We’ve been making these forever. In Colorado’s German-Russian communities they’re known as Cabbage Pockets, Beroks, Cabbage Buns or Krautburgers. In California they appear on bakery menus as Bierocks. My husband’s family, who immigrated to eastern Colorado from near Frank, Russia at the turn of the last century calls them Kraut Runza. It helps if you hold your mouth right and try to impersonate “Klink” when you say it. No matter how you say it, they’re delicious, comforting and a nourishing quick lunch or supper when the kitchen is not at its best.
My original recipe calls for a 30 minute quick bread filled with ground beef, cabbage, onion with lots of salt and pepper. This month we tried making them with the white bread dough from our trusty bread machine. D’s grandmother made Kraut Runza using her everyday white bread, so.o.o we thinks, “Why not try our white bread?”
Wow! Should have thought of this much sooner. What’s that old saying? “Too soon old and too late smart.”
Here’s how: Using the bread machine: make my Basic White Dough—Tastes like Grandma’s!
Oh I know that’s a pretty bold statement to make. But this recipe produces a rich, golden loaf of a quality almost exactly the same as we remember the bread from Auntie’s wood burning kitchen stove in our childhood. Smells just as good while it bakes, too.
Add ingredients to the Bread Maker in the following order:
Do NOT use substitutes—these unrefined products are necessary to produce the”old-fashioned” qualities.
1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 cups of the least expensive, unbleached white flour available
3 tablespoons RAW sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
With your fingers, gently mix the sugar, salt, and dry yeast into the top of the flour, being careful not to dampen them. Turn the Machine to the “DOUGH” setting, on our’s that’s an hour and 20 minutes , and while the machine does it’s magic, make the filling.
Coarsely shred 1 medium head cabbage
Dice a small onion
Brown 1 lb. lean ground beef In a large Dutch-oven. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage and onions. Salt and pepper again. Cover and slowly cook the filling down until the cabbage just starts to caramelize, stirring often. Taste. Salt and pepper again if needed. Set the filling aside to cool until the bread dough is ready, placing it in a colander to drain away any excess liquid.
Turn the bread dough out on a lightly floured surface. Working with half the dough: roll out to about 1/4 inch in thickness and cut into 8 squares. Using a large slotted spoon, put about 1/3 cup of well drained filling on a square. Lift up the corners of the dough and pinch to form a tightly closed pocket.
Put the pockets on a lightly greased baking sheet and repeat the process with each square of dough.
Repeat with the second half of the dough and the remaining filling. Bake at 375° F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve ’em hot. Serve ’em cold.
Freeze ’em to re-heat later for a quick meal in a bag. Just don’t be surprised if there aren’t any left over to freeze. Oh, and always, expect to have requests for more. I’ve never found anyone who didn’t like ’em.
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