Pagach (aka “Pierogi Pizza”)


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Pagach is made of mashed potatoes and dough (some cooks use cabbage or sauerkraut instead of potatoes).  It originated as a Lenten dish in Slavic regions. Pagach is popular in Northeastern Pennsylvania (the “Coal Region) and Southwestern Pennsylvania, areas shaped by the large population of Catholic immigrants from Eastern European countries.

Think of pagach as if a pierogi and a pizza fell in love and had an offspring!

Pagach can be served as a side or main meal. Many times it is made as Friday night supper since it contains no meat.

The potatoes or cabbage filling will often include butter, onions, cheese, and seasoning. Although, traditionally, the filling is encased in a pocket of flattened dough, in many restaurants in Northeast and Southwest Pennsylvania, it is constructed as a typical “pizza” — the fillings placed on top of rolled out dough – circle or rectangle – then baked; hence the name  “pierogi pizza”. 

Pagach is delicious while it’s still warm, but can also be eaten the next day. You could use it as a side dish, a snack, or as a meal on its own.

This recipe is for the traditional construction of the filled and flattened pagach and includes three fillings: potato, cabbage, and sauerkraut.

Pagach (aka “Pierogi Pizza”)

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: Snacks, Appetizers, EntreesCuisine: Eastern European, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate

This recipe is for the traditional construction of the filled and flattened pagach and includes three fillings: potato, cabbage, and sauerkraut.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup scalded milk

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 Tablespoon sugar

  • 3 Tbsp. shortening

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • One (1/4 ounce) packet dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (105 F)

  • Cabbage Filling
  • 1 medium head cabbage, chopped fine, sauteed in butter until soft

  • Potato Filling
  • 3 medium potatoes, mashed with no added liquid

  • Chopped chives

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • OPTIONAL: shredded cheddar cheese to taste

  • Sauerkraut Filling
  • 1/2 pound sauerkraut, drained, sauteed in butter for 5 minutes

Directions

  • Make filling of your choice, cool.
  • In large bowl, pour milk over salt, sugar, and shortening. Cool to lukewarm. 
  • Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water.
  • Add egg to lukewarm milk mixture. Add yeast/water mixture. Add about half the flour. Beat well. Add remainder of flour. Beat well. Turn out onto floured board and knead about 5 minutes.
  • Place in greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk – 1-1/2 to 2 hours approx.
  • Divide dough into 2 portions.  Flatten/roll out one piece to about 1/2-inch thickness. Place desired filling in center.  Draw up outside edges of dough to encase filling and pinch together to cover filling. The end result should look similar to a pouch.
  • Roll this “pouch” out gently to about 3/4 inch thick. Filling should remain inside dough. Think of a disk with the filling completely contained inside. Follow the same method for remaining half of the dough.
  • Place each disk on a greased cookie sheet.  Let rise about 1-½ hours.
  • Bake at 375 F degrees about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • When done, serve warm slathered with butter or sour cream. May also be brushed with heavy cream and sprinkled with sugar.

Notes

  • Keep your board and rolling pin well floured when rolling out the “pouch” of filled dough and roll gently to help prevent any filling from breaking through.
  • You can flip the pagach half-way through baking, if desired.
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