients into the wells. Place the bread machine on the standard dough setting and start it. Approximately 5 minutes into the cycle check the dough to make sure it is forming a ball. Add flour if it is too liquidy and water if too dry (1 Tablespoon at a time).

Remove the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide it into approximately 20 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, then flatten and form into a shallow bowl shape. Scoop filling into the dough, sprinkle approximately 1/2 teaspoon of sugar onto the filling, pull the sides together, and pinch the ends and top seam together to form an oval-shaped pastry. When fluting the top seam, twist it gently between the thumb and index finger to form slight ridges. Place onto a greased cookie sheet and brush with egg wash.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Eat and enjoy!

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