Welcome to Fall and October! I decided to have the Babes try out a Nebraska specialty this month known as runzas or bierocks. They are common in regions with strong Eastern European and German heritage, and similar to Pirozhkis, and reminiscent of Cornish pasties. Basically a yeast dough, pocket sandwich or bun, filled with a savory filling, usually meat, onion, and cabbage based. There are whole Runza restaurants in Nebraska with flavors like Original (meat, onion, cabbage), Cheese, Swiss Mushroom, Cheeseburger, BBQ Bacon, BLT, Spicy Jack, Vegetarian, etc. So it really can be built to taste. I left the choice of dough and filling open to whatever our bakers desired to try out. I have even seen an Italian flavored Runza out there though I suspect that it is closer to a Stromboli than a runza at the point!
When seasoning the filling, err on the side of over-seasoning. Once it is wrapped in the dough, all the flavors are muted and you don't want to end up with something bland. I even added Mongolian fire oil to my filling and could not taste it at all after baking! Interestingly, my family was just okay with these, I guess they prefer a stew with bread rather than a neat little package!
Have you ever had a runza? What is/would be your favorite filling? Bake along with us this month and try it out! No blog is necessary to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished flatbread to me by the 30th of this month at eleyana (AT) aol (DOT) com. New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.
Start by placing half the flour, and the sugar, yeast, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Gently heat the milk, water, and butter to 115º F.
Pour warmed wet ingredients into flour mixture. Stir slightly before adding beaten eggs.
Add remaining flour, one cup at a time, until the dough comes together and is smooth and elastic.
Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
2 pounds ground beef
4 cups shredded cabbage (about ½ a head of cabbage)
(optional) - 1 small can sauerkraut, with the juice (I used ~1 cup Bubbie's kraut, which is jarred and not cooked and tastes fantastic)
salt and pepper to taste (be liberal here, the bread tempers the seasoning) I added some Worcestershire too
(optional) cheese of your choice
onions and garlic and sauté in a large frying pan with a little butter
or olive oil until tender. Add ground beef along with generous amounts
of salt and pepper. Cook until beef is cooked through and drain well.
Put browned ground beef into a large pot or crockpot. Stir in cabbage and kraut. Simmer 3-4 hours, stirring often, and seasoning and tasting. If using a crockpot, cook on "low" for 5 to 6 hours
Punch dough down, and divide into 12 equal portions.
with one piece of dough, roll out a circle of dough approximately ¼″
thick. It shouldn’t
be so thin that it is breaking up into holes when you handle it. To
help with the shaping, place the round into a bowl. Dump the filling (~½
cup) on top of the dough, and then
pull the dough around the filling and pinch sides together to seal.
Flip the runza out, seam side down.
Place onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet (edges can touch). I made a half batch of six.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Optionally, brush tops with melted butter during the last 10 minutes of baking for color and flavor!
The rest of the Bread Baking Babes
- Blog from OUR Kitchen – Elizabeth
- Judy’s Gross Eats – Judy
- My Diverse Kitchen - Aparna
- Bread Experience - Cathy
- Thyme for Cooking - Katie
- My Kitchen in Half Cups - Tanna
- Feeding My Enthusiasms - Elle
- Karen's Kitchen Stories - Karen