Kulebyaka Russian Pie Recipe | It's Sooo Good!
 

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Kulebyaka (кулебяка)
(Authentic Russian Pie)

I'll tell you what you can put there :
  • 2 cups (250g) unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 cup (30mL) warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 10 teaspoons (50g) butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 whole egg (+1 egg yolk for egg wash)
  • plus any filling you like!
Click to enlarge
Kulebyaka Russian pastry dough recipe for pies
Kulebyaka (кулебяка) is my favorite Russian food; it's like a larger pirogi (pie) that you can share with everyone. You can also fill it with savory or sweet fillings like my burekas!

I'll tell you what you can do:

This is the recipe for the kulebyaka (кулебяка) dough that I fell in love with in Russia. It's used to make both savory and sweet Eastern European pies. In St. Petersburg you can find many pie fillings, including mushrooms, cabbage, cheese and green onion, meat, fish, and so on. Everything seems to work with this recipe, so give it a try!

In a small bowl, stir together the yeast, sugar, and warm water; put it aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to foam. In a large bowl, combine the flour with salt and the 1-cm cubes of butter. Use your fingers to work the butter into flour (frictionner, as the French say!) until it has all crumbled. Add the yeast mixture, yogurt (or sour cream), and the whole egg. Mix everything together to make a soft dough. Then wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 12).

After it's sat long enough, bring the dough out and let it get up to room temperature. Meanwhile, grease a bowl with 1 tsp. butter. On a floured work surface, knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it's smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl, cover with a dark cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 1⁄2 hours).

Filling: At this point it's a good time to make your filling. It can be anything you like, but one of my favorites is mushrooms! In a skillet I sauté 1 sliced onion and 1 pound of button mushrooms with butter, salt, pepper and just a bit of sour cream. Another great filling is cheese: try sticking a whole brie inside this dough. It's delicious!

Putting it together

Split your dough in half to make two balls that will form the top and bottom layer of the pie. Roll out each dough into a large rectangle. Transfer 1 rectangle onto parchment paper on your baking sheet. Spread the filling over the top, but leave a border of about one inch. Drape the remaining dough rectangle over it to form the top of your rectangular kulebyaka. Pinch the edges closed with your fingers, and then trim any excess dough from edges with a knife. At this point, you'll have some extra dough scraps that Russians usually use to decorate the pie. Take a look at mine (this time I decided to make a circular pie rather than rectangular):

Kulebyaka dough example recipe

Let the pie rise for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Whisk an egg yolk with milk to make a simple egg wash, and brush it over the top of the dough. This is what makes the beautiful golden color of the kulebyaka. Poke some holes in the top of the dough to allow the steam to vent while in the oven, and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

I know it's difficult, but let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing and eating!

 

Tips

If you can use European-style butter, it will come out better because there is less water content.

If you're using a pie filling that gives off excessive water (like fruits), be sure to cook them in advance. It's also a good idea to put a layer of bread crumbs on the dough before filling it up. The bread crumbs will help absorb some of the excessive water.

 

 

 



Best of luck,

Moti

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New! Write a comment about this recipe:

tundraridge writes: (20 Jan 2013, 01:06)
Dear Moti, For my cooking to be delicious, my kids have to like it. No four star or five star restaurant ratings, just my kids will have to like it. They had seconds, and would have probably ate more if they weren't so full. This is, so far, the best i've made. thank you
susanne writes: (25 Oct 2012, 07:22)
Dear Moti,
i just got back from moscow where i had the most amazing mushroom and chicken pies.
thank you for this recipe as it looks just rtght to try and recreate that experience!
yummy! thankyou! writes: (05 Jul 2012, 02:41)
Dear Moti,
Your wrong writes: (30 Apr 2011, 15:55)
Dear Moti, what is up with this recipe? The ingredients call for yogurt and then in the instructions don't say to use any, also the ingredients don't sour cream, but then in the instructions it says to add sour cream.
Shikamaru writes: (03 Mar 2009, 06:52)
Dear Moti,
ABC its as easy as 123

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