We call them kreplach (with meat or cheese filling) or verenekes (filled with potatoes or fruits like blueberries or Saskatoon berries), but to others they may be known as Perogie, pirogi, pirohy, pyrohy, varenyky, vareniki, peroge — any probably a bunch of other similar names not listed. Whatever you call them, they’re actually dumplings — flavorful fillings wrapped in soft, silky dough.
My family comes from Russia and Poland (or the Ukraine – depending on what year the map is from, my father’s village changed hands during the war), and like the Jewish people from many countries, many of the foods they brought to Canada (and other places) are very similar to the foods eaten in those countries though often changed to fit into a kosher diet. So it makes sense that we have our own versions of these dumplings.
Here is the recipe for the dough —
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (15 oz / 425 grams)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup canola or other light oil
- 1 cup warm water
I’ve made this recipe in a stand mixer and a food processor and it works either way, though I prefer the stand mixer.
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and use the dough hook to mix them together on low. If you need to, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
Once all of the flour has been mixed in, turn the machine up to medium-high and let it knead the dough for a few minutes until it forms a ball. Pull the dough off the hook and place it on a lightly floured work-surface.
Knead the dough for about a minute, forming a nice, smooth ball. Then wrap in plastic wrap.
Set the dough aside to rest for at least one hour. (If I’m making these, I’m make a LOT of them and stocking the freezer, and the maybe the freezer of some friends and family . . ) Resting the dough will let it relax and stop it from springing back when you roll it out.
After it’s rested and relaxed unwrap one dough ball and place it on a lightly floured counter.
Roll the dough out to 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick (I like to roll the dough for soup kreplach on the thinner side and for other kreplach/verenekes on the thicker side). You can make these as large as you like, but I typically use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut circles.
Fill! You can collect the dough scraps, wrap well in plastic and let them relax for another hour and re-roll.
Cooking instructions are in the filling recipes here:
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