One evening Sloth went down the memory lane and wandered straight to its grandmother’s kitchen. As usual, it had that smell of freshly baked pastries in the air. Old school grannies of Estonia are known to fill the yeast dough pastries with all kinds of yummy stuff – mushrooms, bacon and potatoes, cabbage or even berries and jam. This time Sloth needed a proper dinner, so we went for a simple mixture of minced meat and juicy carrots. The results were delicious, almost as good as made by granny.
So let’s get some flour on our aprons and them pastries in the oven!
Here’s what you need to bake these lovely pastries
1,2 cups (3dl) warm water
4 cups (500 g) wheat flour
6 tbsp (1 dl) extra virgin olive oil
1,2 pounds (500 g) ground meat – Sloth used a mixture of 75% beef and 25% pork
2 medium-sized carrots, grated
4 tbsp barbeque sauce
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
few pinches of salt and black pepper
2 medium-sized eggs
Few pinches of sesame seeds
Here’s how you make the dough
In a larger bowl mix up warm water with salt and sugar and add the flour mixed with dry yeast. Mix and stir the dough until it’s soft and dough-like. If it’s too wet or too dry, you should balance the dough with some extra flour or water. Once the dough starts to get its right structure, add some olive oil.
Mold your dough into a ball, place it in a bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Now let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour.
Here’s how you make the filling
Heat up a large skillet and load it with meat, grated carrots, garlic and barbecue sauce. Fry until minced meat is starting to get that slight brown texture, that should take about 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool down a bit before tasting it and adding some more barbecue sauce or salt and pepper if needed.
It’s baking time!
Take the dough from the bowl, place it on a floured surface of your working station. Punch the dough down and knead it from three up to six times. Roll the dough flat and shape it so you could fit the filling inside just like inside a pocket. Pro tip: use a bigger cup or drinking glass to get the dough pockets about the right size.
Brush the sealing line with some egg, so it will act like a glue. Now seal the pocket by pressing the sides tightly to each other with a fork. NB! Make sure you double check the “stitches” of the pockets. If they’re not pushed together real good, your pastries might pop open. They’re still tasty, but you might not be able to sell them at the local fair later.
Let the pastries rise at the room temperature for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes check the stitches once again and re-seal them if needed. Now it’s time for egg wash with your kitchen brush which guarantees your mini pies that nice golden glaze.
Off to the pre-heated oven, your pastries go. Bake them at a temperature of 420 °F (220 °C) for 10 minutes. Take the rolls out and brush them again with the egg and sprinkle sesame seeds on your pastries. Bake the buns for another 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown.
Here are some suggestions for serving the meal
There are no rules concerning when and how to serve those rustic meat pastries. Our recommendation is to eat them right away while the pastries are still warm. If you manage to save some after that first round of feasting, feel free to pack some for the lunch break at the office next day.
You can also borrow some serving tips from the Russians and let the pirozhkis be a company of hearty homemade soup.
Sloth hopes you enjoy those simple yeast dough pastries filled with meat and carrots. We know we did ;). Bon appetit, friends!
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