Remarks: The important rules for making dough are the following: If the dough is prepared for fast days, use approximately 1 lb fine wheat flour for each glass of water with yeast. More precise instructions are impossible since some flours are better than others, some are moister, and some are drier. If butter and eggs are added to the dough, use less than 1 glass of water for each lb of flour. 1½ lbs of flour is sufficient for a pirog for 6–8 persons since this amount of dough is enough for 8 large pieces or 15–18 small pirozhki. For each lb of flour use at least 1 zolotnik dry yeast. Dissolve the yeast in ¼ glass water mixed with 1 teaspoon flour, let the mixture rise slightly, and then prepare the dough. If the dough must be prepared quickly, dilute the yeast in warm water and after 15 minutes, prepare the dough. If the dough is needed early in the morning, start the yeast the night before. Do this by mixing the yeast with flour and cold water and letting it stand overnight in a heated* room, so that it will not turn sour.
Various recipes for dough are given below. Pirogs themselves are prepared as follows: After the dough has been mixed and has risen, knead the dough, without adding flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin, sprinkling the dough only lightly with flour. Arrange a rectangular piece of dough on a clean baking sheet, greased with butter. Place the prepared stuffing on the dough and turn up all four sides to shape the pirog into an even rectangle. Pinch the edges together and set it aside for at least half an hour. Paint the top but not the sides with an egg beaten with 1 spoon water. rusk crumbs may be sprinkled on top. Place in a hot oven for half an hour, but if the pirog is big or stuffed with fish, then bake for an hour. Some people prefer a thin and dry crust and a lot of stuffing, while others like more pastry. In the latter case, more flour will be required. For any dough, the longer it is beaten, the better it will be.
Serve butter separately with pirogs made from yeast doughs, which are not as rich.
The amount of dough in the following recipes is sufficient for either one pirog or 15–18 pirozhki. Pirozhkis, however, require half the stuffing necessary for a pirog. To make pirozhki, cut off pieces of dough and roll each piece into a smooth ball, stretch it in your hands, fill it with ½ spoon stuffing, pinch it together, even it out, and set it to rise on the table or on a baking sheet greased with butter. When they have risen, paint with egg yolk beaten with water and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
*More precisely, “in a room of ordinary temperature” (v komnate obyknovennoj temperatury), or about 60° F. Since contemporary American homes are warmer (about 68–70° F.), cooks today are advised to let their yeast breads rise slowly in the refrigerator overnight
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