Baked Yeast Pierogi with Spicy Lentils

This morning, my news feed informed me that using leftovers and checking the contents of your fridge before shopping is revolutionary. The article, which I would love to attach but can’t find the link anymore, left me feeling very ambivalent, happy that such ideas appear in mass media, upset that they need to be spread, not being an instinct to a chunk of the population. Wasting food is a phenomenon that angers me and which I try to fight at least on the microscale; I also have a need to get creative with the leftovers because I hate eating the same thing even twice in a row.

This is a nice way to use whatever grains you’ve had the day before in a new way. Or turn them into picnic food. Or use that overly spicy/salty mistake that would otherwise land in the trash bin, since the yeast dough makes its contents seem milder to the palate. They ask for a little work, but with my mom we turned it into some quality time so the whole thing was super economical in more ways than one. We had two different fillings, mushroom risotto which was not really worthy of posting, and spicy lentils.

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Baked Yeast Pierogi with Spicy Lentils Filling

(originally posted on Lawendowy Dom)

(makes about 40-50)

Ingredients:

For the dough:

500g wheat flour

7g instant yeast

2 tsp sugar

1 cup lukewarm water

6 tbsp oil

For the filling:

2 onions

2 large carrots

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp thyme

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp sweet paprika

1 tsp chilli powder, or less

200g/1 cup red lentils

In a big bowl, mix the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients. Pour the water and oil into one  bowl, mix and add to the flour. Knead for about 10 minutes. Cover with foil and set aside for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Cook the lentils in 3 cups of water for about 15 minutes, or according to the instructions on package. Drain.

Chop up the onions and shred the carrots. Heat up the oil over medium-high heat, fry the vegetable. Add the spices and lentils, cook until fragrant. Let cool so you can comfortably touch it. Don’t put it in the fridge, since yeast and cold are not best friends.

To make the pierogi, roll out the risen dough on lightly floured surface until about 3mm in thickness. Too thin won’t rise more during baking. Using a glass of about 7cm in diameter, cut out circles. Take a teaspoon of the filling, place it in the middle, fold the dough over, and seal with a fork, creating a cute pattern at the same time. Keep on doing this until the dough is finished.

Preheat the oven to 190◦C. Smear some milk (we used almond) on top to keep the pierogi from going dry in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown.

They were delicious both hot straight from the oven and cold, eaten from the fridge. They will stay fresh for a couple of days, depending on the filling.

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