Recipe: Varenyky, part 2: Dough

cooked varenyky

cooked varenyky

Schatzi: Since my little Black & Decker food processor crapped out, I ended up making the dough in our Kitchen-Aid, but it still turned out fine. The dough was really easy to work with; Eli called it “beautiful,” and speculated on further uses for it. It rolled out like a dream on my floured butcher-block surface, only sticking to the pin once or twice. We used an empty small Adam’s Peanut Butter jar to cut out the circles, Eli taking over cutting out after the first batch. This was a great activity for us as a couple; usually one or the other of us is in the kitchen, but it was great working as a team to cut and fill our varenyky. Because we were so busy getting them cut, filled, and sealed before the dough dried out, I didn’t take any pix of that process. next time! I might use a slightly larger cutter when making them again, since there was not a lot of room for filling, but that also might be something that comes with experience. While we frantically cut and filled, I had water boiling away on the stove.

uncooked varenyky waiting for the pot

uncooked varenyky waiting for the pot

varenyky simmering away

varenyky simmering away

When cooking them, do not be alarmed if your varenyky float right away, for many of mine did. Also remember to carefully scrape the bottom of the pot in case some stick there, which happened to a couple of mine. Most importantly, be gentle when lowering them into and removing them from the boiling water. If you have sealed them well, they should not come apart in the water. I think I was proudest of the fact that none of ours opened; I credit the sealing method in PttT: egg white brushed on the inside edges of the varenyky, edges pinched together and then further sealed by pressing with a fork.

admire now nicely sealed these varenyky are, why don't you? see the fork marks?

admire now nicely sealed these varenyky are, why don't you? see the fork marks?

I was so excited to take the first six out, draining them, then removing them to a soup plate and tossing them with melted butter. I let Eli try the first one (he’s braver than I), and nearly fainted with relief when he told me they were delicious. Then I had to bat him away from the cooling area as I finished our savory batch. Being exhausted, I didn’t bother cooking any more onions, so we ate them with just butter and sour cream, and they were heavenly.

The second batch, blueberry, I was a little apprehensive about. When Eli tried the first one, he shrugged and said, “Blueberry ravioli. It’s kinda weird.” But I persevered and served a pile of them tossed with melted butter, lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar, and topped with sour cream and blueberry sauce, which made all the difference in the world.They were pronounced a hit. Next time, I definitely want to make the sour cherry variety, which I purchased supplies for already.

I see myself making these quite often in the future, both for holiday feasts and every day famine!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 lg. egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 7-8 tbsp water
  • egg white
  • butter

If using a food processor, blend the flour and salt together, then as the motor runs, add egg yolks and oil through the feed tube. Pour in the water, in a slow, steady stream, until the dough forms a ball around the blade.

Otherwise, combine the milk, water, vegetable oil and egg yolk in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Put the flour in a large bowl and slowly pour the wet ingredients into the centre, about 1/3 at a time. Using your hands or a Kitchen-Aid dough hook, fold together dough. If too sticky add more flour, but only enough to get the dough into one smooth ball. If it doesn’t come together, add a little water.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured board, and knead until smooth, about two minutes, adding more flour if the mixture is sticky. Cover dough with a damp linen or cotton towel (not terrycloth), and let rest for twenty-thirty minutes. If too warm, let dough rest in refrigerator.

Divide dough into two parts, and ball into shape. Place one ball on floured work suface and cover remaining dough. Gently roll into a circle, away from the center, rotating dough circle every three or four strokes, until dough has been rolled evenly quite thin, about 1/8-inch. With a 3-inch biscuit cutter or glass jar, cut rounds. Place a teaspoon of filling to one side of each round, flip over other half, and press edges together, sealing in filling. Place dumplings on a floured cookie sheet; keep dumplings covered with a damp towel.

If freezing, place in freezer on uncovered cookie sheet until varenyky are completely frozen, then store in plastic bags.

If cooking, bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a very large pot, then reduce to medium simmer. One at a time, gently lower six varenyky into simmering water with a slotted spoon. Cook about 5-6 minutes, until all varenyky are floating.

Gently remove cooked varenyky with a slotted spoon, and place on broiler tray or small rack to drain and cool. When drained, toss with melted butter in a bowl, then serve with fried onions and sour cream if savory, and melted butter, confectioners sugar, and sour cream if sweet.

Varenyky may also be baked or pan-fried, as preferred.

cherries for next time!

cherries for next time!


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