About Pyrahi …
Pyrahi (plural), which are also of Eastern European origin, are essentially tarts which are made from various doughs and different fillings. Doukhobors favour peas, beans, beets, sauerkraut and dry cottage cheese, enclosing these fillings with dough into an oval shaped, hand formed vegetable tart. Pyrahi can be eaten freshly baked or frozen and thawed as required. They are best eaten hot with either melted butter or sour cream. Pyrahi are at times mistakenly confused with Ukrainian “pyrogies”, which are in fact more similar to the Doukhobor “vareniki”. Doukhobors also bake fruit tarts or “pirozhki”, although these make use of a sweetened pastry dough and are more rounded in shape and opened at the top to reveal their fruity contents.
Recipe – Yeast Pyrahi – with permission from “Hospitality, Cooking the Doukhobor Way, 1995”
|2 1/2 cup (375 ml) milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) shortening
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter
4 tbsp (60 ml) yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 tsp (10 ml) sugar
1 dozen eggs
1 tbsp (15ml) salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
11 cups (2.75 L) bread flour
- Heat milk, shortening and butter just until boiling point. Cool.
- Dissolve 2 tsp (10 ml) sugar and yeast in water . Let stand 15 minutes.
- Beat eggs, salt and sugar.
- Mix together with cooled milk.
- Add flour to make a soft dough.
- Let rise once.
- See method and fillings below
- Recipe may be halved
COTTAGE CHEESE – Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the dry cottage cheese. For 3 cups (750 ml) of cheese, use 2 large eggs, salt to taste. Mix well.
BEANS – Cook romano, Italian or kidney beans until soft. Drain but reserve some of the liquid. Mash well, use some of the bean liquid and some cream to make into spreadable consistency, add salt and sugar to taste.
PEAS – Use either split peas or frozen peas or a mixture of both. Cook peas until tender. Mash well, add salt and sugar to taste. A small amount of butter may be added.
PUMPKIN – Put cooked pumpkin into fry pan, add 2 tbsp butter and cook until thick. Add sugar or honey and a pinch of salt to taste.
BEETS – Cook and peel beets. Grate on fine grater, add a bit of butter, salt and sugar to taste, saute for a few minutes.
SAUERKRAUT – Drain sauerkraut very well, saute lightly in butter.
POTATO – Peel and boil potatoes in salted water. Drain and mash well, add egg to make a soft filling, add some black pepper. Minced garlic or sauteed onion could also be added for a more flavorful filling.
Filling and Baking Pyrahi
- When dough has risen the amount of time specified in the recipe, cut into balls about the size of a small egg.
- Gently form into a ball and place onto a floured board.
- Roll each ball into a circle approximately 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Place about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of filling on circle and spread slightly.
- Fold top of circle over filling and bring the edges toward the center over the filling so that they are almost touching, fold bottom edge up.
- Place on lightly greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart and let rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Bake until lightly browned.
- Serve hot with melted butter and/or sour cream.