Potato cheddar “pierogi” bread

By Anna Olson
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The recipe makes almost a focaccia-style bread dough that is then rolled out, filled with a potato & cheddar filling, then baked until golden. It’s perfect on its own, but also as a hearty companion to soup, chili or stew.  It's also great slathered with sour cram and a sprinkling of chopped green onions - just like regular pierogies!

SERVES
20
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups and 2 tablespoons warm water (about 115F)
  • 1 package (2 ¼ teaspoon) instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Filling

  • 4 large yukon dold potatoes, peeled & diced
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg with 2 tablespoons water, for brushing

Directions

1.  For the dough, put all of the ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, and mix on low speed until blended, increasing the sped to medium to knead until the dough feels elastic, about 5 minutes.  Alternatively, the dough can be mixed by hand, and turned onto a work surface to be kneaded until elastic (7-10 minutes).  Place the dough in a bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled, about an hour.

2. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling.  Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender and drain. Use a mixer, beaters or a ricer to mash the potatoes and stir in the butter and cheese.  Season to taste and cool to room temperature (this can be prepared a day ahead and chilled).

3.  Turn the risen dough out onto lightly floured work surface, divide into 2 pieces and roll out each piece to a large circle, about ½-inch thick.  Divide the filling between the 2 pieces of dough and spread it to cover half of the dough in a half-circle shape.  Fold the unfilled half over the filling (the bread should now have a giant pierogy shape to it), press out any air pockets and pinch the edges closed.  Place the breads onto parchment-lined baking trays, cover each with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

4.  Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).  Use a fork to dock the top of the bread a little, and brush with the egg wash.  Bake the bread for about 40 minutes, until a golden brown.  Cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing to serve.

The bread will keep for up to 2 days, well-wrapped or can be frozen.

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