Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Kitchen Time

I love to bake. To prepare for Christmas I've been spending a fair amount of time at my kitchen counter. And for those who also enjoy kitchen time, I thought I'd share some of my favorite recipes. Or at least some I've been working on the last few days.

I made about 12 dozen perogies. Mostly for my enjoyment - these won't hit the Christmas table tomorrow.

Perogy (Varenyky)
3 cups flour
5 oz (about 3/4 cup) sour cream (the high fat kind)
4 tbsp butter
1 egg

Put flour in large bowl. Fold in sour cream and softened butter. Mix until even flakes. Whisk or blend in egg in measuring cup. Add enough water to reach 3/4 cup. Fold water mixture into dough. You may need to add more water or flour depending on consistency. Shape dough into a ball. Let rest for about 5-10 minutes. Roll out until fairly thin. Use glass or biscuit cutter to make dough rounds. Don't be afraid to manipulate or stretch dough. If it breaks open - just make it thicker. Fill with stuffing of your choice and pinch ends together. You may need to rub some water along edges if it's too dry to stick.

Simple really - put what you want and season to your taste. If making a potato blend filling boil around 3-4 potatoes, let cool and add your cheese/mix/seasoning. Many people add dill (which I hate so don't). I generally make potato and cheddar cheese, as well as cottage cheese. When making cottage cheese use the dry curd type.

Freeze on cookie sheets and transfer into bags.

Recipe originally from

Dinner Buns
Love, love making bread. This is an old recipe from neighbors of my now deceased grandparents. Delicious!!

1 pkg yeast (traditional)
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
Mix together and let sit for 10 minutes or until doubled. (10 min. is your max. time.)

In large bowl mix:
2 eggs
2 cups scalded milk (let this cool - can be warm but not hot unless you want to cook eggs.)
1/2 cup melted butter (don't use margarine)

Mix until well blended.

Next add yeast mixture. Gently mix.

In separate bowl:
Add together and mix with a fork.
3 cups of flour
1/2 cups sugar (less 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 tsp salt

Add to liquid ingredients.

Carefully blending add the remaining 3 cups of flour to the mixture. Depending on the humidity levels you may need more or less flour. Your goal is to develop a smooth dough. You will need to use your hands at this time. Knead until a smooth, elastic round dough. This stage should take no longer than 10 minutes. Rub lard (or butter) around bowl and over dough. Cover with damp tea towel, and let rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours in a warm place. Oven under 200F or near oven if it's being used.

Punch down. (Literally just punch it.)

Form into buns. Pinch ends together and set with ends down on pan. You can grease your pan (if not no-stick) or use parchment paper. Cover with damp tea towel. Put in warm place and let rise until almost double. (Around an hour.)

Brush tops with melted butter. Bake at 425F for 10 minutes.

You'll know they're finished if you tap the top and it sounds hollow.

One of my absolutely favorite cookbooks is "Something Warm from the Oven" by Eileen Goudge. I also use a lot of recipes from this book. (With my adaptations of course!)

Happy baking!

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