I’ve been waiting to prepare these incredible sauerkraut pies since Easter. For some reason or another, I just never got around to it. Until yesterday, that is. Yesterday, I decided to buckle down and make these little pieces of heaven.
If I had to guess, I would say the biggest obstacle for me was the idea of making the dough. For some reason, I always try to avoid that for as long as possible. In reality though, making dough is as easy as adding about five ingredients to a bread maker and walking away. Almost all bread makers have a “dough” mode that simply mixes things up, let’s things rise and then mixes them up again. It can’t get much easier than that.
There’s a story behind these sauerkraut pies. The story is that my grandmother used to make many loaves every single Easter that we’d all gobble up. She used a recipe that was altered a few different times and handed down to the rest of us through the years. It’s something my parents, brother and sisters looked forward to eating when we were younger, and still do today. There’s something unique about enjoying onion and sauerkraut inside of a bread pocket. One of these “pies” sort of reminds me of a calzone. The structure of sauerkraut pies and calzones are actually quite similar.
I know the name sauerkraut pie might seem confusing, because if you look this name up online, you’ll see a whole bunch of recipes for something that looks a lot more like a traditional pie. If it helps, think of this dish as a relative of the kapusta pizza. Don’t worry, you’ll get what I’m saying down below. It’s really very cool.
This is a very simple side dish to pull off. All you’ll need is a few ingredients. You’ll need to make the dough, so there’s everything that goes along with that. You’ll also need to make the filling, which is only canned sauerkraut, onion and butter. That’s pretty much it. Combine the ingredients so the sauerkraut mixture is tucked neatly inside of the dough and bake until each pie is perfect. This is a treat you’ll be making every year from here on out, I promise.
Makes: 3 Pies
For the Dough
1/2 Cup Water
6 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
4 Large Eggs
3 1/2 Cups Bread Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Dry Milk
2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
For the Filling
2 Large Sweet Onions, Chopped
2 16-Ounce Cans Sauerkraut, Drained
1 Stick Butter
I’d like to thank my grandmother and my sister Stephanie for this recipe. Both have made some wonderful sauerkraut pies in their time.
Make the Dough
You can choose to prepare the dough in a bread machine or by hand (in a stand mixer). Either way is fine. I’ll give you the instructions for both.
If you want to use a bread machine, simply add all the dough ingredients from above to the machine and set the mode to “Dough.” Then press “Start” and walk away. The entire process should take one and a half hours. When it’s finished, be sure to remove the dough from the machine and either refrigerate or roll out because it’s going to want to rise again.
If you’re using a stand mixer, add all the same ingredients to the bowl and turn the machine on low with the hook attachment in place. Let the dough knead for eight minutes and when that’s complete, transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it somewhere that’s above 70 degrees. Let the dough rise for one hour and when that’s done, take the dough out of the bowl and punch it down so it’s not puffy anymore. At this point, you’ll be in the same position as the bread machine process above. You’ll have finished dough that’s ready to be used.
Prepare the Filling
Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the stick of butter to the skillet and then add the chopped onions. Simmer the onions in the butter, while stirring, for about five minutes. Then, continue to stir until the onions begin to brown. This whole process should take a total of about ten minutes. The goal isn’t only to brown the onions, but to evaporate much of the moisture that’s contained inside of them.
After that, add in the sauerkraut from the cans. Mix everything together and continue to brown the onions, along with the sauerkraut for another eight minutes. I’m only giving estimates here because you should really go on the looks of things. Just be sure that both the onions and the sauerkraut are broken down enough as to be tender when eaten. Also be sure that there’s no liquid in the skillet. You don’t want this mixture dry, per se, but you also don’t want it sopping wet. Moist is perfect.
Make the Pies
Roll the dough into a tube that’s about six inches long on your counter top. Then, divide the dough into three equal parts with a knife. Then, roll each part out into a circle that’s about the size of a dinner plate. Maybe even a bit larger than that. I’d say about 12 to 14 inches. Once you have three rolled dough pieces, divide the filling between them. Scoop the filling out of the skillet and place it right in the centers of the dough. Then, fold the dough up and over itself, sort of like how an envelope is folded. You should end up with three square-ish sauerkraut filled dough pies.
Finally, turn the dough over so the seams are facing down. Lightly grease a baking sheet and place each pie on top of it. Using a fork, pokes a few holes in the top of each pie to let any steam escape while baking.
Pre-Heat Your Oven
Adjust one of your oven racks so it’s in the center position. Then, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the Pies
Allow the pies to rest on the baking sheet while the oven is warming up. When the oven is to temperature, place the baking sheet inside of it and let the pies bake for between 25 and 35 minutes. I wanted mine a bit darker, so I let them bake for the full 35 minutes. When finished, remove the pies from the oven, turn off the heat and allow them to cool for about ten minutes.
Plate & Serve
Cut each pie into quarters, plate individually and serve. Enjoy!
The Final Sauerkraut Pies
Just wait until you try these things. You’re going to get hooked on them, just like my entire family has through the years. This recipe certainly is a favorite and I’m happy to share it with you. If you do decide to give these a try, please let me know your thoughts down in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!