Baked Pierogies with Lentil Filling

These yeast baked pierogies started being popular in Poland about 10 years ago. My mother never made them so I didn't know what to expect the first time I ordered them in a restaurant when visiting my country. They exceeded my expectations and I knew I had to try make them at home. We've had a quiet a big group of friends coming over for dinner and I thought these would be perfect since once you start making them you might as well make a 100. I made a few different fillings that day and everyone seemed to like the lentil filling the best. My partner loved them so much that since then, once in a while, he asks me to make them. These take some time to make but don't be put off by it. You can make as many as you want at once and freeze them for next times.

Ingredients for the filling:
    • 2 cups of red lentils
    • 2 tsp of black or green pepper
    • 1 tsp of cumin (or to taste)
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • salt to taste
    • 2 medium onions
    • some oil
    • 1 egg yolk with 1 tbsp of milk for glazing the dumplings

    Ingredients for the dough (about 80 pieces):
    • 500 of flour
    • 250 ml of milk
    • 80 g of melted butter
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 5 g of sugar
    • 10 g of yeast
    • pinch of salt

    If you don't have time to waist and don't want to spend all day in the kitchen, start a day ahead and make the filling. Keep it in the fridge overnight and continue with the rest the next day. If you want to make everything at once, start with the dough first because it has to rise.

    Dough. Pour a lukewarm milk into a bowl and add sugar and yeast to it. Mix it well and leave it for about 10 minutes until it foams up. Once it's nice and foamy, add flour, salt and yolks and mix it well. Then add the melted butter and start kneading for about 10 minutes until it's smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or a cling foil and let it rise for about 30 minutes. You can leave it for longer if you want.

    Filling. Begin with rinsing the lentils in a cold water twice or three times. Then put it in a sauce pan and boil for about 10 minutes on medium heat until it's soft. In the meantime heat up some oil in a frying pan and add chopped onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until translucent, then add the spices and crashed garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, make sure the garlic doesn't burn. Once the lentils are cooked, strain them and add to the onions. Cook until the water evaporates and add more spices to your taste. Make sure the filling is over spiced a little because it will loose some taste after baking.

    Preheat the oven to 200 C / 395 F. 

    Roll out the dough and cut some circles of the size that you want. I prefer smaller dumplings but you can make them as big or small as you wish. Put some of the filling in the centre of each circle and fold into a dumpling shape pinching on the side. As you can see on the photo above, I like to prepare my filling into bowls so it is much faster to fill them, but you can do one by one or putting the filling with a spoon straight onto each circle. 

    Line your baking sheet with baking paper or spray it with oil and sprinkle some semolina and arrange the dumplings making sure they do not stick to each other as they will rise a little bit. Glaze them with milk and egg mixture (you can use only milk or egg) and leave it covered for another 15 minutes.

    Bake for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown. The bigger the dumpling the more time it needs in the oven.

    Hope you will try to make them one day and you will like them.


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